Some Good News

If you’ve been following the Pandora blog recently you know it’s been a tough couple of months for us. Between the SaveNetRadio crisis and being forced to block visitors outside the US, we’ve been through a frustrating stretch.
Even with these distractions, over in Product Development we’ve been busy as always working to make Pandora better than ever. We still spend every day asking “what are we doing wrong? what can we be doing better?”
Today I’m happy to tell you about some fun new stuff we rolled out late last night.
First up is volume normalization. I’m sure you’ve noticed that listening to Pandora can give the volume knob on your PC a real workout. The trouble is that songs recorded in, say, 1980 have a dramatically different perceived volume than those recorded more recently. In terms of the requests we get from our listeners, finding some solution to this problem is pretty much the most requested feature. It turns out this is a pretty tricky problem to solve without sacrificing audio quality, so we’ve taken our time searching for an answer that preserves the overall audio experience while fixing the issue. Last night we rolled out a dynamic gain adjustment that will “normalize” the perceived volume from track to track automatically as you listen. No volume knob spinning required. No solution to this problem is perfect, but we’re quite happy with how this turned out. Let us know what you think.
Next on the list is a feature that will let you give feedback on shared stations. Now you can start with that great “Surf Music” station you discovered on a friend’s profile page and then tune it to your own tastes using thumbs up and down. Nothing special to do to get started, just click the thumb buttons as you normally would and we’ll take care of the rest.
We’ve also made some changes to make station creation easier. Ever wondered why when you try to create a station from Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, or even Liz Phair we ask you “Do you mean the artist or the song?”. As it happens there are songs with each of those names. Yes, there really is a song called Liz Phair. With our new release we’ll figure out the best answer to that question for you. We’re all about getting station creation down to just one click and this is a nice little step in that direction (don’t worry if you want to create a station from the song Frank Sinatra, you can still do that too — just click the “Hey! That’s not what I wanted” button as the Old Blue Eyes station starts up and we’ll take you back and let you select the song).
For those of you that were impacted by the recent IP blocking change we’ve restored access to the Pandora Backstage universe. Once again you’ll be able to access your profile and search for artist, album, and song recommendations. We know it’s not a substitute for the full version Pandora, but it’s a small token that many of you told us you wanted. We’re very happy to be able to give it back.
Finally we’ve updated things so you can use the “Move this song to another station” feature when you’re listening to shared stations and QuickMixes. This is another thing you asked for. We aim to please.
This is just the first set of changes we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks. While you’re helping us spread the word on SaveNetRadio, we’ll stay hard at work on making Pandora as good as it can possibly be. As always, thanks for listening and don’t hesitate to drop us a line to let us know what you’d like to see us tackle next.
Tom
CTO @ Pandora

Pandora

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

29 thoughts on “Some Good News

  1. The fact the Pandora has been prohibted for people ide the U.S out has been one of the worst news for many of the people i know !
    Are there any concrete estimates in time on when people outside the U.S. can actually be able to listen to the beloved “Pandora” ?
    Can people outside the U.S Help somehow to make it happen?

  2. I have been trying to access you but can’t as I am in the UK when will there be an international access/zip code?? BernhardSmily

  3. I’m from Poland. Do I have to say anything else? Give me back my music, please!

  4. Pandora being forced to blocked access to users outside of the US, which effects me directly as I live in New Zealand, is yet another short sited, idiotic act by those in charge of music licenses.
    On numerous occasions, I have discovered music and artists that would’ve otherwise remained unknown to me. Pandora introduced me to these artists, I bought their albums. Without this resource, my purchase of music will inevitably decrease. Surely those in charge of music licensing would want to encourage music sales? Clearly they have no idea what a brilliant marketing tool Pandora was to users.
    The music industry has a lot of catching up to do if they want to prevent illegal downloads of music and utilize the internet to it’s full potential in order to sell albums. Preventing Pandora from providing a service, which is practically free advertising for artists, is not only absurd, it’s going to nurture and encourage the very behavior the music industry is trying to prevent.
    I look forward to being able to access this most fantastic resource in, what will hopefully be, the not so distant future.
    Best of luck to the team at Pandora.

  5. My heart continues to go out to my music loving brothers and sisters who can’t access Pandora, but I just wanted to chime in and say thanks for the tune-ups, particularly that “move this song to another station” bit on others’ stations. That’s going to be a big help for me. In fact, I’m someone who asked for it. :D

  6. keep up the fight, theres plenty of us listening to pandora outside of the states, best idea i have come across in ages. look forward, to you making a come back.
    does anyone know of any other similar music providers streaming to australia?

  7. I just heard the same song two times in a row. The first was the normal version of the song, the second was the live version of the same song. You should include a simple line of code to prevent these two songs from playing back to back (or even within a certain number of songs from each other).

