…Once Opened, May Never Be Closed

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I’ve been using Pandora for streaming internet radio for over a year and I have just now realized that it’s system of deciding what to play based on the “music genome” of each song you like or dislike is fundamentally flawed. You see, Pandora only allows you to “thumbs up” or thumbs down” a particular tune when, in order to accurately rate a piece of music you need at least three options: “Thumbs Up”, “Thumbs Down” and “I COCKING HATE GOD DAMN COLDPLAY!!!” The button for that option would be Chris Martin having his face raped off by wolves.

FOLLW ME ON TWITTER and you might get to participate in the creation of HE comics. This comic was inspired by FB @RobStenzinger‘s reaction to this tweet. @patrickcentral and @allixsenos pointed out that (as Josh mentions in the comic) Pandora is only regurgitating what I’m feeding it. I’m ashamed to admit that I probably thumbs upped “Speed of Sound” at some point. Still, nothing explains why it keeps playing Whitesnake with reckless abandon.

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  1. Funny, David Tennant in NTMB talked about how much Coldplay is hated and how he'll try to ¨*cue music* "fix you…"

    I actually do like them. don't love them,they're not my favourites, but I enjoy them.

    • Has anyone else noticed that the chorus from new Creed song "Overcome" is directly ripped from Sevendust's "Denial"? Just throwing that out there so that it starts bugging everyone else like it does me every time I hear it.

  2. Nah, too lazy, besides… there is songza and grooveshark to fill the void. It also means that I don't have to listen to stuff I don't want to listen to.

  3. I constantly have this problem!!! But it's my friends instead of pandora that are surprised and insist I like them! I don't care if I like similar music, I fucking hate Coldplay!

  4. If you go to "Edit This Station" (look at the dropdown for the station's options) you should be able to remove thumbs up from any songs you've given them to – you should check that to make sure there's no coldplay in there. Also, if coldplay comes up, Giving a thumbs down to 2 songs by an artist, as long as you have no thumbs up for that artist, is *in theory* supposed to ban that artist from your station. Good luck.

  5. I've had similar problems.

    Me: I like Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana
    Pandora: Hey, you must love Red Hot Chili Peppers!
    Me: "No, really I don't. Well OK, I like Under The Bridge, but everything else is thumbs-downed."
    Pandora: "Great, so you wanna make babies with RHCP! While I keep playing them, I bet you like Foo Fighters too."
    Me: "Yes, actually I do like them a lot"
    Pandora: "Great, so you like any alt-rock from early-to-mid 90s. I bet you love Alice In Chains!"
    Me: "Can't stand them"
    Pandora: "I'll keep a few more Alice In Chains songs in rotation in case you needed 15 years for them to grown on you. How about some Soundgarden?"
    Me: "Please stop"
    Pandora: "Candlebox?"
    Me: "Okay time to stop"
    Pandora: "Here's another Chili Peppers song since you love them so much"

    • I have the same chilipeppers problem. I wish I could give them context like "No, Pandora I stopped listening to RHCP after Blood Sugar Sex Magic when they went from funk-rock to radio friendly-alt-pop. Please take this into consideration for all future song choices"

      • I blame RHCP for this not Pandora, they chose to start sucking. I don't know why Creed creeps onto my stations. If I could pin point it I might start giving other bands thumbs down to salt the fields and prevent any sort of accidental Creed listening. It's like someone spit in my mouth after eating a pastrami sandwich because they know I like the taste of pastrami.

  6. I used to have a girly-jones for "Yellow", but that was when I was still a zombified teenager who would listen to anything the local alternative station would play. Thankfully, I grew out of that phase long ago.

  7. I thought there was an option to never play anything by a particular artist. Maybe it's just for a particular song, I can't remember. I have the same problem with Dave Matthews Band. Can't stand 'em, but Pandora seems to think I should.

  8. Lately Pandora's been playing the same loop of about 30 songs for me because I "thumbs up"'d too many songs, so I had to figure out how to un-do that without having to make a new station. Only reason I even knew.

    But I think that Pandora forces Coldplay on everyone who doesn't pay for the service (Coldplay made it into a station of mine that I think it had no right to be in)

    • I wish they had a "these are the attributes of this song that matter to me" selection.

      I'm so tired of them assuming I like "hard rock roots" or "four-on-the-floor beats" when maybe it's actually the keyboard I'm digging.

  9. The deal they have with the RIAA is only with the RIAA(the last A is for America). They were nearly fee'd ouf of existence last year and they finally struck what they consider to be a reasonable royalty rate.

  10. Out of all my Pandora stations, no matter which artist I started from, Grandaddy, Ben Folds, Genesis, Tears for Fears, Joni Mitchell, Yazoo, the Beatles, Soundgarden, Thomas Dolby, UK, etc., etc., the one and only station that didn't start playing Coldplay after a day or two was the Black Sabbath one. No, I never hit thumbs up on Coldplay. I probably never hit thumbs down on them twice on any given station, either, because they're the modern version of Styx 30 years ago, seemingly innocuous but secretly a black creeping musical evil. We can only hope that in two or three years they'll come up with a bombastic lite-rock opera with Broadway musical aspirations about a guy dressed as a robot trying to rebel against the rise of technology, so that the world will finally ignore them.

    But the Coldplay effect is a symptom of the underlying problem: adding tracks requires human intervention on Pandora's part, making their pool of music kind of tiny and inbred; another symptom is that the second or third artist I tried to use to start a station didn't even have any tracks available, and many of my favorite artists had only a few tracks from soundtracks or compilations. That problem made me stop using Pandora altogether a couple months after I started.

  11. I never had a problem with Coldplay, but Pandora seems to think that my Modest Mouse/ Beirut/Weezer/Wilco station would like a healthy dose of what I can only describe as "hillbilly emo." If it's got a fiddle, bad singing, and what sounds like a pathetic pimply kid who got tossed out of his Dashboard Confessionals cover band, then by gods, play it away!
    I simply cannot thumbs down my way out of this nightmare.

  12. I had that very same conversation with my roommate a couple of months ago. Over Christmas, both his mom and his brother told him that Pandora kept forcing Coldplay on them. I know I've heard this from at least a couple of other people, and I have a theory that Coldplay is secretly paying them something. So many people with so many different musical tastes can't stand Coldplay, and yet, Pandora insists. Genome be damned!

  13. "Still, nothing explains why it keeps playing Whitesnake with reckless abandon." – hijinksensue

    Not using Pandora myself, but if they show videos along with the music, I may have a sneaking suspicion as to why.

  14. You need to mature and realize that Pandora is imperfect. If you expect it to play you crap, you are not surprised when they do.

    And if you really want to throw Pandora for a loop, seed MSI and don't thumb up anything that isn't MSI. It really freaks out. (Assuming you can sit through System of a Down without doing a thumb-down.)

    And knowing the words to a song is NOT an indication of secretly liking the song. Some things you just plain hear way too much.

    Sometimes I think it's fun to just see what pandora puts together for a certain band or musical taste. And then you sometimes run into issues where everything it's playing is already on your thumb up list, and you're like, there HAS to be something else…

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