We’ve been quietly rolling out a number of enhancements to Pandora.com the last few weeks and I thought I’d tell you a bit about them.
The biggest of the bunch is the launch of lyrics! This has been one of the most requested features for Pandora for as long as I can remember and the trick for us has always been to find a great provider of legal, fully licensed lyrics to share with you. Happy to say that we’ve found a great partner in Gracenote and last week we launched the first iteration of our lyric integration. To see the lyrics for the song you’re currently listening to just pull up the “about this music” panel underneath the player and select the lyrics tab. We’ll show you the first four lines of the song on the home page and you can click through to a second window that will show you the complete lyrics for the songs. Find a song that moves you? Click the share button to send them to a friend.
We’ve also been fiddling with the interface for adding more variety to your stations. Variety is a tricky subject when it comes to radio. We never want you to get bored with your stations, but a certain amount of repetition is welcome and expected. We’re constantly tweaking the core algorithm to impact station variety and we’re not done in that dimension. On the other hand, we’ve always had tools that allow you to expand the musical scope of a station by adding more song or artist “seeds” — but that interface has been largely hidden and only used by a small minority of our listeners. In a change that rolled out a few weeks ago we’ve added a “Add variety…” button to the player itself so that it’s easier to find and access. We’ve also updated the Add Variety panel to prompt you with a few ideas about artists you might want to add when you run out of your own ideas.
We also recently launched a “station gift” feature — this is your chance to make a kind of Pandora “mix tape” for a friend. Just visit www.pandora.com/station_gift, pick some favorite artists or songs, choose a design, and we’ll take care of the rest. Think of it as a musical e-card from Pandora.
One last tidbit you may have noticed is that we now support “bulk” purchase through both iTunes and Amazon MP3. Instead of buying songs one at a time, you can now use your Pandora bookmark list as a starting point for buying a whole bunch of music with just a single click. Click the “Buy All” button on your profile page to get started (and don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of chances to review your song selections before the purchase actually goes through).
We’ve had a lot of fun building these new features and we hope you enjoy using them. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback and ideas in the comments.

Comments

  1. PAULA
    April 02, 2009 at 2:26pm
    Hello everyone!! First thing i do when i getto work is listen to Pandora... first thing i do when i get home is listen to Pandora but louder!!!!! Im leaving the states in less than a month and im going back to Colombia.... i think i'm not gonna be able to make it without Pandora........... Please let me know if there is any sliht chance of having it in my country. thank you!!!! LOOOVE PANDORA Paula
    Reply
  2. Alee – Listener Advocate
    April 02, 2009 at 5:21pm
    Thanks everyone for the wonderful feedback about the new features. Glad to hear you're enjoying them! As far as being available outside the US, there's unfortunately no ETA on that. At this point, we still have to secure reasonable royalty rates on the US. At Pandora, we're all about tackling things one at a time. Look at the steps we've made in the last couple months: support for tons of WinMo phones, Blackberry phones, gift stations, and LYRICS, not to mention our analysis division adding new genres like Celtic and Hawaiian...I mean, shoot...it's really quite a lot in the positive growth department. Which is all to say if we haven't got it covered yet, just wait and see. Onward and upward! take care, Alee
    Reply
  3. jerry
    April 03, 2009 at 7:18am
    I really like Pandora. It is a great. Just a comment, I've noticed lately that the album cover shown does not match the artist or song being played. Just an observation.
    Reply
  4. Dana
    April 03, 2009 at 10:21am
    Tom, the addition of lyrics is *so* wonderful! As a person who grew up with hearing loss in the middle to high frequencies, I rarely had a clue what songs were about even though I could really enjoy the music. Now I can make a connection between the sound of the music and the meaning of the song, thanks to the provision of the lyrics, which makes the listening experience much more powerful. Thanks so much, Pandora, for finally providing the lyrics!
    Reply
  5. Aaron
    April 03, 2009 at 3:02pm
    I listen all day at work. I also listen at home and I have selected bands like Beasties and Run DMC, which are great to dance around the house to with my 4 year old. Your site keeps me going at work all day much more effectively than coffee, but Run DMC and Beasties and my other bands led to Public Enemy, which I like, but I sure don't want my 4 year old repeating some of their more interesting lyrics, or my boss popping in while Rage is screaming "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me". Is there a Tipper Gore button that I could push when I need to clean up my act. I hate to use the "C" word, but if I could set some level of censorship for my station that would be great. Thanks, Aaron
    Reply
  6. Alee – Listener Advocate
    April 03, 2009 at 3:10pm
    @Aaron--To block explicit content from your stations, simply use our explicit lyrics filter! Here's how it works, from the FAQ: Click the blue "account" link in the upper right of the page, to the right of the minor's account name. (In certain views of the Pandora Tuner, you must first click the "Account" button which will appear along the top edge of the Pandora Tuner, then select "Edit Your Account.") At the bottom of the "Your account settings" screen, to the right of the "Allow explicit content?" text, click "edit." Then click the "NO. Do not allow explicit content" button. That should do it! Cheers, Alee
    Reply
  7. Abbott
    April 03, 2009 at 8:25pm
    I've really enjoyed the new lyrics feature. Has really enhanced the enjoyment of listening and has helped me figure out the lyrics on a couple of songs. Hope you keep expanding the lyrics library.
    Reply
  8. Buns and Chou Chou
    April 04, 2009 at 7:28am
    This is great. Keep up the good work. This has absolutely transformed music listening and we listen to Pandora every day!
    Reply
  9. JB
    April 05, 2009 at 10:19am
    You guys are awesome. The best on the net...Thank you
    Reply
  10. tk
    April 06, 2009 at 1:52pm
    I started listening at work after I was told that the "other" internet station was not good for our computers. I miss being able to choose the exact songs that I like to hear and then listening to them on my "station." That is not to say that I haven't heard good music that I have never heard of, I am just going through a lot more that I don't like to get to the ones that I do like-
    Reply

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