Pandora

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

Update - Here are the details for the upcoming Indiana visit!
WHEN: Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 at 6 pm
WHERE: Indiana University Memorial Union: Frangipani Room
900 East 7th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
To RSVP for the meetup, just send an email to tour@pandora.com with “Bloomington” in the subject line. Can’t wait to see you there!
I’m currently planning an itinerary for my first tour stop in Indiana. Come mid-October, I’ll be stopping in Indianapolis for a town hall meeting, and would love the opportunity to meet Pandora student listeners at nearby Indiana University or other local colleges. If you have any suggestions for appropriate venues on the college campus or other spots, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I can’t wait to visit!
We love reading and responding to your feedback on the blog – the comments have been a treasure trove of great insights and guidance as we plan our visits. If you have a particular idea you want to discuss, or just want to get more involved, we’re eager for help – just drop us an email at tour@pandora.com. Please include your location in the subject line of your message too. No idea is too big or small!

Update - The Columbus town hall is set! Here are the details:
WHEN: Monday, October 16th, 2006 at 7pm
WHERE: Milo Arts
617 East Third Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
Please RSVP by sending an email to tour@pandora.com with “Columbus” in the subject line. Hope to see you there!
I’m currently planning an itinerary for my first tour stop in Ohio. Come mid-October, I’ll be stopping in Columbus for a town hall meeting (tentatively at the Milo Arts studios), and would love the opportunity to meet Pandora student listeners at nearby Ohio State University. If you have any suggestions for appropriate venues on this or other college campuses (we’re open to all suggestions!), whether at a music class or in the student union, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Love spending time with students.
We love reading and responding to your feedback on the blog – the comments have been a treasure trove of great insights and guidance as we plan our visits. If you have a particular idea you want to discuss, or just want to get more involved, we’re eager for help – just drop us an email at tour@pandora.com. Please include your location in the subject line of your message too. No idea is too big or small!

Update: I’ll be in Providence on October 4th, 2006 for a meetup at 7pm. The event will be at the Columbus Theatre (270 Broadway) and we’d love to see you there. Please RSVP by emailing tour@pandora.com with ‘Providence’ in the subject line!
I’m currently planning an itinerary for my tour stop in Rhode Island. Come early-October, I’ll be stopping in Providence for a town hall meeting after attending the Business Innovation Factory summit in town. I would also love the opportunity to meet Pandora listeners at nearby schools – students always have so many great things to contribute! If you have any suggestions for appropriate venues in the area or on college campuses, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I can’t wait to visit!
We love reading and responding to your feedback on the blog – the comments have been a treasure trove of great insights and guidance as we plan our visits. If you have a particular idea you want to discuss, or just want to get more involved, we’re eager for help – just drop us an email at tour@pandora.com. Please include your location in the subject line of your message too. No idea is too big or small!

Update: On October 2nd and 3rd, 2006, I’ll be meeting listeners in both Amherst and Boston, respectively. The Amherst meet will be at the Red Barn Hampshire College, while the Boston event will be at MIT. Both begin at 7pm.
Join us and send an RSVP to tour@pandora.com with either ‘Amherst’ or ‘Boston’ in the subject line, depending on which meet you’ll attend!
In early October, I’ll be making a tour stop in Boston for a town hall meeting at night. I’m looking forward to meeting with Pandora listeners in The Walking City, and will try to hit some colleges too (I’ve heard there are few of ‘em there). Any students with suggestions – we’re all ears! I would love to read tips and answer questions from locals in the comments section below.
We love reading and responding to your feedback on the blog – the comments have been a treasure trove of great insights and guidance as we plan our visits. If you have a particular idea you want to discuss, or just want to get more involved, we’re eager for help – just drop us an email at tour@pandora.com. Please include your location in the subject line of your message too. No idea is too big or small!

