Pandora 2.1: It’s the Little Things

There’s quite a bit of refinement and UI polish that went into this release. There are probably 20 little things that have changed in the UI to make the experience of using Pandora just a little nicer. For example, the player finally gives you an idea of how long it’s going to take to finish loading when you first visit the site. When you email a station to a friend, there’s a confirmation panel to tell you that it’s on its way. When you mouse over a song “slide” you get a little halo to let you know that something will happen when you click. In fact, there’s a halo effect on lots of things. Truth be told, we went a little halo crazy this release.
We love this stuff, and we have a list a mile long of other little things we want to refine. You can bet that we’ll be working on these over time. The thing is that we really want your experience with Pandora to be an entirely delightful one and we’re big believers that the little stuff really does matter.

Pandora

The Pandora Team http://www.pandora.com/

40 thoughts on “Pandora 2.1: It’s the Little Things

  1. “Halo” beloved Pandora-Crew!
    I am just reading what you guys changed over the past weeks and put into the new version of Pandora and I hope you don’t me saying: that’s awesome! It shows that you care a lot about your “baby” and that you guys aren’t afraid of the little tings that just make a thing like this a special thing. One can clearly see that you are on your way for the top, I can tell…! Well, you do have my support and I won’t stop telling my friends about you until they email me to stop cause I told them already three times. Well, no, not even then ;)
    Keep up the spirit and the good work and greetings from Germany,
    Micha

  2. Just opened pandora this morning, and I’m extremely delighted to see the UI changes. I love the ‘halos’, they’re pretty cool. And the load bar is gonna come in handy at school, where we have rather slow internet. Other than that there’s still one thing that’s not quite ‘polished’: to the left and 2-4 pixels below the “guide us” button the cursor changes to white (my deafault cursor). Also, in the ‘edit account’ menu, the button doesn’t change on mouse-overs and mouse-down events, but those are just minor things I felt like pointing out. Otherwise, I love the project, and already discovered so many new artists that I like.

  3. Hi there, my compliments for the great work you’ve been doing. This is a big thing just waiting to explode. I’ve told my friends, word will spread, it might just become as big as iTunes. All the best!
    Here are some suggestions for improvements.. See what you can do..
    1) Can you enable mouse scrolling using scroll wheel on moving the mouse on it for the list of radio stations on the left?
    2) Can you introduce options to move stations up or down on the list?
    It would be great if you can introduce the above things.. All the best with the project!

  4. First off, this is a wonderful idea and the interface design is extremely well done.
    I have one comment about song selection. I don’t know where to state this other than here so…
    One reason why I like a lot of the music I like is because it has nonstandard instrumentation. It takes a lot for me to like music that is just guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. I like violin and cello and flute and hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes and Theremin and all sorts of odd instruments. It is apparent from the music you have played when I chose Camper Van Beethoven (a group with violin in most songs and a slew of pseudo-ethnic instrumental adventures) and Rasputina (who have only cello and drums and vocals in most of their songs) that you must not be taking this factor into account. I think you should.
    Many thanks,
    r i c h

  5. One “little thing” I’d appreciate is some sense of how long a song is, ideally with a “how many minutes left” bar.
    I’ve heard so much interesting stuff in the short time I’ve been here. Many thanks!

  6. Thanks so much for your effort. Believe it or not I was turned on to your site by my 76 year old father. He has always been a tech geek, loves the latest thing. I love to work with tunes, and love to discover new music. Your site is truely brilliant. Listening, I’m reminded of the years when I used to go into the record shop and randomly picked out vinyl just because I liked the cover. I always loved to find a new gem that noone had heard of YET. … So far your site has provided a bunch of great new artists to me. I am really enjoying the music that your software suggests. Regardless of genre I find tons I like. I have purchased a bunch of new discs based on what was suggested. Keep up the great work.
    Todd

  7. The projects is very good, but I have a problem with the volume of songs: it’s not uniform and i often have to adjust the volume on the stereo set attached to my notebook.
    bye

  8. I will swear by this site. Its the best thing i’ve found on the web in a loooooong time. I use it constantly when im at home. Thanks guys.. You’ve just made my 20 Gigabyte MP3 library obsolete :P and also thanks to you, life in Minnesota has never been better.

  9. First of all, kudos for the crew behind pandora.com – awesome idea, great implementation!
    About the all-new UI update…
    The good thing – it has a ‘loading’ progressbar
    …and, unfortunately, the BAD thing…
    An annoying problem has come up since this upgrade (it wasn’t here a couple of days ago)
    The player uses up 100% processor power when I’m hovering my mouse over it, which makes the mouse pointer itself annoyingly unresponsive.
    My box is a decent one, and there was nothing else causing the processor load. The OS is WinXP Pro.
    This happened in IE with Flash player v7 (a pretty common setup, I guess).
    The same problem occurs (to a lesser extent -> proc @ 45-50%) in Opera with Flash Player v8.
    I think the brand-new halo effect has something to do with it.
    I have a couple of suggestions, as some other users have already pointed out:
    - a ‘track time left’ indicator (or progress-bar)
    - album (and year?) next to artist
    -> maybe make this customizable
    That’s about it.

