Sioux Falls and Omaha


Well, we capped off the Dakotas/Nebraska tour with a lecture at Augustana College in Sioux Falls (thanks to the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society) on Thursday and a terrific town hall that evening; then a meetup at the amazing Durham museum in Omaha last night (with a relaxing drive across the plains in between). We sure lucked out on the weather this trip. Not a flake of snow.

sd 3.jpgSioux Falls – thanks to Jeremy and the crew at the Museum for Visual Materials for being such a great host and for spreading the news locally. And what a turnout – around 250 people showed up for a very lively conversation – first time we’ve had more people show up than actually RSVPd. I learned something: classical music helps plants grow faster than rock music… That’s apparently been scientifically proven. Go figure.

Omaha – what a beautiful city. Pops up out of nowhere. So much interesting architecture. Spent some time touring the city with a local friend (thanks Susie). Met a number of budding college entrepreneurs. My sense is that the music industry is going to see a huge influx of DIY entrants eager to enter an industry that has become much more accessible to the new participant. Should be great for innovation. Sorry we had to move from the Pizza Shoppe Collective – just had way too big an audience by the time the date rolled around.
A hearty thanks to all the local journalists who showed up and helped spread the word about the events. Appreciate your many supportive articles before and after the visit.

Some really interesting suggestions/requests from the two meetings:

A “put that song to sleep” feature that would get successively longer rather than starting at a month.

Voice commands on smartphone apps (interesting idea for in-car use).
Feature parity across all smartphones. Smartphone users clearly want a full-featured version on all phones. I continue to be amazed by how many people are now using smartphones as their primary way to listen.

More and more people are asking about being able to integrate their personal collection with Pandora. Perhaps allowing some on-demand listening through that (tricky from a licensing perspective).

Ability to buy Pandora One on a month to month basis.

Access to an open API for developers so they can start inventing new apps with data from the Music Genome Project. There’s a steady drumbeat for this. Again, tricky from a licensing standpoint given all the constraints on the copyrighted material we stream.

Back home to Oakland, with many, many fond memories.

Tim (Founder)

Tim Westergren


48 thoughts on “Sioux Falls and Omaha

  1. Thanks for listening to users! PARITY ACROSS SMARTPHONE…yes please! Unfortunately now I am using “Sl**ker radio” as it has a functioning, supported app for windows mobile 6.5. Give me something that works and I’ll be back (and paying) in a second. I haven’t touched my ipod in months…everything goes through the phone…even in the car, plugged through the stereo!
    Thanks again.

  2. Tim, I absolutely am turned off by the audio commercials. It doesn’t make me want to upgrade to Pandora One but look at alternatives. I don’t mind visual commercials and even look at them, as I want the video experience with the music… As a high-tech marketer myself I think that this is the wrong approach. Adding and selling value for Pandora One is the way to go.

  3. Hey Tim and the Pandora crew…..thanx for an exciting media experience! Through Pandora, i’ve discovered hundereds of new artists to enjoy and a few new genres as well. As an end user, i’d like to make a suggestion if i may. You’ve probobly heard this before, but it would be nice to have an iPhone/iTouch control app as well to be able to remotely control the Pandora application. I currently stream my media throughout my home and yard using iTunes with the Remote app for control from room to room. The ability to change stations or create new ones on the fly would free the Pandora experience from my desktop and allow the same freedom to listen to new music at my PC instead of selecting from the collection i already own. Airfoil software is already available for streaming for Airport users, but a stand alone Internet radio streamer would also be a powerful tool. How’s about a Pandora’s Box? I’m sure that’s crossed the marketing desk a few times! Thanx for the opportunity to share.

  4. As far as API for developers. Isn’t the big hurdle there giving the average developer access to stream music? But what about just giving access to the wealth of information about the music in the Genome project? I think that would be also incredibly interesting and useful. A developer could then write an app that could take a users playlist of personal music and create a Pandora channel off of what they already like. Band websites could have a Pandora style widget that could show similar artists/albums/music to what they play.

