Streaming music sites still struggle to properly catalogue classical music

Posted on: August 5, 2013

“Pandora and I had a fight. Not that there’s any bad blood between me and the administrators of the streaming music site—far from it,” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (8/2) Washington Post. “Pandora’s creators recently went to considerable trouble to add three classical music channels to their offerings…. I wanted to listen to Benjamin Britten. And it wouldn’t let me…. Pandora is proud of what it calls the Music Genome Project, which breaks music down into literally hundreds of components to help describe its characteristics.… [But] when I created a ‘Benjamin Britten’ station on Pandora last week, Pandora refused to play any Britten at all. I got lots of Mendelssohn, some Chopin, a piece by Alkan, one by someone named Louis Glass, and several Beethoven cello sonatas… In June, Apple announced that iTunes will be launching a similar Internet radio service in the fall…. I asked the people at Pandora what was up with their Britten catalogue. Turns out it was a database error. Britten the composer was listed as ‘Lord Benjamin Britten’; Britten the performer was listed as ‘Benjamin Britten.’ … I started a station for ‘Lord Benjamin Britten,’ and immediately got— a cello piece, the Suite for Solo Cello, with Rostropovich.”

Posted August 5, 2013