Pandora, a music lovers treat

This post is more than 2 years old.

I'm probably the last one to know about this (and when I read about this morning, I remember someone showing it to me earlier), but if you like online music radio, you should consider Pandora. It is a free service that builds stations built around your tastes.

What does that mean? I created my first station by entering Public Enemy. Pandora recognized this as old school rap and began to play music in the same theme. I then tried the Charlatans UK and Depeche Mode. In both cases Pandora was pretty dang good, almost scarily good, at finding music that was similar in nature. At the same time, it is playing a lot of good music from bands I've never heard of.

For each track, you can ask Pandora to tell you why it was recommended, as well as how to purchase the track.

I did run into two small problems. The first is that the Flash-based music player would stop every now and then when Firefox loaded another page in other tabs or windows. I just opened up Pandora in the Devil's Browser and that solved that. The next problem is that it seemingly had no idea who Lush was. Maybe it just doesn't get the shoegazer genre, but I'm going to try a few alternatives to see if it can figure it out.

Have I said before how much I hate corporate radio? Or to be fair, over the air radio. XM and Sirius seem pretty cool. Maybe if - lord forbid - radio stations actually played music ... no - I'm going to stop now. This will not be another rant.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Jeremy Lund posted on 5/26/2006 at 11:40 PM

I love Pandora! I have been using it for six months now, and it has only gotten better. Early on, I would get the same song two or three times per day. Now, it gives a really good variety of music. In fact, I'm listening to it right now ("You're all I've got tonight" by the Cars).

I haven't had any problems with it in Firefox 1.5.

Comment 2 by Damon Gentry posted on 5/26/2006 at 11:42 PM

Dude! That is some schweeeet shiznit! Thanks for the tip!

Comment 3 by Matt Williams posted on 5/27/2006 at 12:36 AM

Great, something else to distract me from real work. You bloggers are going to get me fired...

Comment 4 by Josh posted on 5/27/2006 at 2:14 AM

>Maybe if - lord forbid - radio stations actually played music

On a related note, I'd like the cable channel named *Music Television* to actually play music videos.

Comment 5 by Edward T posted on 5/27/2006 at 5:20 PM

Wow - GREAT SITE! Thanks for the tip!

Comment 6 by Scott P posted on 5/27/2006 at 8:59 PM

Did you find this part, they have RSS feeds for your stations and a few other things:

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/28/2006 at 5:39 AM

I had no idea. Sweet.

Comment 8 by Lucas Sherwood posted on 5/29/2006 at 1:31 AM

Hey Ray, have you checked out <a href="">Last.FM</a> they have somthing similar but in addition to just typing in a few artists and getting a radio station, you can set it up to track everything that you play and give you a much better radio station based on what you play often etc... (oh an a mate of mine Matt works there...)

Comment 9 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/29/2006 at 1:37 AM

I did. I thought it was just a recommendation service though? I mean not that thats bad by itself, but I didn't think it played music for you. I like Pandora as it just streams the music and I don't have to think about it.

Comment 10 by Steve Collins posted on 5/29/2006 at 5:17 AM

Like Lucas says,! The system plugin works with iTunes as you listen to build knowledge of what you like in order to make its recommendations better. In top of that, the player will find "stations" for you based on a combination of your known listening preferences and keywords, so you might enter "Depech Mode" for example, and you'll get other similar music, as well as a wealth of stuff you might not have thought of. You can also link to other listeners (your "neighbors") based on listening preferences. Super sweet.

Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/30/2006 at 6:05 PM

Wow. I got to say. This is exactly why I used to love radion. So far this morning I've heard two new artists that I absolutely love and never would have heard of. In case you are curious, Jane Jensen and Dot Allison.

Comment 12 by Kebab Dylan posted on 9/1/2006 at 12:18 AM

I second Greate site if you are a listener and also if you are a musician...

Comment 13 by Daryl James posted on 12/10/2008 at 7:08 AM

This has to be one of my favorite sites on the internet. Nothing compares.