Music app

Pandora: A music application that offers a personalized radio station – Altitude test

By Daniel B. Kline
Boston.com Staff

Revision: Pandora
Through: Pandora
Available on: iPhone, Android
Price: Free (paid version available ad-free for $ 3.99 per month)
Should you get it? Yes

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Pandora knows my musical tastes better than I do.

The app / website works from a simple premise: tell them an artist or two whose songs you like, and Pandora brings you music that they think you’ll enjoy. Give a song a boost and Pandora will give you more of it. Give a ‘thumbs down’, and not only does the song stop playing, Pandora knows to step away from this type of music.

I signed up for Pandora after downloading the free app from the iTunes Store on an iPhone 4S. After a simple registration, I built a “radio station” by inserting a few bands that I liked, starting with Buffalo Tom, The Lemonheads, The Replacements and John Hiatt. Pandora used this information to start bringing me songs from these and other artists that its large database thought I would want.

Even the initial mix was pretty good, delivering me snippets of my selected artists as well as songs I had never heard but loved. Yes, I gave the go-ahead when there was a little too much Weezer and my selection of Hiatt resulted in a little too much country for my liking, but the choices were 80% accurate, and Pandora learned my tastes. very quickly.

Since I had a free and non-paid account, Pandora played an audio ad every six songs or so and the app had a lot of graphical ads that annoyed me when I glanced around while driving to see which song was playing. Non-paying customers also have a limit on the number of songs they can skip in an hour. (A Pandora subscription provides an ad-free experience for $ 3.99 per month.)

Pandora has almost no learning curve. It’s a very simple app to use, and while I appreciate that it gave me songs from my favorite artists, I also appreciated that the app exposed me to bands and artists. that I did not know and whose work I now plan to explore further. This piece actually elevates Pandora above other music services because it doesn’t just play a mix of things I already love; it broadens my musical horizons in a way that rarely happens to a 39 year old guy who never listens to music radio (and wouldn’t like much of what’s being played anyway).


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