Two comments we get now and again here at Pandora headquarters are these:
1. My station is too boring; it doesn’t play enough variety
2. My station is too varied; it plays too many different styles
I am here to tell you that these issues are fairly easy to remedy.
1. For more variety on your stations, add more music!
Click on either ‘Guide Us’ [for the station you’re currently listening to] or on the triangle next to the station name in the left-hand menu [for any station, any time] and choose to ‘Add more music.’
2. For more tightly controlled stations that don’t stray too much, don’t add too many artists, songs, or thumbs ups; every time you add more music your station reaches out in another direction. Me, I like that. You, you may not.
Personally, I’ve got both kinds of stations. Some are vanilla and some are seasoned beyond recognition. The “purer” stations have hardly any station seeds and only a few, if any, thumbs ups. On these “pure” stations I hear some of the same songs repeated over a few days of listening, and I get a more controlled station that actually sticks to a specific style of music. My wildest station, and my favorite, Radio Lucia, has maybe sixty seeds and oodles of individual thumb opinions. It represents decades of musical styles, and many many hours of listening and tinkering on my part. I get lots of surprises. I rarely hear the same song twice, even with weeks of listening.

Adding more music to your station is powerful. You can send your station off in a completely different direction with just a few new songs or artists. Remember, you’re not just saying: I like this song/artist so please play this more often. You’re also saying: play more songs in this style.
As it turns out, you may or may not want to hear more of that style. Maybe you like that artist because it reminds you of skipping classes in high school. (Def Leppard, in my case) Maybe your Dad used to play the artist’s records non-stop while you were growing up. (Oscar Peterson) Maybe their songs remind you of road trips with friends. (Holly Cole) Perhaps someone once sang the song to you as a lullaby? (‘Dear Prudence’ by The Beatles)
There’s all kinds of nostalgic and unique reasons for liking a song or an artist…but that may not mean that you want a whole slew of that style of music to play on your beloved and carefully crafted station! I get teased by our engineers for having such a trigger finger with feedback on my stations. I’m learning to sit still and not compulsively give my opinions to Pandora. I sit on my hands.
But remember, you can always change your station feedback and definition. Review and/or edit your station by going to the ‘Edit this station’ option for any station you built. (again, under the triangle next to your station name in the left menu) From there you can review the artists/songs you’ve added to the station as seeds and review the songs you marked as ‘liked’ and ‘disliked’. Clicking ‘remove’ next to one of these will set the feedback for it back to neutral.
You can also scroll back to rate past songs at any time, even after they’re done playing (as long as you haven’t closed the window yet). If you can still see them, you can still rate them.
Happy tuning!
cheers, Lucia
written while listening to:
Dave Brubeck Radio
(one of my few completely “pure” stations…this one requires no tinkering…just let it play.)


  1. Thomas
    March 24, 2009 at 10:58am
    you've got the wrong album art for robin thicke's magic cd... It's showing up as will smith's latest lp. I posted here because there's not a feedback link anymore.
  2. Jay
    February 15, 2010 at 2:36pm
    I used "add variety" to add love songs to one of my stations for valentines day, now I want to restore the station to original glory. Is there a way to do this without deleting it and having to start from scratch?
  3. Scott Snowden
    July 14, 2012 at 8:57am
    I love Pandora. I listen all of the time, I'm too cheap to pay the $4.00 a month to get rid of those commercials. Is there a way to put different commercials on every so often? I have been listening to the same three for a month now. Thanks, Scott
  4. Mina
    July 26, 2012 at 10:57am
    My only problem with Pandora is the commercials and the amount of skips you can do before they stop you from skipping. I know that you have to do this because it's part of the lisence. But can we do A LOT less commercials, and a more skipping allowed?
  5. Brice
    August 02, 2012 at 10:27am
    Less is more is a horrible concept when it comes to liking music.
  6. John
    August 10, 2012 at 3:05pm
    Quick feedback for Pandora dept. in charge of targeted marketing... I've been listening to a "Bach" station this afternoon. Very soothing tunes that allow me to relax and get some work done. And then, at an increased volume comes blaring an ad for GUITAR CENTER MEGA SALE!!! I'm fine to listen to ads in exchange for music, but: 1. At a minimum don't increase the volume so much. 2. Know your audience - someone listening to low key classical music is likely not a GUITAR CENTER MEGA SALE sort of person.
  7. Seth
    December 13, 2012 at 6:25pm
    What Ive learned, like Lucia, about making a station is that once you start getting multiple songs in a row that you like, its time to not thumbs up or down anymore. :) What always ended up happening was I would start thumbing up every song that came up, and the station would start focusing on a certain common theme in the songs, and change to be too specific. An example was with an instrumental-type station I was building, and suddenly in the midst of the techno-pop sea there was a very well played violin piece, I thumbed that up and then all subsequent songs started to include violins! So like Lucia said, once you have a good station, just leave it to its business and let it choose. :D

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