  10. It looks like the processor drain is indeed linked to the new halo effect. Here’s what I’ve found:
    First, I’m on 1GHz G4 running MacOS 10.4.4, with 1gb DDR SDRAM; using Firefox 1.5.0.1 (latest update).
    At standard workload, with pandora and a few various apps in the background, my processor use hovers between 30% and 50%. I can click on and hold my mouse over the empty areas of the player with no effect on the processor load. So far, so good.
    The very instant I mouse over a ‘glow’ zone, my processor use spikes to about 75%. If I run my mouse across more than one, the load hits 100%. If I (god forbid) run my mouse over THREE (like, say casually moving the cursor across the three songs displayed, or down my station list), there’s actually a noticable slowdown in the glow appear/fade animation (not to mention anything else running on my computer at the time).
    Pretty new animations, guys, but I think you might want to tone back the SFX detail just a tad. ;)

  11. I want to see the song title and artist texts resize themself. they often are overlapped by the cover art, which is hard to resize, but much of the artist or song text is cut off. you should fix this minor but annoying issue. it would make for a more clean and professional feel to the player.

  12. Pandora is the Best Thing i found on the net so far!!!
    just one little thing: is it possible to have a music genre option? the thing is that i like the way it plays tracks according to a band or a song but sometimes it mixes it up with so many genres that it becomes annoying (but interesting sometimes). i mean it’s not a big deal but sometimes i don’t want to get Punk with Electro mixed all together, and no matter how i tell the software “i don’t like this song” i keep getting different genres.
    so what i do now to get over this problem is to keep changing the band or the song of the station to close ones until i get a station with one genre only (sometimes two but close ones).
    thanks to the great great Pandora i discovered so many bands that i was looking for

  13. The halo … slow? I don’t understand that comment. The halo doesn’t actually slow anything down. It serves a purpose, too.
    I still long for a standalone Pandora player, though…

  14. Hi. Pandora is so awesome.
    One thing that I think would make it better would be if you had some direct control over the characteristics that are being used as search criteria. For example, if I’m listening to some Ska, and everything is in a major key, it’d be cool to be able to ask Pandora to keep doing what it’s doing, but to start playing minor ska songs, or only minor ska songs. Anyways, thanks for the super awesome site.

  15. The most I can get my processor up to is about 10% … and thats if I run it over all the ones in the window over and over … still … its a bit odd that even gets that high … must be a Flash thing…

  16. I’m running a 1.33Ghz G4 Powerbook, 768MB RAM, Firefox 1.5.0.1 and I don’t notice any performance issues. Now, on my Linux box at work (can’t quite remember the specs other than it’s a Celeron but it’s FF 1.5.0.1 as well), the cursor does tend to get a little sluggish when moving around in the UI. Still, I like the halo. It gives a visual clue that the bit you’re hovering over will do something if you click.
    And I’d like to see a standalone player, too. Even just a pop up window; just something to get it out of a tab in Firefox and somewhere where I can see what’s playing now quicker. Also, when adding a song to my favorite list, it gets a little annoying having to close the new window that’s opened everytime (I’ve been adding a lot of songs).
    Other than that, it’s a fabulous thing. I plan on letting everyone I know.. know.. about it.

  17. Chaps, this is what the internet is for – you have delivered a beautiful, useful, simple site with a purpose. Congratulations

  18. Pandora’s simply awesome!
    Any chance you guys will make a standalone player available? Pandora in a browser window gets frequently ‘overwritten’ by other apps linking out to a web page.
    Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing the relevant album name listed with the song info.
    Thanks for one of the best apps the web has to offer!

  19. I really love Pandora! Very innovative!
    A few suggestions:
    - limit the bandwidth used when loading the next titles (currently my 2mbit connection gets locked for a few seconds then)
    - display the album title
    - display the lenght of a song and the remaining time, especially useful for those very long ambient music titles I am listening to
    - how about a preview queue of titles to come? (and this queue may change if I change my previous votes, so I can play around and see how Pandora reacts)
    - how about suggesting two titles and let the user choose which one he prefers?
    - is there a list of parameters like /cmd=tunermini?
    Greeting from Germany!

  20. Suggestion: recolor the button halos to a slightly more yellowish hue, not the same orange they are when currently selected. The album halos are fine.

