Pandora is a streaming music recommendation application that lets users enjoy their favorite artists and genres in a unique way. The user can visit the Pandora website and begin listening to streaming music.
To get started, the user provides a song, artist or genre that they like. Pandora uses that information to decide what else to play. The user can give each song a thumbs up or a thumbs down to help the application learn more about what they like. This information is applied as Pandora adds new songs to the playlist. The user’s Pandora profile shows what they recently listened to along with stats that include likes, stations, bookmarks, followers and who they are following. The player allows users to skip songs, however this is limited to six skips per hour per station with a daily limit of 12 skips (for free users).
Pandora was founded in January of 2000 as a personalized internet radio service. Pandora has offered a good service all along, however its reached has changed due to legislation changes. In 2007, a federal ruling that agreed with SoundExchange to double per song royalties paid by internet radio stations. Additional fee increases for licensing caused Pandora to reduce its service area to the United States only. The company nearly collapsed the following year due to excessive royalty fees. By 2009, an agreement was reached that saved Pandora however added a 40 hour listening limit to free accounts.
Pandora is unique because it allows users to listen to streaming music based around their personal preferences. Today, more websites and applications are offering a similar service, however Pandora is one of the most well-known contenders. The application lets users refine their stations by rating songs. Despite skip limitations, it is still an appealing service that many users flock to each day.
Pandora has a very stylish design that utilizes dark blue and slate hues to create a subtle atmosphere. The player utilizes simple circular buttons and the user can view the album cover for each song as it plays. The design is very simple to understand, with a thumbs icon for the rating buttons and familiar play, pause and skip buttons as well as a volume control. The best part is that Pandora doesn’t clutter up its interface with annoying advertisements.
Pandora is available to all users for free. As soon as the user registers, they are given access to a free account. The free account includes up to 40 hours of listening each month and six skips per station per hour (up to 12 skips per day). Users who exceed their 40 hour listening limit have the option of paying 99 cents for unlimited listening for the remainder of the current month. A paid Pandora One membership is also offered for $36 per year. The One account removes the daily skip and monthly listening limits (however hourly skip limits still apply). One users experience no ads, can access custom skins and can download the Pandora One desktop application.
Pandora is an excellent application for anyone who enjoys listening to music online or on their mobile phone. The application provides users with a way to enjoy the music they love and discover new music that is similar. The user can refine their stations using the rating system and maintain a simple profile that lets them connect with other Pandora listeners.