You’re listening and so are we

What an incredible couple of weeks it’s been. After secretly toiling away for many months designing and building Pandora, it’s incredibly gratifying to be out there “on the field.” The best part of all the entire experience so far has been the opportunity to get direct feedback from you about how we’re doing. While words don’t quite capture the thrill of finding something like this post out there on the web, the more critical feedback we’ve received is just as valuable. We’re definitely listening, taking notes, debating, and designing solutions to the issues you’ve raised.
In the last three weeks, you’ve offered comment on everything from UI nuances to playlist matches and you’re going to see the product evolve over time based on what you’re telling us. Not everything will happen over night, but we really are committed to making steady progress on improving the product based on your commentary.
There is at least one issue that I have to go on record about, and that’s what we call “Station History.” There’s just been this overwhelming outpouring of feedback that you want to be able to go back and see/rate/buy all of the songs that have played on your stations. You’ll get that, and you’ll see it sooner rather than later. Beyond that, there’s lots more coming that will make it easier to interact with the songs that have played — complete station history review will be just the first feature in this area that we’ll drop into your hands. Expect to see more in this department over time.
I want to personally thank all of you that have taken time to email us and post on the blog. Some of you we’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with nearly every day. Nothing could be more fun and gratifying for us. Please keep the feedback coming and don’t be shy about telling us what’s wrong. At the end of the day, what we really want to do is to deliver a service that you love, that you can’t wait to listen to, that you want to tell your friends about. The best way for us to get there is have a conversation with you, listen to you when you tell us that we’re failing, and to search for solutions.
So, have fun listening and please know that we’re listening too. Post your comments here on the blog or contact us via email.


The Pandora Team

43 thoughts on “You’re listening and so are we

  1. hey! WhatamImissin?
    My daughter basically took over my account and listens constantly, and now she is giving my password to her friends, so no telling how many stations are open at any one time in my name,
    and by the way, this service is FANTASTIC.
    Everyone we show it to… LOVES IT!
    I just heard you can invite people?
    so I can have my own account back?

  2. I just wanted to let you know that I love Pandora. What an amazing interface, being a extreme music lover I find it so detailed and right on!! Keep up the good work, thanks for having a dream and moving with it – we will all enjoy the fruit of this dream. By they way, where do I sign up to become an ‘Analyst’ for Pandora??

  3. Finding great music with Pandora

    Pandora looks like an interesting service to solve the problem of “how do I find new music I’ll like?”. This is one of the great unsolved problems of media and search. Their approach, in theory, makes sense. I asked for…

  4. Congratulations on a great beginning! You can beat the big guys (rhapsody,musicmatch and others) offering similar services, but only if you make it your goal to have every song ever recorded anywhere in the world in your database.
    Impossible? Think about it, get in touch with some guys in europe, explore, brainstorm! Somebody someday will find a way to do it,might as well be You!

  5. Have you considered customizing Pandora by the user’s location? I don’t mean the music, but rather, the menu that opens up when you click on a song’s ‘card’. As a European and a Finn, I would feel more comfortable if I could order a CD from within the European Union (and preferably from within Finland), if only because in the past, ordering stuff from the USA has cost me more in terms of customs/tariffs than goods. Say, I ordered a €12 book and paid €6 for the importing of it…
    The financial benefits for Pandora seem obvious – associating yourself with several ‘local’ Internet-stores could (if legal) make possible the division of Europe into regions – you could have an ?endorsement deal? with for users in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, for the UK, or have country-specific agreements, say, with for Finland. Or possibly you’re getting a big enough chunk from already…

  6. Pandora, Week 3:
    I’m only able to listen to Pandora for an hour or two in the morning, then again in the evening, and it’s STILL true that at least once a day I hear something and say “Coooooool.”
    I generally get a mix of songs I know with songs I’ve never heard of, but are similar. It’s nice to have a radio station that caters to my preferences.
    Last weekend I was at a friend’s house. I was telling them about Pandora and one asked if we could try it. I signed on and over the course of an hour or so let everyone give me the name of an artist or song then listened to Pandora’s suggestions. Everyone was very impressed with the selections Pandora provided based on even one entry. As I left, the hostess asked if we might just keep me signed on to Pandora so she could listen.
    If you don’t have Pandora, get it.
    If you do: play.
    Make a station with the names of one or two artists, then let her go.
    Make a station with the names of different songs, then keep adding songs as you think of them. It’s kinda fun to see what Pandora will do.
    I haven’t driven her crazy.
    Give me time.
    [Insert evil, maniacal laughter here]

  7. Just wanted to say hi. My usual radio is NPR (which is how I heard about this), Christian praise music or one of those insipid clear channel adult contemporary stations. Maybe I am a different segment than many in your test group?! So I am writing to say that people like me will like Pandora too. Correction, love it.
    My three suggestions are, (1) After I add subsequent artists to a station, I would like to be able to see who all the artists are and possibly remove one or more if I am not happy with the resulting mix. So an “About this station” option would be great. It could also summarize the musical qualities that it includes. (2) I understand you chose to broadcast the unedited versions of music, but is it possible for a user to request the non explicit versions for a given station? (3) Last is there a way a user can limit the selections by genre? For example I like Jeremy Camp who is a Christian artist. My Jeremy Camp radio includes all kinds of selections, mostly non Christian, which is fine and I have discovered lots of great new bands (eg O.A.R., love em), but then sometimes I just want Christian stuff. That might be impossible but it’s something that has crossed my mind a few times as I’ve been listening.
    Thanks for widening my musical horizons!!

