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. Po
    May 14, 2007 at 12:06pm
    Pueden venir a Tijuana Mexico a instalarse, aqui no hay ley...
  2. minijonb
    May 14, 2007 at 12:41pm
    The station creation change was a bad move on your part. This weekend, I wanted to add the song "Crazy Town" by Velocity Girl. Your new change always thought I wanted the band Crazy Town. No... that's not what I wanted. It was a pain to fix. I never minded the extra step to ensure I got exactlly what I wanted. I hope I never want to load up the song called "Courtney Love" ... Seriously, you made a big mistake. Please change it back. Thanks.
  3. Duncan
    May 14, 2007 at 3:57pm
    Well I'm from canada, and I must say that I will be sad to not have pandora to listen to anymore! But, I wish the best for pandora, and I hope one day music will one day be about the music, and not the profit. I look forward to seeing you guys progress, and thank you for the oppurtunity to explore many other bands that I had not known of!
  4. avid listener
    May 14, 2007 at 4:02pm
    i just got a notification that users outside of the states can't access Pandora as of May 16th. soooo sad. I listen every day while at work and I've discovered so many new artists. Keep up the fight and the good work!
  5. Vee
    May 14, 2007 at 5:22pm
    Wow I'm really going to miss listening to Pandora. Most of all, I'm going to miss being introduced to new artists and different sounds that would have otherwise remained undiscovered. I have bought at least 6 new CDs worth of music I fell in love with on Pandora in the last 2 months so I guess I'll have something to listen to but it won't be the same. Thanks to everyone at Pandora for opening my ears and my heart to new things! I'll miss my crazy gospel on lazy Sunday mornings, Spanish love songs while I'm cooking Mexican food, and the entire station I call "lesbians with guitars" - that one drives my boyfriend crazy! Please keep trying to find a way around this rule so we can keep listening and learning...
  6. Technic
    May 14, 2007 at 8:12pm
    Hi, Your site is great. Regards, Jeorge S
  7. alan jones
    May 15, 2007 at 10:21am
    I'm a fan of bluegrass music as well as a musician. Much of what I listen to up here in Canada is bluegrass performed by Americans. It's not an easy market anyway for bluegrass and most performers (except for those at the very top) rely on selling thier own cds at festivals on on thier websites. I buy thier music and have been introduced to much of it on Pandora. I will really miss it.
  8. Jennifer
    May 16, 2007 at 9:10pm
    Until we can have Pandora back in Canada, there are a lot of great radio stations available worldwide. I especially like Radio Scotland's Iain Anderson. I know it isn't the same, but it's something. What a shame, though. I wrote half a novel listening to Pandora. God knows what the second half will be like. Sigh...
  9. Jennifer
    May 16, 2007 at 9:13pm
    Technic, have you tried http://www.hot.ee/bluegrassradio/ I know it's an American site, but perhaps... Good luck. Jennifer
  10. Merle
    May 20, 2007 at 10:20am
    Well it was great while it lasted. I got most of my friends hooked to Pandora and I was great for listening at work. It's been only a few days since the block but, I miss it. How crazy are the bureaucrats that draw a line to music on the airwaves, and why pick on the worthwhile. They obviously have nothing better to waste your tax dollars on at the moment

Comments are closed.