Thumbs up: Pandora is now officially in Australia

We’re not strangers to streaming music solutions, and you can find quite a few subscribers to the model of an all-you-can-hear selection of sounds at the GadgetGuy offices. This week, though, we’re tuning into a different model, and one that will play not only what you love, but expose you to music that you might never have heard of.

Based around the “Music Genome Project,” a concept designed to break music and songs down to core concepts and structures in order to link pieces up with each other, Pandora encourages customers to type the name of a song or artist into the service, and then rate subsequent songs with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down gesture to shape their station. This in turn will eventually you more songs that you might never have heard of, or have but wouldn’t necessarily connect with the station you’re making.

“After years of preparation and anticipation we are absolutely thrilled to fully launch Pandora internationally in Australia and New Zealand,” said Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren.

“Personalised radio is a wonderful medium for listeners to enjoy music they know and discover music they’ll love.”

Pandora's app on the iPad

Over 100,000 artists can be selected from over one million songs, across a range of genres – over 400 – including jazz, blues, rock, punk, electronica, indie, and more, and the service can be listened to online through a web browser, or on a mobile device through Android and iOS.

Cars are included in the release, and if you’re thinking at all of owning a Barina in the near future, you’ll find that the upcoming CDX model from Holden will be able to stream Pandora using a touch screen found inside the car.

“As consumers become more attached to their smartphones, there’s an expectation that cars will function with their device and enable access to more content, so we need to work on solutions that are safe, enabling drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road,” said Richard Marshall, Holden’s Technology Director.

“Holden MyLink has been designed to minimise distraction for the driver and is also customisable by downloading selected apps including Pandora. Offering access to Pandora to drivers will ensure they will be able to access a much greater range of music than they could via an iPod, CDs or hard drive while also introducing them to new artists and genres.”

Pandora’s online radio service originally started in 2000 and was open to all, but in 2007 started blocking visitors from outside America. The service has been running in beta for the past few months in Australia, however, and now includes Australian artists on its stations, as well as a few country specific stations.

With the launch this week of Pandora in Australia and New Zealand, it represents the first efforts of Pandora to go beyond the borders of the US. You can now find it online, with mobile applications set to go live soon.