NYC Meetup & Pandora on Air America

Spent a wonderful evening with Jeff and Stephanie at a cozy NY cafe – lots of great feedback and ideas from these two thoughtful and enthusiastic Pandora listeners… Thanks you guys for taking the time. It’s made me eager for the next gathering. We’re thinking of a Southern states swing in March… starting in TX. Let me know if you want to host one.
Also, tomorrow we’re going to be on Air America – Rachel Maddow did the interview in NYC. Rachel rocks… It’s scheduled for 2:30pm EST as part of the “Al Franken Show.’ Info on their website. http://shows.airamericaradio.com/alfrankenshow/

The Musical Conversation

Finally broke down and picked up some voice recognition software today. It was that or wrist casts! I’ve been having a wonderful time corresponding with all the music lovers that have become part of pandora. And I really mean ‘part of’ pandora. We’re reading every word: bug fixes, new feature ideas, suggestions for improving the interface, and what probably stands out most – the unbelievable number of music recommendations – simply fantastic. Everything from out of print bluegrass gems to underground death metal must-haves; from great garage recordings with hastily pasted UPC stickers, to early records from legends that we didn’t even know existed. If this continues, the Music Genome Project will in no time become the world’s greatest record collection.
Perhaps the most gratifying part of the last month has been this vivid reminder, in the form of this flood of wonderfully thoughtful and personal emails, of just how much music means to everyone. Thanks to all of you for your generosity in sharing your musical passion and history with us.
Keep it comin’… (sorry in advance for the slower replies… doing our best)
Also, I want to start meeting you. I’m going to drop a note when I’m travelling to various cities and towns. Would love to sit down and talk music. Check in periodically to see when we’re doing it next. NYC is on the list this week.

Library-licious…

hey everyone!
It’s been busy busy around here lately, as we’ve worked to keep up with all of you! It occured to me that I should communicate my thanks to each of you who has send us music requests. It’s a very big world, and as I suspected, there are many many many cds in it. And yet, in classic late-aught-5 style, the combined efforts of many of you dedicated listeners have helped us more than any individual could have (see wikipedia, web 2.0, etc). And it’s only been a few months. Please keep the requests coming!
A little advanced addendum for the supremely devoted: if you’re sending us info for a brand new band, or a local band that’s probably not yet signed or distributed, please consider emailing the band directly and cc’ing us on that email. We are 100% receptive to independent music, and will listen to whatever people send in, and we’ll add it if we can. And we absolutely hate it when we can’t find copies of the music that you suggest to us!!! The same message goes out to those of you in bands who want to be considered for inclusion to Pandora. Please send us your music!
Also, believe it or not, certain genres are hard to find, even here in the commerce-glutted US of A, so if you feel that we’re light on a particular genre, please feel free to send us information on resources like online stores and review sites for your fave micro-genres. Sometimes that’s all it takes for us to be able to provide a comprehensive catalog of your favorite stuff….
Your requests are being logged and worked through, and we’re getting everything that we can, so long as we feel confident that it’s up to your standards…
OK. ’nuff about that. here are a very few of my favorite current musics, new and old, to spice up the holidays. In no particular order, a partial list:
City Bird (Pandora station based on this song by Of Montreal)
Magic Carpet (sitar folk from the 70s!)
Nirvana (1967) (the original nirvana! from britain – classic british 60s pop – a cult classic – see esp. the song Wings of Love… this makes a great vintage 60s pop station! but beware, you need to ask for “Nirvana (1967) or you’ll get the Kurt Cobain Nirvana….)
Mark Hollis (this brilliant and mercurial frontman from Talk Talk made a sublime, self-titled solo record… moody and perfect)
Jose Gonzalez (!!!!!! beautiful contemporary indie-folk stuff, subtle not sentimental. definitely one of my best-ofs this year…)
The Dirty Projectors (freaky low fi pop, blindingly brilliant. oh man.)
Goldspot (clean, smart pop from a new band that’s not that well known, yet…)
The Teeth (more great pop, sort of punkish, kinks-ish, totally excellent and original)
The Stares (a great new band from Seattle with strings and horns by the great Eyvind Kang)
Ghosts of Monkshood (very strange psych folk – from Oklahoma I think – very weird and wonderful)
Diane Cluck (nyc folk-innocent. so simple. so great.)
Vashti Bunyan (long lost folk lass from Britain, just released her second album, 30 years after her first!)
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (old school neo soul…)
Dungen (scandinavian epic psych-pop……. superb)
Black Sabbath (get your vintage Sabbath metal fix. never checked em out??? you should.)
Davy Graham (60′s acoustic folk)
Dr. Dog (more great interesting pop.)
well, I just know I’m forgetting a bunch more… you’ll let me know, though. of that I am certain……
yours,
mz

