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. sam
    May 12, 2007 at 1:15am
    The fact the Pandora has been prohibted for people ide the U.S out has been one of the worst news for many of the people i know ! Are there any concrete estimates in time on when people outside the U.S. can actually be able to listen to the beloved "Pandora" ? Can people outside the U.S Help somehow to make it happen?
  2. BernhardSmily
    May 12, 2007 at 1:27am
    I have been trying to access you but can't as I am in the UK when will there be an international access/zip code?? BernhardSmily
  3. ailsa
    May 12, 2007 at 3:01pm
    so sad, still grieving, can access my data but no music
  4. Adam
    May 12, 2007 at 3:13pm
    I'm from Poland. Do I have to say anything else? Give me back my music, please!
  5. Mike Hammond
    May 12, 2007 at 10:13pm
    Pandora being forced to blocked access to users outside of the US, which effects me directly as I live in New Zealand, is yet another short sited, idiotic act by those in charge of music licenses. On numerous occasions, I have discovered music and artists that would've otherwise remained unknown to me. Pandora introduced me to these artists, I bought their albums. Without this resource, my purchase of music will inevitably decrease. Surely those in charge of music licensing would want to encourage music sales? Clearly they have no idea what a brilliant marketing tool Pandora was to users. The music industry has a lot of catching up to do if they want to prevent illegal downloads of music and utilize the internet to it's full potential in order to sell albums. Preventing Pandora from providing a service, which is practically free advertising for artists, is not only absurd, it's going to nurture and encourage the very behavior the music industry is trying to prevent. I look forward to being able to access this most fantastic resource in, what will hopefully be, the not so distant future. Best of luck to the team at Pandora.
  6. Jeffool
    May 12, 2007 at 11:31pm
    My heart continues to go out to my music loving brothers and sisters who can't access Pandora, but I just wanted to chime in and say thanks for the tune-ups, particularly that "move this song to another station" bit on others' stations. That's going to be a big help for me. In fact, I'm someone who asked for it. :D
  7. MattC
    May 13, 2007 at 3:43am
    keep up the fight, theres plenty of us listening to pandora outside of the states, best idea i have come across in ages. look forward, to you making a come back. does anyone know of any other similar music providers streaming to australia?
  8. Alex
    May 13, 2007 at 8:07am
    I just heard the same song two times in a row. The first was the normal version of the song, the second was the live version of the same song. You should include a simple line of code to prevent these two songs from playing back to back (or even within a certain number of songs from each other).
  9. blah
    May 14, 2007 at 9:25am
    don't tell me i can't even listen to the song EXCERPTS ! that would be insane
  10. dt
    May 14, 2007 at 11:04am
    I LIKE THIS PLACE

Comments are closed.