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Slim Devices to put Pandora in its network music box

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Slim Devices, maker of the Squeezebox family of network music players, will next month link its web-based internet radio service, Squeeze Network, to the Pandora music discovery service, the company said today. From March 1, Squeezebox will provide customers old and new with three months' free access to Pandora.

Pandora's team of music analysts spend their days determining key characteristics - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics and so on - of songs they listen to. The results go into a database they've been building up for the past six years. Pandora generates a personalised internet station that streams out tracks from its 300,000-title library that match your nominated song or band according to its attributes.

The company pitches the service as a way to discover new music, especially artists and songs you might otherwise assume were too different from your favourite genres or bands to warrant further investigation. You can fine-tune the service by registering your approval or disapproval of the tracks it selects.

Squeeze Network sends internet radio stations direct to a user's Squeezebox 2 or 3 without the need for a computer to act as an intermediary. From next month, they access their Pandora stations - you can have up to 100 on the go at any one time - the same way. Pandora usually charges $12 for three months' usage, but the deal with Slim Devices will see Squeeze Network users getting that period for free. Afterwards, they'll need to pay the $12 fee or sign up for year's access at $36. ®

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