  5. While I’m an avid listener of Pandora, using the Pandora One app, I’d like to see two improvements… one being a rating scale rather than thumbs up/down on songs, and the other… well, it is basically a comment that can be turned into an improvement… it appears certain artists give Pandora a ‘break’ on the royalties/licensing, as their songs get played most frequently, even with thumbs down on most of their titles… coldplay specifically, others not so much, that their songs take a lot precedence… seems counter-intuitive to the rating systems…

  6. Hi, I’m britney, and there is no way to give Pandora feedback, so i’m posting it in this comment.
    It would be really nice if you guys added a neutral button in case someone decides they don’t want to have something liked anymore, but don’t want to dislike it.

  7. some other ideas:
    – similar songs by lyrics,
    – search songs by type/mood/content of lyrics (rather ambiguous, im sure)
    – remove like/dislike during playback, not in the station settings
    – ability to dislike live/concert recordings while keeping similar songs in the station

  8. to be honest… I love pandora it’s the bomb.. These people are fershure going to heaven for makin this!

  9. Hi,
    My husband had what I thought was a great idea. He suggested the ‘thumbs up’ feature be successive – that is, the more often you hit it, the more often the song would play. Anyway, just a thought. Thanks – nice that you’re so accessible. And, that despite 48 million users, there are only 4 comments to this post before mine.

  10. Why can’t you pull up some particular artists? Example. Type in Thompson Twins and you get Howard Jones

  11. The number of ads have skyrocketed. Revenue is understandable, but when the ads compromise the experience, it is literally a turn off.

  12. Hi! I’m a new listener…and the experience was awesome…looking forward for more exciting media experience.
    Energy Medicine

  13. I recently had a computer crash and lost all of the music that was stored on my system. My 13 year old introduced me to Pandora, I am so excited to be able to listen to whatever I want again. Thank you for this site.

  14. Hey I just have a quick question..
    I know the app for pandora says it free, but a lot of apps like to trick people and say it’s free when itks really only free for the first month.
    So will it always be free?

  15. i have been waiting very patiently for service provided to the htc hd2 with tmobile. if you could escalate this request i would be thrilled. thank you. Lance.

  16. Hi Tim, Please add Greenville, South Carolina, To your tour if you come to Greenville i would be glad to host you & your crew in Greenville, South Carolina we love Pandora its the best app i have ever had.

  17. I just wanted to say that you all are genius…….. I am an avid music listener and this idea….music and choices are phenomenal……….I thank you!

  18. I’d like to second the option of a sliding scale or a neutral option. Also, I’d like a way in the menu to “report” a song that is not playing well. I am currently listening to a Steve Miller song that sounds horribly like a scratchy 45 but there’s nowhere to report that.
    All in all, love Pandora, though I also wish the more you like something, the more often it played…and that the specific songs you put in would also play in the course of the same day you input it.

  19. We’d love to have a game version of Pandora.
    Provide a game page in Pandora that hides the song title, artist, album and year for 30 seconds, or until i tap a field. Then let me award the points for the field to one of 2 or more player names in a list. Maybe 5 for title, 10 for artist, 15 for album, 20 for year (ideally we can set our own values for each field).
    My wife and I play this game informally every time we listen to Pandora by looking away from the screen until one of us blurts out a guess.

  20. It would be convenient to have a “bookmark this album” option along with bookmarking songs and artists!

  21. I have a feature idea: to be able to “tune in” to someones Pandora station they are currently listening to, or have set up to perfection. We listen to Pandora all day in the small office I work in and occasionally I would like the ability to tune in to what they’re listening to when I’m not there. It would also be great to be able to listen to your favorite artist’s own stations… that’s WAY better than Ping!
    Thanks for listening, and making Pandora great!

  22. Hey, I love Pandora and have been listening for years (I was so excited when I moved back to the US in 2005 and could finally listen to this Pandora thing that people in the US kept talking about!)
    Two things:
    Last month I hit the 40 hour limit and upgraded for 99 cents for the rest of the month – then i became so excited by the increased skips that yesterday, Dec 1, I signed up for a year. Only one person, I know, but as a user experience I thought it might be valuable for you from a marketing perspective.
    the other thing – I’m sure you hear this a lot – but I’d love to have a “I really like this song a LOT” as well as the regular thumbs up (in other words, I’d like the algorithm to be weighted, ideally over time so that seven thumbs up from two years ago counts less than seven thumbs up today.)
    Also it would be cool if there was an “I like this song but not this cover/version” option – I often get covers and sometimes I like them a LOT less than the album version, but I don’t want to put a thumbs-down for the song because I still want to hear my favorite version a lot.
    thanks again for providing this!

