Pandora – My Thoughts

The online streaming music service available to many different platforms provides streaming music service based on your personal tastes from the names of musical artists, and songs you added. From there, it would also include many songs and artists that it thinks you would like. You could of course buy individual songs, and some interfaces have a means of getting information about the artist, or song.

You can also “thumbs up” add it as a song you like, or “thumbs down” note a song you don’t like, and never want to be bothered from hearing again. You can also skip songs, or pause songs. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, I love the concept, and the service is very good, but it does need a lot of room for improvement.

First, I like that is able to recognize the types I seem to like, and play a good collection. However, I don’t like how it would play different streams even when you select the same stream. For example, I can’t simply continue listening to the same song when I start Pandora on my phone as I was on my PC. This makes seamless switching impossible, and in comparison of some more established services as a flaw.

In addition, the algorithm used to figure out what songs you are interested is hit or miss. I would be enjoying my wave of dark alternative music, and suddenly some hip hop artist comes up. Really how does Akron (I think that is one of the names) compare to Evanescence, Ergo Likeness, Collide, Nightwish, or Lykke Li?

Well, one just has to thumbs down it, and it would play something better, right? Yes, and no. I at times had a whole stream of music that is no where near my taste, and you can only skip 6 songs in an hour. You can still thumbs down it, but it would still keep playing the song.

Now comes the apps. There’s an app for it needless to say on Windows. There’s also one on Roku which is a Netflix player (makes me reconsider the Roku). There’s also an app for almost every major smart phone (except Symbian) – although the one for the Android is a resource hog. There is also built in integration with Chumby (Sony Dash will use Chumby) and dedicated Pandora radios. However, none of this means anything if you live outside of the US. As a friend in the Philippines noted, it blocks any IP address not in the US. So, time to Proxy if you want it out of the US. Hopefully, one’s router does proxy.

All in all, this is my favorite service, especially since Live365 decided to take money out of my account after sending them cancellation requests. I have even come across a number of new artists, and albums. It does make me wish I could buy them, but that is for another time.

All in all, if you enjoy music, and have reasonable means of accessing it, feel free to give it a try.

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