A few days ago a friend introduced me to Pandora radio which has proved to be a great way to check out some new music. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pandora Radio, it’s a free or subscription-based internet service that streams music based on parameters set up by entering an artist or a song into the service and it responds by playing related music.

Since I joined, I’ve been walking over to my computer constantly to find out more about what’s playing and consequently have also been adding considerably to my digital music collection. In thinking about it, my purchases are directly a result of coming into contact with what Chris Anderson describes in his book “The Long Tail” as a “force that connects supply and demand”. Based on my parameters, Pandora has effectively been driving me down the long end of the tail towards artists that I probably would like to hear… and, for the most part, it’s been working.

I’m always on the look out for new music and don’t always have time to make it to cd shops to find out what’s out there… and let’s face it, it’s expensive to experiment so sites like Pandora can help. But obviously, they are only one piece of the puzzle. There are many opportunities all over the web to hear about new happenings in the music world and, at risk of doing some shameless self promotion, certainly Greenleaf Music is another great information source that is also high on my list.

So while I still find my way over to New York’s Academy Records once a week or so, I can tell already that services like Pandora and Greenleaf Music certainly help keep my music consumption healthy.

Here’s quick sampling of my Pandora stations:

John Coltrane radio
Blind Willie Johnson radio
Fugazi radio
Dave Douglas radio (of course!)
Hand Jive radio
Ornette Coleman radio
Dmitry Shostakovich radio
Hanne Hukkelberg radio
Slayer radio
John Zorn radio