If you’ve been following the Pandora blog recently you know it’s been a tough couple of months for us. Between the SaveNetRadio crisis and being forced to block visitors outside the US, we’ve been through a frustrating stretch.
Even with these distractions, over in Product Development we’ve been busy as always working to make Pandora better than ever. We still spend every day asking “what are we doing wrong? what can we be doing better?”
Today I’m happy to tell you about some fun new stuff we rolled out late last night.
First up is volume normalization. I’m sure you’ve noticed that listening to Pandora can give the volume knob on your PC a real workout. The trouble is that songs recorded in, say, 1980 have a dramatically different perceived volume than those recorded more recently. In terms of the requests we get from our listeners, finding some solution to this problem is pretty much the most requested feature. It turns out this is a pretty tricky problem to solve without sacrificing audio quality, so we’ve taken our time searching for an answer that preserves the overall audio experience while fixing the issue. Last night we rolled out a dynamic gain adjustment that will “normalize” the perceived volume from track to track automatically as you listen. No volume knob spinning required. No solution to this problem is perfect, but we’re quite happy with how this turned out. Let us know what you think.
Next on the list is a feature that will let you give feedback on shared stations. Now you can start with that great “Surf Music” station you discovered on a friend’s profile page and then tune it to your own tastes using thumbs up and down. Nothing special to do to get started, just click the thumb buttons as you normally would and we’ll take care of the rest.
We’ve also made some changes to make station creation easier. Ever wondered why when you try to create a station from Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, or even Liz Phair we ask you “Do you mean the artist or the song?”. As it happens there are songs with each of those names. Yes, there really is a song called Liz Phair. With our new release we’ll figure out the best answer to that question for you. We’re all about getting station creation down to just one click and this is a nice little step in that direction (don’t worry if you want to create a station from the song Frank Sinatra, you can still do that too — just click the “Hey! That’s not what I wanted” button as the Old Blue Eyes station starts up and we’ll take you back and let you select the song).
For those of you that were impacted by the recent IP blocking change we’ve restored access to the Pandora Backstage universe. Once again you’ll be able to access your profile and search for artist, album, and song recommendations. We know it’s not a substitute for the full version Pandora, but it’s a small token that many of you told us you wanted. We’re very happy to be able to give it back.
Finally we’ve updated things so you can use the “Move this song to another station” feature when you’re listening to shared stations and QuickMixes. This is another thing you asked for. We aim to please.
This is just the first set of changes we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks. While you’re helping us spread the word on SaveNetRadio, we’ll stay hard at work on making Pandora as good as it can possibly be. As always, thanks for listening and don’t hesitate to drop us a line to let us know what you’d like to see us tackle next.
Tom
CTO @ Pandora

Comments

  1. Raymond
    May 21, 2007 at 2:22pm
    Hello, Thanks for giving to the world such musical avenue of peace and togetherness. I wrote an article entitled: "In Search of Goodness" in order to counter all the negativities that we are bombarded with in the media. You will definitely be part of the list of organizations, people or individuals who, out of their selfless nature, make something useful for the world to enjoy and cherish. By the way, if one creates a station and later realized that this was not his actual intention and that this station doesn't play any music that fit his taste, how can he delete this station altogether? Please inform. Keep up the good work, Raymond
  2. snake
    May 21, 2007 at 5:31pm
    why can't i listson to the same record over again
  3. Eduardo
    May 29, 2007 at 3:06pm
    Pandora is just for american poeple? so forget it.... your company will be ruined in a year or maybe alittle bit more... or maybe google can buy you. i'm getting out of pandora....and i will probably not hear about your company anymore.
  4. osar
    May 31, 2007 at 12:58pm
    You had to block us? Maybe. But you did not before. You lost me forever.
  5. Steve
    June 03, 2007 at 12:01pm
    I used to hear the John Mayer song "Come Back To Bed (Live)", supposedly off the As Is album, almost once a day on my John Mayer radio station. Well I listen to this station every morning while I work and lately (the last 5 or 6 weeeks) I haven't heard this song. Recently, I decided to buy the song from iTunes. Well, you had to buy "the album" for $9.99. This seemed like too much to get one song that I liked, but I decided to get it because for what ever reason it wasn't getting played anymore on Pandora. As it turned out, the "album" that I had to buy, was one 15 minute song "Come Back To Bed (Live)", but it wasn't the same version that I was hearing on Pandora. Man...am I pissed!!!!!!!!!!! Can anyone explain?
  6. Reis
    June 04, 2007 at 4:59am
    This is an odd situation... If this service has been forbidden in europe, how come there be similar products in some countries? In Portugal there's a similar product (well, not genoma-oriented, but still you can chose what you want to listen), and it still works... (at least for now...) This is the kind of thing people don't really understand: they produce videoclips, they struggle to have their music on playlists on radio stations... and now they don't let people LISTEN to their musicians!??! I don't get it... Pandora should be considered as a radio, as a way to promote artists... I don't really get it...
  7. grant
    June 24, 2007 at 11:41pm
    well...I hope that the people controlling the movie / dvd music sales have alot to do with this...haha. ..Without the service of pandora, I wouldn't have payed again for some of my old tapes and records. Some of the old hair band stuff is still pretty hard to find, I'll always be looking though. Thanks for the excellent tunes, and I hope I helped out your pandora a bit! Cheers & Thanks Grant Morrison
  8. anxiety
    September 20, 2007 at 10:24am
    Dude, Just hook up with someone OverSeas and do a mirror of Pandora, call it Pandora Free...
  9. Geoff Missen
    November 15, 2007 at 4:56am
    Loved the Pandora music radio station, played what you wanted to hear. I think that hearing good musicians prompts you to purchase their works. Surely the dollar benefits from foreign purchases. I could get to like Chinese music!!!

Comments are closed.