Making slight course corrections in Pandora

I am constantly surprised at the quality of suggestion coming from the Pandora service. However, the selection is often too reliable and linear, in that Pandora doesn't give me enough ways to explore music I am unfamiliar with, but enjoy listening to. What I want is a way to tweak my musical trajectory a bit while I am listening. Consider the possibilities if one could visualize the music that will be played next so I could bias the next selection towards specific genetic qualities. Make sense? For example, what if instead of the player displaying simply what I have and what I am listening to... what if it could also display what will be played next? And if that is possible, then what if Pandora displayed more than one item that could be displayed next, and it gave the user the option to select which they would like to hear? Naturally, if the user doesn't select one specifically, then Pandora will continue playing songs exactly as it does today. And if that is possible, what if instead of giving the user to option to select what song that could come next, but you gave them options like, "make the next song similar, but with: a) a faster tempo, b) stronger vocal track, c) etc." A system like this could allow users to explore other genres more easily, and make "course corrections" while they were listening.
There might even be an upside to this for Pandora as well. By giving users multiple channels of recommendations, Pandora creates more potential ways to make money and mostly importantly: to continue offering their service for FREE. The primary track that a user listens to can stay total true to what I perceive as Pandora's core value to me: to recommend what I will like based upon what is similar, as opposed to what Pandora will make the most money selling. But if you created the choice of what will be played next, then Pandora might be able to introduce paid sponsors into the mix, which Google Adsense has shown is not necessarily a bad thing. Consider the following: I am listening to Postal Service on Pandora. I don't own the album. By default the next song Pandora will play is most likely NOT going to be a song by the Postal Service. But what if I wanted to hear more by them? I could then elect for my next song: "play another song by this artist." If I do that once or twice Pandora could surface a window to me that says, "we have noticed you have chosen to listen to this artist more than once, would you like to purchase the album?" Also, Pandora could sell paid sponsorships. Again, suppose I am listening to Depeche Mode (an artist commonly recommended on my "Postal Service Station"). The publisher of The Postal Service has purchased an ad spot such that when someone listens to Depeche Mode, a recommended artist to listen to would be The Postal Service. That recommendation would be displayed among or below the albums that will be played next. I could choose then to "alter my course" so-to-speak and listen to the Postal Service next. At the end of the day though, I want Pandora to make it easier for me to explore the musical world by giving me the choice of going left or right in the fork in the road. Some of the best discoveries are often made by mistake, and Pandora is so good right now, there are almost no mistakes. Give the user some choice, introduce some more randomness and perhaps I will discover even more music that appeals to me.

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I normally surf all over the web because I have the tendancy to read often (which isn't always a great idea because most blogs just copy from each other) but I have to say that yours contains some real substance! Thanks for stopping the trend of just being another copycat site! ;-)

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  • I normally surf all over the web because I have the tendancy to read often (which isn't always a great idea because most blogs just copy from each other) but I have to say that yours contains some real substance! Thanks ...

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