It’s The Most Musical Time of the Year: SXSW 2014

SXSW imageIf you have ever been to South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival, you know that 6th Street is like a musical pulse running through the heart of Austin.  Live music comes pouring out from every direction as attendees file down the closed off street, their ears guiding their next move.  For music lovers, it’s a magical experience.  At Pandora, we love getting to bring the thrill of discovering an artist to life through live performances, but we also don’t want you to miss out if you can’t make it to Austin for SXSW.  That’s why we’ll be live streaming all four days of our third annual Pandora Discovery Den. Read More →

Tablet Listeners: Fall Asleep and Wake Up to Your Favorite Music with Pandora!

In the past few months, we’ve launched two new listener-requested features on mobile that have received overwhelmingly positive responses: our Sleep Timer and Alarm Clock.  Today I’m happy to share that we released version 5.2 for Android, allowing listeners to fall asleep and wake up to their favorite Pandora music on their Android tablets in addition to their smartphones.

Just like on Android smartphones, the functionality of Sleep Timer and Alarm Clock will work the same across tablets (including Kindle Fire) that have updated to the latest version of the Pandora app.  You can find the Sleep Timer and Alarm Clock options in your settings drawer, located in the upper right corner of your Pandora app screen.

Settings w Alarm Sleep Timer Read More →

Inside Song: Guitar Twang, Cookie Monster Vocals and Other Crucial Minutia

Twenty people are silently gathered around a table, heads bowed in concentration, listening closely.

“Did you hear it?”

“I feel like I heard it, but only in a couple tiny parts.”

“Really? I can totally hear it!”

“Wait, play it again, I’m not exactly sure what we’re listening for.”

“No, no, no! I’ve got the perfect example. Here, check this out.”

Someone else cracks open a laptop, starts playing a different song at the same time, people chime in with their opinions, voices and music overlap, it gets heated, and suddenly we’re in full-voiced debate like a mob of British Parliamentarians.

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Pandora’s Music Analyst Team

The burning issue at hand: identifying and scoring guitar twang. You know, that sproingy nasal boing of a plucked string, often associated with Country music. Twang can be produced through picking technique, by location of the pick on the neck, by the choice of pick-ups on the guitar, or by the amplifier in use. Each of those twangs sound a little different. And what about twang on the acoustic guitar? What if a steel-string guitar is used to pluck a few twangy notes now and then so you know that greater twang exists, even if it’s mostly strummed? The brain kind of fills in greater twang awareness during the less twangy strummed sections. How should we acknowledge brain twang? Read More →

Inside the Collection: Love, Loss and Mix-Tapes

I was a teenage skater, which back in the eighties meant I didn’t meet many girls. But there was one – Brynn was what we affectionately called a “Skate-Betty.” She stood out from the others with her sun-bleached bowl-cut, hi-top Vans, a flannel tied around her waist and a warm California smile that gave me the courage to ask her out. We instantly bonded on music. She was into many of the same Skate Rock bands that I listened to like JFA and Agent Orange. But she also turned me on to stuff I’d never heard before like Voivod and Reagan Youth.

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Do you remember the first mix-tape you made for a crush? What about the opposite – a mix that you curated following a heart-bludgeoning break-up? As we approach Valentine’s Day, it’s easy for me to flashback to the very first amorous mix that I recorded…and my first break-up tape. Allow me to share a few of the lessons that I learned from building those mixes.

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Introducing Pandora’s Open Music Submission Process: Getting Your Music Heard

curation picAt Pandora, our central mission is connecting artists with listeners who will love their music. Our goal is to enable every talented artist to reach the audience they deserve, without regard to the style of their music or their popularity.

When it comes to access and promotion, enormous hurdles have always confronted musicians and comedians, especially independent or self-releasing artists, in getting an equal opportunity to be heard. This is why I’m thrilled to introduce our new open music submission process. Read More →