I’m in love with Pandora

By Steve Outing

I can’t stand commercial FM radio stations. Between the boring playlists, the DJs who talk too much, the incessant commercials, and the lack of a way to know what song or artist is currently playing … yuck. Which is why I’m a satellite-radio customer (Sirius, but not because of Howard Stern). But even though Sirius is oh-so-much-better than FM radio, it’s far from perfect. I find that I flip back and forth between only two stations; the rest go to waste. (Still, I find it worth the money to avoid the commercials. I really despise commercials; it’s been that way ever since I bought a TiVo and discovered I didn’t have to put up with them any longer.)

So, anyway, thanks to Steffen, I just tried out Pandora. And I’m in love with it. Wow! This is what radio should be. The service (free with commercials — though I’ve yet to hear any — or $36 a year ad-free) allows you to create your own radio stations (up to 100). Create a new station; put in a song you really like; then Pandora creates a radio station that plays songs similar to it. You can add more songs to tweak the station’s music selections, and give a thumbs-up or -down to songs as they play.

Pandora radio
Here’s the best part: You can skip a song if you don’t like it (but only so many an hour; that’s a licensing restriction forced on Pandora by the music industry). Still, I can’t do that with Sirius. And my custom-made Pandora stations are so much more satisfying than what Sirius offers, since I guide the selection.

Of course, you can’t yet get Pandora on your car radio. But when that’s eventually possible, satellite-radio companies will have some tough competition. As it is, I’m beginning to question the value of Sirius, since (pre-Pandora) I listened to it more on my PC than in the car. My PC is now tuned to Pandora and probably will stay there. (And next on my wish list: a Squeezebox to get Pandora radio stations on my home stereo.)

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

3 Responses to "I’m in love with Pandora"

  1. bree
    bree 11 years ago .Reply

    I love Pandora too! I’ve tried a number of streaming radio services, but this is the first one I’ve stuck with. I love that I can skip the songs I really hate, and that I can switch musical directions quickly by creating a new “station.” It’s introduced me to some really great new music and taken me in directions I wouldn’t have expected.

    I do find, though, that if I’m on one station too long the selections become less relevant to my taste.

  2. Neil Dodds
    Neil Dodds 11 years ago .Reply

    I’ve noticed that too. But in all, it’s a great service (I used the trial edition for a while).

  3. Andrew Nachison
    Andrew Nachison 11 years ago .Reply

    I’ve been using it for a couple of months, and yes, it is incredible on so many levels – the experience, the simplicity of the interface, the discovery methadology.

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