  23. I feel the love that you have put into your project. HOW WONDERFUL!!! Thanks a million, even tho’ listening has delayed my project more than an hour in the middle of the night. After listening… I decided to sent emails to scads of folks to introduce ’em to Pandora. And now I must also request prayer from you to facilitate me getting back on track expeditiously and effectively completing my project at nearly 4am.
    Thanks again and Endless Blessings to All
    Jo Ann Buckner
    ps: If it benefits you and me please tell me what URL is or does so that I may cease the moment…. thanksz

  24. @ Paul — cool idea! I don’t think we have the resources to devote to a Pandora game right now, but I’m going to try playing it with my coworkers :-)
    @Colin — thanks for the suggestion, we’ll keep that in mind!
    @Cara dB — thanks for the great feedback and for upgrading to Pandora One! You don’t have to worry about giving a thumbs down to a version of a song you don’t like…you won’t ban other versions of that song.

  25. Hi
    i love pandora radio. just a few suggestions:
    u should havea way to look at everybody that has an account not just look them up.
    also you should have a way to upload a pic

  26. hi Tim. My family is a new listener of your station. we are very much delighted and we hope you will keep playing inspiring selections. God bless and more power!!

  27. I joined Pandora ecause I wanted to listen to some of my favorite music but since I’m in Thailand I can not!!
    I didnt know about the restrictions.

  28. Hey there,
    Great job on a fantastic service. I am an avid listener (home, work, car, workout), but I have to say that recently I have been having some connection trouble. There are long periods of silence between songs or a song will cut in and out. It could be my favorite network AT&T (extreme sarcasm), but just thought I’d check.
    Also, on my account page I didn’t see any obvious spot to give feedback. If there is one please tell me where it is.
    Lastly, the commercials I’m getting are not that relevant to me. I understand they’re not all going to be 100% relevant, but I’m a 20 something male and the commercials are addressing females for engagement rings. I don’t mind tuning out for 30 seconds, but it’d be better if it was actually for something I liked.

  29. Hi Pandora Crew,
    I have listened to Pandora Free for years, finally I maxed out my 40 hours a month and decided to upgrade to Pandora One. I haven’t regretted it yet! :-)
    I listen to Pandora at work, in my car, on my smartphone when exercising. I like Pandora’s variety more than taking a lot of memory with downloads. I have one question, how do I get my Pandora to work with my Wii? I have an internet connection on my Wii console.

  30. I used to listen to this site when in the U.S. Amazing site! I’m waiting for it to open up to listeners in Australia too!

  31. Hi Tim,
    I found your site via another student. I really am impressed with Pandora; love the work that you’re doing. I see a lot of room for growth, as well as many changes to make it better. This could be the next Yahoo type of growth thing. Keep up the good work and try and do some advertizing, you could be flooded with new users.

  32. Nice concept of compiling music that is similar. However commercials will get ya. I am the new norm, i have lots of music at the touch of buttons, at home: wifi, fmtransmitter for kicks; in car: ipod. Tv watching is not done in real time either, dvr means i dont watch the commercials, just click click.
    General feeling, if i pay for something cabel channels for instance, why in the hell should i watch a commercial for something i paid for?
    Make it commercial free for a fee, ill bet the money will pour in.

  33. If I paid you a years worth of free no commercial music, a) Why do I still see occasional ads and pop ups? b) Why can’t I skip as many as I want.
    Seems like I paid for a free service with minimal additional benefit

  34. My uncle from the states used to tell me about this pandora. i was really left in AWE when he told me about the stuffs a user can do with Pandora. Now my problem is when my uncle left, I tried to look for this in the internet and it turned out that you cannot register outside US. Sad.

  35. I really like the music, but sometimes it gives me a song that I had previously deleted from my, shall I say mix. I also agree with one of the other com-mentors, why can’t we skip as many as we want?

  36. Tim, Any way you can provide a full screen option for the Pandora One desktop application….I would like it to fill the screen like other windows as an option..Keep up the great work

  37. hey tim man u rock for the great website dont know what id do without the free music thanks alot u rock keep the music comin

  38. I wish you would play the song seeds I enter into my stations.
    I thought that was for getting to hear the songs we like the most and music similar to the song seeds.