  21. Hi from Germany! Here’s a tip from my experience with Pandora for the numerous users in the blog asking for a stand-alone player showing what’s playing now while you are doing something else on your PC:
    (Hopefully you can follow my description as I don’t know the exact expressions on the English menu.) Just click the task bar with the right mouse button, then choose “attributes/features”, and on the tab “task bar options” set a check mark for “always in the foreground/front” AND delete the check mark for “automatically in the background/back” – and finish it with “OK”, of course. Then the task bar will always remain visible, and you may drag it with the mouse to the edge of the monitor where you like it most.
    No matter which browser you are using (I prefer Firefox to Internet Explorer because of its security, small RAM size and multi-tabbing!) you will then always see the name of the current song and artist on the task bar while you are writing a letter in MS-Word or doing anything else …
    Of course, if you are using a multi-tabbing browser like Firefox and have opened several tabs, always make Pandora the current tab before switching to another program!
    Hoping that this was understandable and useful – and if yes, Pandora could add this tip to the FAQ …

  22. hi pandora pepole,
    your site is amazing, very clear and simple but with great functionality.
    if you don`t mind i have 2 suggestions:
    1. sometimes i get a song which is not what i want to hear in this station, but i love it, so a “add to another station” button could be nice.
    2. when my friends share by my email address they can hear only the stations that i created and not what i`m sharing from others. adding this option will add to the community asspect of your project.
    thank you for many hours of good music (esspecialy at work :), and for the new artists i found.

  23. I just downloaded Pandora. WOW, Wow, Wow! I really enjoy it. Please make this a stand alone. I like the minimize feature on WinAmp. When I minimize Pandora the URL is disconnected. I am using Firefox 1.0.5.1 and have made the suggested changes in your FAQ.

  24. From a Designer: –(cuddos and thanks like the rest)–
    - I’d change the color of the halo and selected items to a more subtle yellow tone instead of the ofensive orange
    - a timebar would only be cool if it was very minimalistic *I think a brushed silver diamond slowly streaming its way along the line flowing out of the Guide Us button would be quite pleasing
    - The “YOUR STATIONS” text I think is not needed and the removal of it would make the rounded buttons flow together smoothly and I personally would like to view one more of my stations
    ++++ THANKS FOR TAKING IT INTO CONSIDERATION ++++

  25. Just introduced to Pandora a couple of dyas ago, IT’s GREAT!!!!! My music tastes are all over the board, this site rocks, sings and moves. I am telling everyone I know. Keep it up! Thanks from KDUG

  26. I love Pandora!
    The music genome project is great also for rock/pop/jazz although it’s too bad it’s lacking in Latin music (salsa etc.). Also I find if I’m not watching what it plays it can kinda go off track and start playing odd things. i.e. a station devoted to the band Metric after awhile starting playing Duran Duran. :)
    I still love it though, good work!

  27. I really love Pandora!
    I have tried many kinds of music, and whatever I ask I always get something good (and new) back :D
    One small detail that I think could be improved is:
    -Imagine I am listening to “Station 1″ and then a VERY GOOD song starts to play… but that song is not AT ALL the style I would like to hear in “Station 1″, yet it could go really well on “Station 2″.
    If I rate that song as “I like it”, the style of the station will start going in the wrong way… so I have to rate it as “I don’t like it” even when I love it.
    It would be nice to have a fix for this… something like an “add this song to another station” option…
    Thanx for this GREAT service! keep on doing that good work! :D

  28. I have to assume it came with the realease of 2.1, but i run the Opera web browser on my computer and recently noticed they have a new pandora widget with their new upgrade that takes you to a page with the pandora player on it. if the crew had anything to do with this, thanks! it’s so handy to be able to access pandora with a quick double-click from my desktop! ps love the halos..they’re so cool!

  29. I like Pandora so far but have my own little thing to fix. As I go about my day listening while I work… the songs get further and further away from what I want to hear. I keep editing w/the thumbs, but after 10 days have totally blown the initial settings. I would prefer a list that settles down into my preferences and stops veering right back to the very songs I want to eliminate. Will it ever stop trying to lead me from blues to country then jazz then … and so on?

  30. Pandora Crews:
    You don’t know how much I can appreciate your creativity. Please keep on your great adventure, you never know there are people everywhere are listening….
    Good Job and tahnk you from Taiwan!

  31. I love Pandora, it is fantastic I listen all day at work, it helps the hours go by. I was wondering if maybe in the future you will be able to create a favorites radio station?
    Keep up the fantastic work.
    Joelle

  32. There has to be another way to let you know about songs that are not in your database. When I type in artists like “Sandra” or “Becca”, I just get “did you mean….”. How do I let you know the artist I really do mean? Occasionally it will say it found nothing and will consider adding the artist. The database is seriously lacking in Freestyle artists. I can’t think of how many artists I have put in and they aren’t found.

  33. love it!
    a stand alone player would be an awesome improvement!
    ideally it would replace my iTunes, and be capable of playing my library or streaming radio!!
    thanks for a great product!
    keep them coming!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s