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In today's media-driven world, music streaming has become a hot market-and Pandora is one of the leading names in that market.
A subsidiary of Pandora Media, Inc., Pandora was founded in January 2000 by Tim Westergren, Will Glaser, and Jon Kraft. Its current CEO is Brian P. McAndrews. While its headquarters are in Oakland, California, the business streams music for people all over the United States as well as in New Zealand and Australia. More than 1,300 employees strong, Pandora has 26 office locations and (as of 2012) brings in about $274 million in revenue.
If you've used Pandora at all, you may have heard of an effort called the Music Genome Project.
Doesn't ring a bell?
The project is basically the effort of music analysts to study every facet of every genre of music-all in the effort to anticipate what song you, the user, would want to hear next. These analysts examine more than 400 musical traits of each and every song. Considered "musicologists," they typically have a four-year degree in music theory, composition, or performance.
With this extensive background, the people on the Music Genome Project use their expertise to not only master your personal listening preferences but also introduce you to music you'd probably love. In this vein, Pandora is an excellent resource for streaming music you already like and discovering new tunes.
So what can you expect with Pandora?
For starters, their basic version is ad-supported-a.k.a. free to users. To sign up, you enter your email address, gender, zip code, and birth year and create a password to sign in. After that, you can browse stations that are based on songs, artists, genres, and occasions. While listening, you can click the familiar thumbs up or down, and Pandora will keep track of your likes and dislikes and base their suggestions off of those.
For users, probably the best and simplest aspect of Pandora is that it's free. If you're tired of hearing an ad every several songs, you can certainly subscribe to the uninterrupted Pandora One for $4.99 per month. But if not, you can count on Pandora to listen to a wide variety of songs at no cost.
And what a wide variety they have!
With Pandora, you can listen to practically every genre out there-everything from alternative and rock, to blues and jazz, to oldies, to pop, to country. What's more, you can look up stations specifically for dinner parties, road trips, and holidays. Oh, the convenience of it all. Pandora stays up-to-date with new releases as well.
There's also room on your Pandora account to create up to 100 different stations. So it's no problem to save mixes for your workouts, your kids, and your study time. Once you create a station on Pandora, it will stay on your account unless you delete it-ready for you to access at the click of a button.
Conveniently, Pandora also saves all your preferences. Once you click a thumbs up or down for a song, Pandora takes note. If you click up, the song is added to the list of likes in your account history. If you click down, Pandora will never play the song again. (And if you click the button in between for "I'm tired of this track," Pandora understands. They'll take a break from playing it for awhile.)
Here's another bonus: Say you're feeling indecisive and don't know which genre you're in the mood for. There's an option to hit shuffle, and Pandora will play songs from all the stations you want.
Unlike some competitors, Pandora doesn't require you to download anything to stream their music. You can simply sign in and hit play. They will also play on a variety of devices, including Web, iOS, Windows, and Android. You can listen to it on home devices, on your phone, or in the car.
Besides the conveniences of actually streaming their music, Pandora has a positive reputation with 14 years of experience to back them up. Their staff are considered music experts (those "musicologists" from the Music Genome Project we talked about). So you can feel confident that they'll understand your tastes and be able to match them.
Every rose has its thorn, however, and positive as Pandora's reputation is, it does have its limitations.
For better or worse, "free" isn't purely free for everyone. Because Pandora makes no money off consumers who use their free version, they display banner ads and interrupt your streaming every several songs to play a 30-second ad. (What's more, they often repeat the same ads for days.) So you have to either be willing to pay for Pandora One or put up with the interruptions.
In addition to ad interruptions, Pandora also times out on you. If you've been streaming music for an hour or two without clicking anything, Pandora will stop playing and ask if you're still listening. If you are, you can just hit yes and keep listening. But you might get tired of the pauses.
Next limitation: the limit on the number of skips. For one reason or another, we all want to skip a few songs when streaming music. But with Pandora, you can only skip a handful of songs per hour. If you happen to be skipping a lot of songs, you'll eventually have to put up with the current song or switch to a different station.
In essence, while Pandora is a leading service for discovering new music, it doesn't give you as much control as other competitors do. With services like Spotify, you can select specific songs to stream or put your favorite track on repeat. Unfortunately, Pandora doesn't let you do that. Instead, you're fed whatever songs they suggest.
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I love listening to Pandora when I workout. Great variety of music and the connection is always clear. It’s easy to use and you can pick and choose what music you like.
Pandora is one of my best friends. I actually listen to it every day when I am cleaning my house. ( I have a bunch of kids including toddlers so I start over every morning) Depending on my mood I listen to everything and I love how easy it is to change the channel. I have perfected a few channels with my likes and dislikes. I can turn on my kids channel or my sing loud channel or my teeny bopper channel. Everybody is happy. Amazing invention. Makes the world a better place. Can’t live without it!
Good for a radio station type of streaming service. The ads are super annoying so we started paying for the service. No ads is nice, but I still don't understand how to create playlists, save music, save songs, download music to stream while offline, etc. Not as intuitive as some other streaming services.
Pandora is a wonderful idea and organization. In our home we have truly enjoyed having high quality music, with little interruption of advertisement, in the genre which we are looking for. It has been a wonderful thing to bae able to listen to some of the best music in the world at very little cost, simply by giving a little direction on what you are looking for with the music. Thank you pandora!
I like the different levels provided by the product for your music needs. I also enjoy the variety of musical categories provided and the ability to create playlists.
Pandora is amazing for its channels. I use both Pandora and spotify. While I like both pandora has better pre made stations.
I like the stations that Pandora has, but hasve not been impressed with their rate of modernization, building custom playlists, saving songs, etc. Great for a radio type experience. Even if you are a paying customer. Its not much monthly, but its also not worth it.
