Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Juicy Little Secret

by Elodia Strain

When I find something I really love I like to tell everyone. To the lady in the grocery store mop aisle who’s looking at the Swiffer WetJets. “It will change your life.” To the woman asking if the massage therapist I just visited is any good. “Absolutely.” (Said with a sort of sleepy zen look on my face that I’m sure was even more convincing than the words themselves.)

So, I recently discovered the amazing and wonderful world of Pandora radio. And for those of you who have yet to use Pandora let me just tell you, like a Swiffer WetJet: It will change your life.

I have pretty specific music needs when I’m writing. I love to listen to music, but the music has to be slow and melodic and not too distracting. The best songs in this category go one step further and put me in this sort of heightened state of thinking and feeling, which for an author is like, the ultimate.

Sure, I have my iTunes. But let’s face it--hours a day of the same thing over and over can get pretty anti-creative. Enter Pandora. At this gem of a website ( you simply enter a song or an artist you like, and boom! a personalized radio station—made by what I can only think of as little musical elves—magically appears on your computer and starts to play. The best part: You can do this for as many songs and as many artists as you want! A couple of my current faves to write to: Kate Rusby radio and Sam Phillips radio.

Now, as a word of warning, for all its good points, Pandora does have one drawback. Once you start creating those awesome little stations for yourself, you just might find it hard to stop!


Robyn Heirtzler said...

I've been listening to Pandora for a very long time. My stations are fabulous! One for when the kids are home, one for when I'm writing ... I customize a station for each book I write ...

Jen said...

I ought to pass that along to some of my coworkers. Over here, everyone's got an iPhone loaded with music, but, like you said, it's the same thing over and over and over again. The only person that I know who doesn't have that problem is my brother-in-law who has a HUGE iPod with ALL of his CDs on it!

Karen Hoover said...

Wow, this is the first I've heard of this. What an awesome tool! Thanks for the recommendation. You've made a fan out of me!

Marsha Ward said...

I'll try it if I can make use of it with my dial-up connection. [sigh] Not everyone has broadband yet.

I'll know a change I can believe in when broadband comes to the forest!