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

With the holidays fast approaching, we’ve been getting lots of requests for seasonal music. Tonight we’re rolling out an updated version of Pandora that will let you build your very own, personalized holiday stations.
To hear seasonal music on Pandora, just start by entering the name of a favorite holiday song (for example, “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow“). We’ll then ask you to pick your favorite version and we’ll create a station that will play other similar holiday music. While we’re not able to play that exact song immediately, it will play on your station eventually so keep listening!
If you’d rather start from an artist, just enter the artist’s name followed by the word holiday (for example, “Nat King Cole (Holiday)“). We’ll then use that input to build a holiday station based on the musical qualities of that performer’s holiday classics.
We’re busy adding more seasonal music everyday, so keep coming back and expect that your holiday stations will improve over the coming weeks.
Thanks for listening, and happy holidays from the whole crew here at Pandora.

Pandora : Version 2

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been just 9 weeks since we launched Pandora. In that time you’ve created over 1 million stations, starting from 70,000 unique songs and artists. I really can’t imagine a more gratifying response. Easily the best part of all of this has been interacting with many of you via email and in the blogosphere. Thanks for all the great product and music suggestions. It’s been a blast.
We’ve been busy working on the second version of Pandora and we’re launching today. We’re adding new features and an entirely new way to enjoy Pandora.
On the feature front, you’ve told us loud and clear that you want a way to keep track of the music you’re discovering on Pandora. So we’ve added a “favorites” feature that lets you add songs to your very own Pandora personal page. Just click on the album art when you hear a song you love and select “Add to Your Favorites Page” from the menu. Your favorites page is a great consolidated shopping list of all he music you’re discovering on Pandora. You can even share your personal page with friends — who knows maybe they’ll get the hint about what to get you the next time your birthday rolls around, There are easy links to Amazon and iTunes right on the page. We’ve also (finally) given you the ability to review and edit all of the work you’ve put into your stations. Just click the little triangle next to a station name and select “Edit this Station”. You’ll see all the feedback you’ve given (thumbs up/down) as well as the songs and artists you’ve added with the “Add More Kinds of Music” feature. Make changes till your heart’s content. You can even use this same feature to look at the definitions for stations that your friends have sent you. While those are the big, obvious new features, we’ve also been hard at work on playlist generation and we think you’ll find that Pandora does a better job now of responding quickly to your feedback and plays better musical mixes. This is a never-ending quest for us; expect playlists to get better each time we release a new version. That’s our core mission. This release we’ve made some very big strides with our Electronica playlists in particular. We think they’re much improved; let us know what you think! Finally we’ve been polishing up lots of little stuff throughout the interface. We think it’s the little things that matter, so we hope you like those changes too.
The other big piece of news is that we’ve opened the doors on an entirely new way to listen to Pandora. You see we’d planned to launch an ad-supported, free version of Pandora next year, but the sheer volume of new listeners that have found Pandora in the past 9 weeks led us to accelerate our timetable for offering the ad-supported, free version of Pandora. So, starting today, you have a choice: you can listen to ad-supported Pandora for free, or you can subscribe and experience an entirely ad-free version. It’s completely your choice. The service has exactly the same features either way. We’re still experimenting with the right way to bring advertising to Pandora, so you’ll notice us playing with different advertising forms over the coming months. We’d love to know what you think as we work through this. We’re dedicated to mixing advertising into the experience in a way that doesn’t detract from your music discovery experience.
So it’s been an incredible, busy, fun, exciting, exhausting, and thrilling couple of months here. We’re loving every minute of it. Thank you for being a part of it. As always, we love to hear your thoughts and critiques about what we’re doing. Please don’t hesitate to drop us an email or leave a comment here.
This is just the beginning. There’s lots of great stuff to come and we want your help in shaping the evolution of Pandora. It’s sure been a great collaboration so far.
-Tom
CTO @ Pandora
PS: For those of you in the Bay Area, we’re really hoping to meet you tonight at the first Pandora meetup. We hope you can make it!