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Tech Savvy: New musical formats

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By Jessi Pierce

Like Phil, I consider myself a musical junkie. Sometimes the perfect song comes on and hits you just right. Bad breakups, big promotion or just to dance, there is a song for every occasion and you can count on me to turn up the music no matter what might be on.

I got the music love from my parents — who got my name after Rick Springfield’s male Jesse — who have stacks of music from all different decades; Elvis on vinyl, Meatloaf on 8-track, Bob Segar on cassette and Gin Blossoms on CD. Born into a mostly CD-versioned music life, I remember being thrilled to hear that there was a way to compact all of your music and not on a disc, or in a huge CD binding as I had become accustomed to toting around.

Enter my first mp3 player. An iPod for my 18th birthday. Loading up 1,000 songs,

I took it with me everywhere as my head constantly bopped and feet moved to the beat anywhere I could.

But even that quickly wore as the songs became too repeated. It wasn’t until college that I discovered Pandora. Brilliant.

Pandora, an application that can be used on your computer, smartphone or iPad, allows users to pick their favorite artist, song or genre of music and it will automatically play some from your choosing as well as shuffle through similar artists and songs.

For example, if a user is a fan of Bon Jovi, they can create what Pandora calls a “station” and it will play both music from a collection of Bon Jovi, as well as other artists. So on that same Bon Jovi station a user may hear Journey and other memorable 80s rock bands.

Pandora works great for softly playing in the background at work or create a holiday station during Christmas parties. The free version includes commercials, lasting usually not longer than one minute, but they are limited enough to make it better than listening to the radio. For those who want to omit commercials all together, Pandora One runs users $36 per year for a commercial free experience.

So rock on musicheads!