  8. don’t tell me i can’t even listen to the song EXCERPTS ! that would be insane

  9. The station creation change was a bad move on your part. This weekend, I wanted to add the song “Crazy Town” by Velocity Girl. Your new change always thought I wanted the band Crazy Town. No… that’s not what I wanted. It was a pain to fix. I never minded the extra step to ensure I got exactlly what I wanted. I hope I never want to load up the song called “Courtney Love” …
    Seriously, you made a big mistake. Please change it back. Thanks.

  10. Well I’m from canada, and I must say that I will be sad to not have pandora to listen to anymore! But, I wish the best for pandora, and I hope one day music will one day be about the music, and not the profit. I look forward to seeing you guys progress, and thank you for the oppurtunity to explore many other bands that I had not known of!

  11. i just got a notification that users outside of the states can’t access Pandora as of May 16th. soooo sad. I listen every day while at work and I’ve discovered so many new artists.
    Keep up the fight and the good work!

  12. Wow I’m really going to miss listening to Pandora. Most of all, I’m going to miss being introduced to new artists and different sounds that would have otherwise remained undiscovered. I have bought at least 6 new CDs worth of music I fell in love with on Pandora in the last 2 months so I guess I’ll have something to listen to but it won’t be the same. Thanks to everyone at Pandora for opening my ears and my heart to new things! I’ll miss my crazy gospel on lazy Sunday mornings, Spanish love songs while I’m cooking Mexican food, and the entire station I call “lesbians with guitars” – that one drives my boyfriend crazy! Please keep trying to find a way around this rule so we can keep listening and learning…

  13. I’m a fan of bluegrass music as well as a musician.
    Much of what I listen to up here in Canada is bluegrass performed by Americans. It’s not an easy market anyway for bluegrass and most performers (except for those at the very top) rely on selling thier own cds at festivals on on thier websites. I buy thier music and have been introduced to much of it on Pandora. I will really miss it.

  14. Until we can have Pandora back in Canada, there are a lot of great radio stations available worldwide. I especially like Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson. I know it isn’t the same, but it’s something. What a shame, though. I wrote half a novel listening to Pandora. God knows what the second half will be like. Sigh…

  15. Well it was great while it lasted. I got most of my friends hooked to Pandora and I was great for listening at work. It’s been only a few days since the block but, I miss it. How crazy are the bureaucrats that draw a line to music on the airwaves, and why pick on the worthwhile. They obviously have nothing better to waste your tax dollars on at the moment

  16. Hello,
    Thanks for giving to the world such musical avenue of peace and togetherness. I wrote an article entitled: “In Search of Goodness” in order to counter all the negativities that we are bombarded with in the media. You will definitely be part of the list of organizations, people or individuals who, out of their selfless nature, make something useful for the world to enjoy and cherish.
    By the way, if one creates a station and later realized that this was not his actual intention and that this station doesn’t play any music that fit his taste, how can he delete this station altogether? Please inform.
    Keep up the good work,
    Raymond

  17. Pandora is just for american poeple?
    so forget it….
    your company will be ruined in a year or maybe alittle bit more…
    or maybe google can buy you.
    i’m getting out of pandora….and i will probably not hear about your company anymore.

  18. I used to hear the John Mayer song “Come Back To Bed (Live)”, supposedly off the As Is album, almost once a day on my John Mayer radio station. Well I listen to this station every morning while I work and lately (the last 5 or 6 weeeks) I haven’t heard this song. Recently, I decided to buy the song from iTunes. Well, you had to buy “the album” for $9.99. This seemed like too much to get one song that I liked, but I decided to get it because for what ever reason it wasn’t getting played anymore on Pandora. As it turned out, the “album” that I had to buy, was one 15 minute song “Come Back To Bed (Live)”, but it wasn’t the same version that I was hearing on Pandora. Man…am I pissed!!!!!!!!!!! Can anyone explain?

  19. This is an odd situation… If this service has been forbidden in europe, how come there be similar products in some countries? In Portugal there’s a similar product (well, not genoma-oriented, but still you can chose what you want to listen), and it still works… (at least for now…)
    This is the kind of thing people don’t really understand: they produce videoclips, they struggle to have their music on playlists on radio stations… and now they don’t let people LISTEN to their musicians!??! I don’t get it… Pandora should be considered as a radio, as a way to promote artists… I don’t really get it…

  20. well…I hope that the people controlling the movie / dvd music sales have alot to do with this…haha.
    ..Without the service of pandora, I wouldn’t have payed again for some of my old tapes and records.
    Some of the old hair band stuff is still pretty hard to find, I’ll always be looking though. Thanks for the excellent tunes, and I hope I helped out your pandora a bit!
    Cheers & Thanks
    Grant Morrison

  21. Loved the Pandora music radio station, played what you wanted to hear.
    I think that hearing good musicians prompts you to purchase their works.
    Surely the dollar benefits from foreign purchases.
    I could get to like Chinese music!!!