  8. How does the computer pick new songs? I’m specifically wondering, is there any drift in it? If I just let the thing run for a while, without ever giving it any information about what I want, would it eventually drift off into totally different music.

  9. That’s the coolest musical searching wed ever.I love it for that it offers a broadly choice in depth based on personal taste. Sometimes I alwyas spend a lot of time on searching songs but always can not find a right one. But I think I would not meet this problem again. And with the excellent guide, I got known about music more. This is a really PANDORA BOX. Keep on going.

  10. That’s the coolest musical searching wed ever.I love it for that it offers a broadly choice in depth based on personal taste. Sometimes I alwyas spend a lot of time on searching songs but always can not find a right one. But I think I would not meet this problem again. And with the excellent guide, I got known about music more. This is a really PANDORA BOX. Keep on going.

  11. This is a wonderful service! I just subscribed and tried creating 4 stations, all of which worked pretty well and introduced me to some new artists. I spend hours picking through iTunes to hear 30 second clips and find new music. Pandora is just what I needed. Thanks!
    Looking forward to new features and being able to look at the song history.

  12. Wow, it’s great! I love the surfing quality, but would also love the ability to pick and choose by specific things like “busy horn section” or whatever.
    Glad to hear you’re working on the Latin section, and I have a lot of suggestions if you want them.

  13. I’ve used Pandora for the first time this morning to build my radio station. By this time I’ve entered a few hundred tunes and artists via “I want to add more kinds of music”.
    Entry by artist name works great. Entry by tune name works well when a particular name appears more than once in the database. In that case, Pandora asks me which entry I would like to select. Frequently, the tune I’m looking for is not recorded in the database, and I can cancel the addition operation without accepting unintended music.
    When a particular tune name is recorded in the database exactly once, Pandora expects that it has found exactly what the user was trying to find and adds it to the user’s radio station. This behavior has caused 10 or so tunes to be added to my station (about 5%) that I would never have consented to adding, if it had asked me.
    Once the database is closer to having a comprehensive song title list, the current behavior may work well for users. With the database still as incomplete as it is, I think it would be best to ask users to accept a tune performance for inclusion in their station only after asking if the one on record is the performance they had in mind.

  14. Pandora

    I’ve spent a few days now playing with the prerelease “friends and family” version of Pandora, the “music discovery service” demoed by Tom Conrad at Barcamp last weekend.
    Some quirks, but overall really good, and…

  15. Pandora, Week 4 “Let Pandora be Pandora”
    Wow! (Yup, I’m STILL saying WOW every time I listen to Pandora!). I listen, at minimum, 2-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. I never cease to enjoy experimenting, but this week was “Let Her Be” where I created some stations with just the name of an artist then didn’t touch a THING.
    I’ve previously created stations with just a song, and I’ve created stations with a song then added more every time I thought of one I’d like for that station. This week for artists and no messin’ with Pandora. I continue hearing songs I’d never heard by some of my favorite artists.
    As with my first week or so, I continue learning a LOT about MY views and preferences where music is concerned. In the first week Pandora gave me words to describe things I did know I like, and then introduced me things to things I didn’t realize I like. I still chuckle at “Breathy Female Lead Vocals” (I have a project going where I’m trying to create a station with that as the primary attribute. I’m going to name it “Breathy Female Lead”)
    This week, creating stations with just an artist, or two, I find that the difference between creating a station with a SONG and creating one with an ARTIST is that the ARTIST station comes with a set of strongly identified song qualities, and so Pandora’s offerings seem to be more finely tailored than putting in just a song or a number of songs. Another difference is that if I create a station putting in a number of songs, then ALL of those songs’ qualities are included, and Pandora offers me a far wider range of songs than if I use the artists. Hmm.. I seem to have learned how to easily set up stations so that one is tailored and another is more wide-ranging.
    I’m learning how to fine-tune my stations, letting some go wild while narrowing others??
    Lesson for the week: I may THINK I like a narrowly defined playlist, but after hearing it for a while, I miss the variety.
    Thank you, MGP, for creating and sharing Pandora, I’m having WAY too much fun!

  16. I was really enjoying this but it has suddenly stopped working. It either doesn’t load completely or does, and then plays for a second or less and stops, not to start again.

