Linux-Based Livio Radio Serves Up Personalized Pandora Music Streams

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 16, 2009

Recently I've come to really like Pandora, the free, automated music recommendation and Internet radio service created by the Music Genome Project. If you haven't tried it, it does an uncanny job of serving up artists and songs you may not have heard of, based on similarities to artists and songs that it already knows you like. Pandora's skill at this is based on how the Music Genome Project indexes over 400 attributes of songs in its database, relying on analyses from human musicians and on algorithms. Now, Livio has a $150 Linux-based Internet radio (shown below) that plays back both personalized streams from Pandora, and streams from over 11,000 other stations. Especially for those who like Pandora, this radio looks appealing.

Livio's device is billed as "Pandora Internet radio." It has a knob for adjusting volume and navigating the three-line LCD screen on the console, a large speaker, a headphone jack, a remote control, an Ethernet connection, and Wi-Fi capability. Pandora's signature thumbs-up, thumbs-down controls are found on both the front panel of the radio and the remote.

“Pandora’s listeners are increasingly using Pandora off of the PC, so we’re always looking for new products that make that easy to do, and have wide appeal for listeners,” said Jessica Steel, Pandora’s senior vice president of business development. Reciva, a company that specializes in Internet radio, collaborated with Livio to expand the radio offerings out to over 11,000 radio stations.

It's good to see thoughtful, Linux-based solutions like this showing up, although I wonder if $150 is a bit high to set the price on this radio. The Livio Radio reminds me of Chumby--also a Linux-based Internet and entertainment device. Despite the price, having the flexibility of Pandora and its recommendations onboard makes this radio much more appealing than your average boom box. It could also make a good gift for a geek.