Debuting Now: The Pandora App for Android Tablets

Android listeners, listen up! Today we’re excited to unveil our latest version of Pandora, designed specifically for Android tablets, and available for download starting today via Google Play.

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Pandora now natively supports hundreds of different Android tablets and while we’ve long offered a mobile app for our Android listeners, Pandora 5.0 for Android optimizes the experience for larger tablet screen sizes and is built specifically with the tablet experience in mind. Features of Pandora 5.0 include enhanced playback and personalization, deeper music discovery and exploration, easy access to a personalized music profile and an easy way to connect and share music with friends. Read More →

From the Music Genome Project: The Anatomy of A Scary Soundtrack

It’s a familiar scene: lights low, popcorn in hand, you hear something; your heart begins to race, your brow sweats, you grip into the armrest of the plush theater seat. The knife-wielding psychopath finally bursts into the scene, accompanied by a dissonant musical crescendo.

While most film composers probably do not have a clinical understanding of the human brain, the great ones have figured out how to manipulate our most primitive fight or flight responses. Paired with just the right visuals certain sounds and pitch combinations can involuntarily cause us to experience physical reactions that one would expect in moments of real life stress. In the spirit of Halloween, we thought we’d take a look at some of the musical devices that are used in scary movies to elicit the fear response.

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Mastering the art of suspense is the first key to creating a scary soundtrack. When used in the right context, music can create a psychological state of dread and set the listener up for the inevitable startle effect. Avoiding melody altogether, instead relying on long tones or using short, repetitive melodic fragments can lead the listener to feel anxious. John Williams‘ theme to Jaws, with its famous two note motif is a perfect example, as is the theme to the Halloween films, which features a looping, ten note pattern that keeps listeners in a state of anticipation. (A little horror movie trivia: John Carpenter, who directed the Halloween movies, also wrote the theme)

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Pandora Presents: Bridgit Mendler Live in Los Angeles

As Head of Music Partnerships at Pandora, a large part of my job is working with artists to coordinate live concerts and special events in an effort to fulfill Pandora’s central mission of connecting artists with their fans.  Pandora has been successfully doing this online for years, so it’s exciting to bring the experience to life offline.

18988_Pandora_Presents_Bridgit_Mendler_Poster_092513_R3I’m thrilled to share that this Saturday, Hollywood Records recording artist and actress, Bridgit Mendler, will be the latest to headline Pandora Presents, our live, personalized concert series.  The performance is taking place at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, hosted by recording artist Asher Monroe with an additional performance by Jake Miller.  The show is open to all Bridgit Mendler fans and free of charge, thanks to our strategic partnership with General Mills BFAST, Debrox and Trolli. Read More →

From the Music Genome Project: Vamping Harmony

When you think about your favorite song what characteristics stick out to you? Perhaps you notice the vocal range of the singer, the tempo or maybe the type of instruments in the song. Do you consider the vamping harmony? …wait, what?

In the course of analyzing a single piece of music, our Music Analysts will consider upwards of 400 distinct musical characteristics, some straightforward, like tempo or the gender of a vocalist, and some more esoteric. For today’s blog post, I thought it would be fun to discuss one of the slightly arcane elements of the Music Genome that Pandora uses to help build your stations: Vamping Harmony.

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In the context of music, a vamp is a short sequence of chords that gets repeated for an extended period. It can be used as a verb, as in “the band vamped  while the singer made her way to the stage,” or as a noun, as in “the band played a short vamp while the singer made her way to the stage.”

Vamping harmony can be a good choice if your goal is to focus attention on other elements of a song, such as lyrics, or rhythmic groove. A good vamp can lend a hypnotic quality to music, especially when combined with some infectious rhythms. James Brown was a master at this. Check out his classic “Superbad, parts 1 & 2” for a great example. In this case, the band vamps on a single chord for nearly the whole song. Read More →

Introducing the New Pandora App for iPad

We’ve found that Pandora listeners love their tablets and will listen to Pandora pretty much wherever their tablets will go: in the kitchen, the office, the living room, the dining room, the bedroom, the garage, the back yard – even in the shower.  (In which case, we assume the tablet is nearby or utilizing a properly tested waterproof case.)

pandora_iPad_hor_optionsSo we are excited to announce the new Pandora 5.0 for iPad.  With this latest version of the Pandora mobile app, we’re bringing a host of new features to the iPad while enhancing and optimizing the experience for the larger iPad screen size.