  17. One technical issue that usually bites me at least once per Pandora session is that many applications will want to “reuse” an IE window for a link, rather than opening a new window when you click on the link. (Thunderbird e-mail does this.) If I’m unlucky, it chooses the Pandora window, and then you lose the song you were playing.
    How about an application instead of a browser-launched object?

  18. so, just a suggestion– ( i LOVE the service) however, when i add a station, i’d really like for the song that is currently playing to stay playing. is there a way for me to add a station without getting interrupted? because sometimes, i get this *zap* in my head and i think, i gotta add that band! and then i’m like, oh, crap no, i gotta wait because my song will get cut off…
    the other thing that i want to be able to do is to go back and play a song… in case i decide to buy the song at a future date. i haven’t bought a song yet.. but does it download to your itunes automatically?

  19. When I click the next button, does it take that into account in picking new songs? I often use it to skip a song half way through to see what’s next and not to alter the catalogue.

  20. One other thing I noticed. Every once in a while the volume of a song is quite a bit lower than the previous which causes me to turn up the volume. I then get to the next song and it’s back to the original volume level and blasts me away.
    I don’t necessarily advocate dynamic volume compression or leveling of all songs, but it does happen.

  21. Wonderful stuff. A couple of comments
    As a musician I’d like to be able to have some input and control into the database.
    I also didn’t see my favorite composer
    Songs For A New World (1996 Original New York Cast) [CAST RECORDING] – Jason Robert Brown

  22. Pandora has incredible potential, it’s amazing enough as it is. A friend reffered me and I was thinking “Launchcast”, but it isn’t. It’s the next generation, and damn it is amazing.
    A suggestion though, whenever I hear a song a like from Pandora, I usually turn to google to try to find the lyrics. It would be great if you could add a built-in feature which would include the lyrics when requested.
    No complaints though, Pandora is just amazing.

  23. I really love Pandora, I have run into a wierd thing when I skip a song, though, and so has someone I know…It will skip the song I wanted it to, and sometimes the next one as well. Not a huge problem, but FYI.

  24. I’m impressed with this whole idea. Blues is our thing, and I’m wondering something. How do I know how many artists I could listen to in this genre? How do you get these artists’ work to broadcast? Keep up the good work. Thanks!

  25. First of all: Yup it’s great! It’s something I have thought of a long time and couldn’t find. I had my 10hrs trial period through in one and a half days and immediately subscribed.
    Anyway, there are some things I didn’t like in my experience up to now. Examples:
    1. I set up a channel for electronic based chill-out music. Anyway, sometimes it keeps playing horrible stupid house tunes and although none of the added bands have any similarities with that crap, neither rhytmically nor concerning melodies, and I keep sorting these tracks out, the channel didn’t stop playing these simpel house tracks. Why oh why?
    2.In my straight reggae station I had the idea of adding the clash for I love their reggae and ska based tracks. Since then it keeps playing punk music of the likes of NOFX. Is it that just because I added the clash for their obvious reggae influences it just keeps thinking that I love all kinds of punk music? I don’t!
    Continue your great work and maybe you find ways to deal with the mentioned problems by improving the choice of music you play.

  26. Wow, I heard about this on Public Radio one day and am I impressed! Very cool way to find new music to add to our collection and to listen to while at work. Keep up the awesome work!
    A couple of things I think for future versions would be very cool. Add a time line to the player so we know where we are in the song as it plays and possibly a slider to rewind etc…
    Better yet, since you already have a deal with Apple’s iTunes to but music, why not take it one step further and have Apple integrate a “Radio” station in iTunes so we can listen to it in our favorite music player! That would be WAY TOO COOL!

  27. I’m very impressed so far – the service has come up with some very good recommendations, that certainly led me to bands I might not have discovered otherwise.
    One suggestion: please add a way to review the list of artists & songs that I used to define a station. After a few days, it’s easy to forget the seeds. Rhapsody, for example, includes this feature in their custom stations.

  28. Hey! I love the idea with the website. It’s an amazing way to discover new artists. However, I keep finding that I suggest artists that are not in your databases AND I keep getting suggestions that are waaaaay off from the genre I started my stations with. I think that even though you think you don’t need people with music experience, you might reconsider hiring a couple of people who can at least help you sort our databases by genres or styles because I keep getting the wrong genre of music in my stations.

  29. unfortunately, I have not been able to listen to music for approximately three weeks. for some reason the site will not open. I have written to you seeking help a number of times.
    Again, HELP!!!!!!!!!

  30. I want a playlist on my space! Projectplaylist,keeps giving me the run around, I made a playlist, and then went into put new songs on it, they messed up my password, I know this because I wrote it down, now they are completely ignoring me, they won’t give me a address to contact them and none of their new passwords work!!! I’m At my wits end, is there another music place I can go to ,in order to get the same thing???? Please help me!!!

  31. I heard a song I really liked the other day. I can’t for the life of me remember the name though. Is there ANY way to go back to previous listens and find the name of a song?

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