Enjoy One-Touch Streaming of Pandora to your TV with Google Chromecast

As Pandora works to fulfill its mission to completely reinvent radio, we are always working on new ways to seamlessly deliver the best personalized radio experience in every possible listening environment.

Today, we’re excited to share that Pandora is now available on Chromecast, Google’s new TV-connected device that wirelessly delivers online audio and video entertainment to the biggest screen in the home.

pandora_chromecast_nowplaying_tvOwners of Chromecast can now wirelessly stream or Cast Pandora directly to the TV, using their smartphone or tablet as the remote control. Core Pandora functionality, such as Play, Pause, Thumb and Skip are all easily controlled via your mobile device for a seamless listening experience. The Pandora experience is delivered directly from the cloud to your TV, so once you send your favorite station to your TV, your mobile device is no longer required to keep the music going. Read More →

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 Curators: Class of 1983

It was 1983; I was in seventh grade, a year equally filled with excitement and fear. It was the year that I left my left my Bay Area private school for public school, leaving a sheltered bubble behind for a school with scary looking longhaired kids in denim jackets, Mötley Crüe and Iron Maiden patches. It was the year that I would attend my first ever school dance.

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Have you ever had an old song transport you back in time to the moment when it soundtracked an important part of your life? Pandora’s Class Of 1983 station not only reminded me how much awesome music was born 30 years ago – everything from Madonna’s eponymous debut to Slayer’s first album Show No Mercy – but a lot of these songs pulled me right back to the year I became a teenager.

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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 →