What would Internet radio look like in 10 years? Hmmm…
Well, Pandora is used on gadgets like laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Granted 10 years is not a long time, but I’m sure there will some changes with these things, and therefore how we use Pandora will be different in that sense. Perhaps there will be holographic images coming from our phones, and we’ll see the musicians of songs performing, or more simply we’ll see colors that relate to the moods of songs (we see blue during a sad song, for instance). These are not too realistic of assumptions, but any changes with these technologies will alter our experience with Pandora.
The app itself will surely change its fashion between now and 2024. The look of everything will eventually become outdated, and they might change their company color, the location of the pause/play buttons, or use different symbols than a thumbs up and thumbs down. The app already offers biographies of the artists and lyrics to each of the songs, so I’m not sure what else they could add in that sense (they actually provide a lot of information and I don’t find myself wishing that they gave me more). The owner of Pandora, though, has received requests for the listener to be able move specific songs from one station to another. People apparently would like to add music to stations the same way they can delete music with the thumbs down button. I imagine that Pandora will add this feature in the next 10 years.
In the future, Pandora may also offer new things to listen to other than music and comedy. Perhaps they will provide the option to hear stories and audiobooks (for fun and/or academics). We could possibly watch movies, where Pandora includes the picture on the screen; they already provide 1 minute visual clips during advertisements, so this seems pretty plausible. I image this would cost more money, though, so Pandora might be limited to do this if the public is not willing to start paying for more expensive memberships.
Overall, I don’t think Pandora, or any form of radio, is going to change so drastically that we won’t even be able to recognize it. How ever technology changes in the future is going to affect Pandora, the face of Pandora will surely change, and I assume Pandora will add more flexibility and listening options. Whatever the changes, they will depend on the public and what people want. If movies aren’t successful, they’ll get rid of it. If people don’t want to pay for books, they won’t offer that either. Pandora is a commodity used for entertainment, and it’s not going to go in any direction that doesn’t please the public.
The main thing I’m thinking about for my inquiry project is how Pandora works, by itself and with its listeners. I realize that’s pretty vague. I’m mostly interested in the fact that humans are the ones that put together the music stations themselves (because most people, including myself, think of Internet radio as technology), and I want to find a concrete answer (if possible) to how much of Pandora’s business/progress is actually related to technology. I’m actually surprised that, when I wrote my “future thoughts” post, I didn’t predict that Pandora would become a technology-only app. I didn’t even think about how Pandora’s owners could create technology to build stations the way humans do now, and there would be no need for people in the future. I suppose this relates to the prospectus of my inquiry project because I don’t see technology to be a huge factor. I thought about technology in the sense of where Pandora is being used from and the look of Pandora’s website/app, but music and the ‘science’ behind composing channels is so humanized that there no way this could change in 10 years. This reveals to myself that, in my inquiry project, I need to focus on this fact. Pandora Internet radio, and even music itself, won’t be computerized now or later.