Why Pandora.com rocks

Editors note: It’s not all sunflowers and “Kumbaya” at Texxors.com. Last week Tara wrote an article on the Pandora internet music service that some of our other editors disagreed with. In the interest of equal time, here are their thoughts on why Pandora rocks.

If Texxors.com seems schizophrenic at times, it’s because we’ve got several different author’s writing for the site. As you might expect, these authors don’t always agree on the best products or approaches. You saw this a little bit in Jeff and Liz’s different takes on how to stay virus free online and you’re going to see it again in this response to Tara’s recent article on Pandora.com. In the interest of presenting multiple opinions and giving our readers as much information as possible, these are the reasons I and a few others affiliated with the site think that Pandora rocks.

1. It’s free

Come on, what more can you say. Yahoo!’s LAUNCHcast service cuts you off at 3,000 songs a month. That may sound like a lot, but if you assume 3 minutes a song for a 30 day month that equates to an average of only 5 hours of music per day (or 7 hours a day if you only listen during the week). When you consider that this includes the songs you skip through, even if you only listen at work that’s not going to cut it.

2. Variety/More exposure to new music

Having used both services, I can confidently say Pandora has more variety. Yahoo!’s suggestion algorithm may play songs I like, but I’ve heard them a million times before. Pandora’s system gives me songs I like that I’ve never heard before. To me, the second is more valuable.

3. Simple registration

You can’t beat how easy it is to register for Pandora. Just a six field form. Seems like a minor issue, but it’s indicative of their approach. Good music; easily.

4. Their innovation and love of music

Yahoo! is Yahoo!. They’ve got their hands in everything and are trying to offer as many services as possible. Pandora is just about the music. The music genome project (Wikipedia entry) was started by people who love music; it later evolved into a music service. This grounding in a love of music makes me feel much more secure that I am getting valid recommendations for music that I might like than a service that is just a subsidiary of a huge company with lots of other interests.

Personally, I chose to drop my LAUNCHcast subscription and use Pandora early last year. The reasons above had a lot to do with that decision and in talking to others I know that they are important to them as well.

Tara raises two valid points in her article. First, that the limited number of skips per hour is frustrating. I doubt this is likely to change given Tom’s response. However, since the skips aren’t cumulative across stations there is a simple solution to this problem: set up multiple stations. Once you max out the skips on one station, switch to another one and you will be able to skip through songs again. If you’ve maxed out skips on one station but want to keep listening to similar music, just create a station with another artist from that genre. For example, reached the skip limit on your Hall and Oats station? Create a Huey Lewis and the News station to get similar music and have more skips available.

Second, I often use Firefox to listen to Pandora 5 or 6 hours straight a day. While Pandora’s CTO acknowledged an issue with a memory leak in his comment, I have never run into a problem with this. In my experience it’s not an issue.

Bottom line – Pandora rocks.

Disagree with this article? Maybe you’d feel more at home here.

Why Pandora.com rocks
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (96% score)

3 Responses to Why Pandora.com rocks

  1. Anonymous says:

    I find it interesting that exactly two years after the original post, and the memory leak in firefox (and also in chrome) has still not been fixed. I don’t know if it’s a flash problem or what, but it is certainly a problem. I love Pandora, especially on my Iphone, but when I’m listening at work I have to dedicate a spare machine to it and refresh the page at least once a day. Listening with IE is unacceptable because they play a system beep between every song – very annoying (anyone know how to turn that off in IE7?)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if it’s a flash problem or what, but it is certainly a problem. I love Pandora, especially on my Iphone, but when I’m listening at work I have to dedicate a spare machine to it and refresh the page at least once a day.
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