We’re on a constant mission to provide our listeners with the best possible listening experience – across all devices – so this new Pandora for iPad app includes a number of updates as a direct response to what our listeners told us they wanted most.

New features include enhanced playback and personalization, deeper music discovery and exploration, easy access to a personalized music profile and the ability to connect and share music with friends. Read More →

Introducing the Pandora Sleep Timer on Mobile

When was the last time you fell asleep listening to music? The sounds of your favorite artist can be a great way to wind down at the end of the day. Whether you love to fall asleep to relaxation music, singer-songwriters or Viking Metal, we invite you to enjoy our new sleep timer feature!

At Pandora, we are inspired every day by consistently bringing our listeners music they love. We’re also dedicated to listening to our listeners and personally answer every inquiry that comes in to our support team whether it’s via email (to the tune of more than 50,000 emails a month!) or our social channels. One area that gets us particularly excited is when we receive ideas from our listeners for new product features and improvements. Today I’m thrilled to share that we’re releasing a new version of our Pandora mobile app for both iOS and Android that contains one of our top-requested new product features from listeners: a Sleep Timer. With the new Sleep Timer in version 4.5 of our app, you can now fall asleep to the sounds of your favorite Pandora stations.

sleep timer imageHere’s how it works: when listening to a station, you’ll find the Sleep Timer in your options drawer in the top right screen corner. Just click the options link and select from 15, 30, or 60 minutes for your Sleep Timer. Then relax and drift off knowing we’ll play just the right amount of music for you. Read More →

Redefining Radio in the Car

Today we’re excited to share that Pandora is now available in more than 100 car models.

This exciting milestone has been the result of an extensive engineering and business effort we have had underway for the past several years, establishing partnerships with 23 of the world’s best-known automotive brands and 8 aftermarket manufacturers to provide a steady stream of vehicle launches and aftermarket systems that integrate Pandora for a completely redefined radio experience in the car.

Through the connectivity of a smartphone, these integrations shift the popular controls of the Pandora service – like station selection and thumbs feedback – from the phone into the vehicle dashboard, which makes listening to personalized radio in the car as easy as AM/FM radio. Read More →

Introducing tv.pandora.com

One of the admirable things about traditional radio is that it is truly ubiquitous – from kitchens and bedside tables to automobiles and coffee shops, wherever you go, radio is there. As Pandora works to fulfill its mission to completely reinvent radio, we too must seamlessly deliver Pandora to every possible listening environment.

tv pandora com 3 (2)One particularly important venue is the living room. As consumers embraced flat screen TV’s and home theater speakers, the center of gravity for music in the home shifted from the family stereo to the television. Pandora connected with this trend early and to date more than 10 million listeners have enjoyed Pandora on their internet-connected television.

Today we’re excited to announce the next generation of Pandora for the living room: tv.pandora.com. This is an entirely new experience designed from the ground up for your television and remote control. This new initiative is standards-based and embraces next generation TV, game console, and set top box architectures that support open web standards. Today tv.pandora.com runs perfectly from the browser in your existing XBox 360, and the system will spread to other environments as more vendors bring standards-compliant TV’s and set top boxes to market in the coming months. It’s also a completely new approach which will allow us to evolve the “10 foot” experience of Pandora with greater flexibility and speed than ever before.

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A Personalized Social Experience

I’m excited to announce a new way to share the music you love with our new Facebook integration. On iPhone, Android, and pandora.com, you can now choose to automatically publish your Pandora music activity to Facebook which will populate your musical identity in Facebook’s newly launched music section.

pandora-publish-to-facebookWhile we’ve offered social features that allow you to explicitly share your Pandora stations and music discoveries to Facebook for some time, today’s update makes sharing effortless. This means it’s easier than ever to discover new music from friends’ listening activity in your Facebook News Feed or by checking out the music section on their profile. The new music section on your Facebook profile includes a dedicated radio collection which offers a great place to find inspiration for new stations to listen to.

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Pandora Premieres: A New Way to Discover

Today we’re thrilled to introduce Pandora Premieres, a brand new way to discover music on Pandora.

Premieres ImagePandora Premieres is a new kind of station for us that lets listeners enjoy on-demand access to early album releases from a variety of artists before they go on-sale. We’re kicking it off today with records from John Fogerty, and Laura Marling.

Once the Pandora Premieres station is added, you can choose to hear any track on the featured albums, in any order and as many times as you’d like, until the album hits the stores. We encourage you to tune in regularly because new albums will be featured every week, with some artists also offering additional exclusive content like video interviews.

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