Image via CrunchBaseOne of the first tabs I open on my browser is almost always Pandora. If I'm going to be working on the computer for awhile, I want to have some tunes playing in the background. Now, I have a ton of music loaded into my iTunes, so why would I turn to an application where I would be hearing ads every now and then? Perhaps, it's because I don't quite have my iTunes organized well enough, but often, I'd rather listen to a variety of music and I just don't have enough of a mix in my personal collection. Plus, I'm always eager to discover new artists, yet ones that have a sound similar to what I like.
Often times, I'll create a station of an artist that I just heard on the radio or was recently recommended to me (i.e Ray LaMontagne). Pandora's bread and butter algorithms do a great job of matching artists and songs with the station that I create. If I don't like a song, I'll give it a thumbs down (sorry, John Mayer), and if I want to hear more like it, a thumbs up (yes to Phoenix!). Over the years, I've gathered many stations, and I've begun labeling them for moods (excited), situations (working), or environments (holiday party). I also like the ability to quickly identify a genre and dive into it for an hour. Last night, we tested out the Flamenco station while cleaning out a bedroom. I've been a radio listener for much of my life as well, so my love for this application may not be surprising in the end. However, it's gotten to the point where I'm actually considering plunking down the $36/year for an upgrade to Pandora One. No ads, higher quality, and more skips sure are tempting features.
Pandora comes in a wide range of platforms including the browser edition, apps on the iPhone/iPad, as well as in the Android market. If you're not one of the 60 million already with an account, I'd suggest giving it a try.