Quite by chance I found pandora.com, a site offering to create a personal radio station for me. I am always a little skeptical about freebies but this had a very strong appeal and I gave it a go. Well, I am now completely sold on this site and have hardly touched my “old hat” internet radio sat in the corner. I will tell you a little about the site pandora.com and why I think it is a winner.
The site is incredibly easy to use, is flash based and loads quickly and cleanly. The music is streamed at 128 kbps so you will definitely need a fast broadband connection to enjoy the site properly. You are greeted with a very simple interface that even I found simple to use. One click on the “Create a new station” button presents you with a text input box asking for a choice of either song or artist. Once your choice is entered the site then creates a radio station for you. It will match similar types of song or artist to your choice and play them accordingly. I found it to be remarkably accurate to my musical tastes and rarely turn it off – in fact it is playing right now.
The songs and artists are chosen using details from the Music Genome Project and it works very well as a free internet radio format. After a short while you are asked to register (free) to continue listening to your music choices. I was disappointed to see that this feature is currently only available to US residents but managed to circumvent this problem by Googling a US Zip code and entering it on the registration form. The site now works perfectly with no cnnection or streaming problems at all.
As each song plays you are shown a thumbnail of the album that the song came from along with options to give the song a thumbs up or down, bookmark the song and also purchase the song/album from Amazon or itunes. There are various other options available to users. These include the facility to share a song or station with a friend, find shared stations and use pandora with Skype. I have not explored the Skype option as yet.
To finish, I have to say I am very impressed with pandora.com and will continue to use the site as long as it is available. If you like a few tunes while you work, you could do a lot worse than visiting pandora.com