Pandora online radio is totally brilliant. If you spend time on the internet when you can be listening to music and you’re not using Pandora, check it out right now. It’s like iTunes Genius except you don’t have to own any of the music. You create your own stations by selecting either a song or an artist. For example, I have a Beatles-inspired station and an “Accidentally in Love” (Counting Crows) inspired station. Then Pandora plays songs that have a similar style to your selection. You can pause a song or skip a song.
You can give each song a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. It will never play something you’ve given the thumbs-down to. The site uses your approvals and rejections to further hone in on exactly what you’re looking for. To further customize, you can add variety by selecting secondary artists or songs for each station. Pandora remembers you every time you come back and you can save and edit as many stations as your little heart desires.
The website will give you all kinds of information about the bands and songs you’re listening to. You can get the lyrics, band bio, history, album information, suggestions of stuff that’s like it. There are a lot of features that I haven’t played around with, like sharing stations with other people and finding other fans. I don’t have time for all of that. I just want to listen to the music.
I’ve noticed a few little flaws. I don’t know why, but on my Beatles station Pandora prefers to play the Paul McCartney solo performances of Beatles songs. I love Paul, but him singing alone (and sometimes his voice is sounding a bit old) is just not the same. I want to hear the original Beatles songs. It plays them, too, just not as much as I’d expect. Also, if you create a song-based station, it doesn’t play that song right away. In fact, I listened to the “Accidentally in Love” station for about two days before I actually heard that song. Why not play it first? But if that’s all that’s wrong with Pandora, I won’t complain.
Pandora is perfect if you’re tired of all the music you own, if you want to try something new without buying it, or just love variety. My roommate has been using Pandora for over a year, but for some reason I didn’t try it til recently. Now I’m addicted. It panders to all my different moods. Right now I’m rocking out to my newly-created Nsync-inspired station. Yeah, that’s right. It’s all 90s pop music. I feel like I’m in junior high. Nsync, Backstreet Boys, Usher, pre-skank Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child…they’re all on this station. Glorious!
My other current stations: The Beach Boys, Keith Urban, All-American Rejects with Jimmy Eat World, Ludo with Jimmy Eat World and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and the stations I mentioned above. I listen to the Beatles station the most. I found out that I really like George Harrison’s solo work and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Bottom line: I give Pandora Radio the thumbs-up.