TiVo for your radio, only 3 bucks

Not that were so tragically unhip as to be seen wandering around a dinosaur like Blockbuster Video these days, but there was a time when we did. We all did.

And of course, you recall that display: You know, the one that said, “If you liked “Liar, Liar,” you’ll love “insert derivative knock-off genre movie title here.”

Except, instead of being a new, original film you like, it’d be a tired “been there, done that.” In fact, Blockbuster’s brain-dead display guaranteed you wouldn’t like the flick. trff1906c.jpg

Based on its track record, the “suggestive consumption” concept sounds like one doomed to fail online, except at the Los Angeles Times points out today, it hasn’t, largely because it’s gotten a lot smarter. thumbs.jpg

Operating in some ways like TiVo, Pandora is an internet radio service that clears the cobwebs off your CD listening habits and finds you new tunes based on what you like, allowing you to create your own “station” based on a few “thumbs up / thumbs down” votes on songs.

Music, it turns out, being more complex and abstract than film, is far more matchable to our tastes.

Who knew that the reason you like Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” was because you really dig “folk roots, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic sonority, major key tonality and melodic songwriting?” I didn’t, but Pandora does.

I think I just found a new way to dispose of the three bucks in my wallet. If he has any sense at all Steve Jobs will buy this sucker post haste and mate it with iTunes. Increasingly, the success of the music business hinges not on giving people what they used to want; rather, it lies in giving them what they would have asked for had they known how to ask for it in the first place.