Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pandora rant, and an out-of-the-box road trip

I have to learn how to use Pandora properly.

I have the version without ads (the ads would drive me insane). And I know how to create stations, "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" songs, and skip songs... but Pandora can quite obviously only read my mind occasionally.

I replaced my old, 2001-model 5-CD player in my truck last week (it had eaten a CD and refused to regurgitate it) with a new tuner/Bluetooth player that easily connects up to my Windows phone (and which provides additional sport with voice-to-text... results are hilarious when using a US-English voice-to-text engine with an English-English voice like mine: if you receive a weird-but-amusing text from me, you'll know I'm yelling in the truck.) The new tuner latches on to Pandora on my phone and it's rather cool.


I just can't listen to the Pandora Marillion station. Even though Pandora's website says it has all the wonderful recent Marillion albums, it only plays one or two tracks from "Real to Reel". Heavily intermingled with Genesis, Pink Floyd, Fish and other really-old-school so-called "prog" stuff. So I try all the thumbs-down and skipping, then Pandora tells me I can't skip any more this hour cos they pay for the music and tough, you're stuck with another darn Genesis song, and you can't fix this without pulling over and messing about with the phone and there's a string of traffic behind you and a cop car watching so you just have to turn the volume down or fall asleep at the wheel.

If you want to sample the real-and-up-to-date Marillion, go here:

(I've never been into Genesis, apart from the one really-non-Genesis-like single from around 1975 about wardrobes... Fish does nothing for me since he left Marillion many many many years back, though I know a lot of Marillion fans who do love his solo music... Pink Floyd is wonderful on occasion, but is really not drive-time music. "My" prog is H-era Marillion, Peter Hammill, Van der Graaf Generator, maybe some King Crimson. Pandora, why can't you read my mind????)

So I switch to the Gemini Syndrome Pandora station. Now that one works: all the tracks from Lux, many of my favourite Five Finger Death Punch songs, lots of Stone Sour, some Breaking Benjamin... and I can about tolerate one Disturbed song an hour. Great for a long road trip. It's only when Pandora gets bored with itself and starts adding totally-unrelated bands that I change back to the Marillion station... and find it plays only wailing Phil Collins and another-boring Fish song, and no recent Marillion whatsoever.

Sigh... next road trip I'll remember to bring my CDs along.

(More about this road trip coming soon.)

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