I’ve used the free version of Pandora since 2001. I use Pandora probably 4x per week. I am fine putting up with the Ads so that I don’t have to pay. I enjoy finding similar music to the artist I searched to expand my music experience.
I love listening to Pandora. I am a free customer, and I love that I can listen for free.
Pandora is my go-to music source! I love how they suggest songs based on your music preferences.
Our entire family loves Pandora. We love the ability to customize stations, the access to so much music, and the ability to keep the music clean and family friendly. We don't even mind the ads so much, but if they really bothered us I know we can pay for great access to music.
This product has Great music selections and there are variety of opportunities for everyone.
I really like Pandora as a free music app. I use it frequently and enjoy the variety I get within my stations.
Pandora is awesome! Expansive collection of music and love the playlists that it creates. I also like being able to give songs a "thumbs up" so it remembers songs that I like. Very enjoyable!
We use Pandora, but the requirement to listen to other artists in the same genre is frustrating. We use it less than other streaming services.
I'm using Pandora every day. I love the music selection and the way that we can build the play lists.
Pandora is great and their service keeps getting better and better. I feel like I get exactly what I pay for and the service is always reliable. Pandora is a great option for anyone looking into getting a music streaming service. Give Pandora a try!
I like pandora and the variety of stations that I get to choose from, however the advertisements drive me crazy. Not enough to pay more money, I guess!
I have been a long-time user of Pandora. I don't pay to get rid of the advertisements and likely never will. They don't bug me too bad. I like the playlists that they select.
I like Pandora. I have used it for many years and I always enjoy the music selection.
Pandora was a good app to use for a while. I enjoyed having the playlists made for me based on what I like, but I wanted to be able to pick my own songs.
Helps you find new music based off of what you like. Because of Pandora I am now a huge Shawn Mendes fan. So glad I now know my future husband.
Pandora is so awesome because it has such a big selection of music that I am looking for. It is so useful and entertaining.
Pandora is great, but unless you pay extra you can only skip so many songs. It gets a little annoying after a while and that’s why I don’t really use it anymore.
Loved using and liked playlists. Great app for finding new music, bands, and artists.
Pandora has always been my go to for music playlists. It's super user friendly, and I, now, have a number of playlists that play on repeat. I love that there is an explicit content filter option, it makes it easy to play in public places.
I love how I can fine tune my music on Pandora. You are able to select songs you do and do not like and it then plays songs according to your liking. Great way to listen to music.
I love my Pandora! Easy to use with great options to build playlists and suggested songs. I have used a handful of stream music apps and Pandora is my favorite. Great price for a great service.
I love Pandora! The ease of using it and the fact that it is free to use makes listening to music a more pleasurable experience on my phone.
Pandora is awesome because it is different than all of the rest of the music apps that i have ever used. I like that when you listen to a song you like, you can hear music a lot similar to that. It makes finding good music soooo much more easy and efficient.
I absolutely LOVE Pandora!!! It has always met my needs when streaming music. I love the filters when necessary and their predictive programming always seems to find songs that I would like that I haven't heard before. Great service especially for the money.
I like that Pandora is free. It is simple to use and doesn’t require much from me
I like Pandora music but I don't like that they had commercials and it wasn't as user friendly as some other music streaming apps.
It is so fun creating stations and listening to not only your favorite songs but hearing new songs you never knew about.
Pandora is overall pretty good cause it’s free . I just wish it had a little more variety but it’s free so can’t complain to much.
Love pandora! Listen to it all the time and so do my kids. Love the variety of stations
I love pandora for listening while I workout and at my retail shop. It’s easy, affordable, and I like that I can customize my stations.
I've never paid for the service because I subscribe to Amazon. With that being said, I love the stations it has and frequently listen.
Ok I have my own Esthetics Business and I absolutely love that when I am working with a client I can customize their experience with music they like or even just a general one style fits all station without commercials for a low monthly rate.
I love pandora. I use it on a daily basis. the only thing that I don't like is how you can't skip all the songs you like. you can only skip a certain amount of times. sometimes I skip a bunch of songs until I can't anymore and it leaves it on an inappropriate song. so I have to change my playlist. but other than that it has a lot of great songs.
I've really enjoyed listening to Pandora on a variety of devices. What I am not impressed with is the number of ads you have to wait through before moving onto another song, it's a bit frustrating. I would tend to give another star if there were no ads.
Pandora has been such a great gift to our family. We listen to pandora everywhere we go and have been able to please everyone in the car because of each of the stations. It is so easy to type in a song or genera and have it populate a long playlist that I can customize.
I only use pandora when Spotify isn’t working. If you don’t like making your only playlists and like to just listen to a genre or songs like an artist pandora is for you but if you like to listen to specific songs and artists it is not the music platform I would choose.
I have used Pandora for quite some time. I feel that its functionality is above average for a streaming music service. The one place I feel that Pandora lacks is the repetitive nature of their playlists. I would recommend their services for anyone looking for music streaming.
We LOVE Pandora! It is free music and you get to choose what stations you listen to and when you give a thumbs up it will play more music that is similar. There are ads that play randomly, but it's worth it being free.
Just a great way to listen to the music I love for free! Can't name a day it's not on in the home or on my phone.
I stopped using Pandora because I found another provider with more song selection. I also didn't enjoy having so many advertisements between songs.
Pandora might have commercials on free but on premium you get any song your heart desires with little to no cost and no commercials. I trust them with my music.
I love listening to Pandora when I'm getting things done. Pandora has all of the playlists for every mood!
As a kid all I listened to was Pandora radio and it was amazing. All the artists I like, they created it into a station and I jammed all through middle school pumping Pandora.