3 Pandora (music service)


Pandora (music service)

Infobox Website
name = Pandora


caption = Screenshot of the new Pandora homepage.
url = http://www.pandora.com/
commercial = Yes
type = Internet radio
registration = Optional
owner = Pandora Media, Inc.
author = The Music Genome Project

Pandora is an automated music recommendation and Internet radio service created by the Music Genome Project. Users enter a song or artist that they enjoy, and the service responds by playing selections that are musically similar. Users provide feedback on the individual song choices — approval or disapproval — which Pandora takes into account for future selections.

While listening, users are offered the ability to buy the songs or albums at Amazon MP3, Amazon.com (for CDs), or iTunes Store. Over 400 different musical attributes (see List of Music Genome Project attributes) are considered when selecting the next song. These 400 attributes are combined into larger groups called focus traits. There are 2,000 focus traits. Examples of these are rhythm syncopation, key tonality, vocal harmonies and displayed instrumental proficiency.

The Pandora media player is based on OpenLaszlo, allowing for simple cross-platform portability; it plays through a browser. Pandora can be listened to through any Slim Devices' or Sonos [ [http://www.sonos.com/get_music/radio_services/pandora/ Sonos Multi-Room Music System] ] product(s). On July 11 2008, Pandora launched a mobile version of their software available on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch through the iTunes App Store. MSN Radio used Pandora up until June 18, 2008, which was launched two years before. [ [http://www.msrplans.com/MSN_Drops_Pandora.html Free online radio removed from MSN] ]

The service has two subscription plans: a free subscription supported by advertisements and a fee-based subscription without ads. There are also advertisements in "Pandora Mobile" for mobile phones and the "Pandora in The Home" computer appliance. On November 15 2007, the service introduced "Pandora Classical" [ [http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9821318-7.html Pandora adds classical, CNET News.com Tech news blog] ] , incorporating classical music from the baroque period to the contemporary period into its Music Genome Project.

Recent copyright developments

Because of recent Copyright Royalty Board rulings that increase fees and ask for licensing guarantees, the Pandora service is no longer available in countries other than the United States. [cite news
title = Breaking Pandora's Heart...
url = http://blog.pandora.com/pandora/archives/2007/05/breaking_pandor.html
publisher = Pandora Blog
date = 2007-05-03
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] [cite news
title = Canada
url = http://blog.pandora.com/pandora/archives/2007/05/canada.html
publisher = Pandora Blog
date = 2007-05-14
accessdate = 2007-05-15
] These rulings affect all USA based Internet-based radio stations (terrestrial radio is not affected).

An email was sent out to all European listeners explaining that Euro-IP addresses would be barred from that moment on.

As of July 2008, Pandora is in talks with major music labels regarding royalty issues to allow a return to the European market.Costs remain a concern because of European royalty standards and a low level of demand for paid music services. [cite news
title = Pandora UK closes after royalties demands
url = http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/08/pandora_uk_closes/
publisher = The Register
date = 2008-01-08
accessdate = 2008-01-08
]

In 2007, an obscure federal panel agreed with a SoundExchange request and ordered a doubling of the per-song performance royalty that Web radio stations pay to performers and record companies. Under this scheme, internet radio would pay double the royalty as satellite radio. In 2008, the founder of Pandora stated that the company may be on the verge of collapse. [ Peter Whoriskey, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081503367.html?hpid=topnews "Giant of Internet Radio Nears Its 'Last Stand'",] The Washington Post, August 16, 2008 ]

As of September 30, 2008 a bill was passed by the House and Senate that would allow sites like Pandora to continue negotiations with SoundExchange into next year.

Using and tuning

Choosing one artist results in all that artist's catalogued styles being used as a starting point, which may include those which may not be considered representative. Selecting representative tracks by the artist may give results closer to what was intended.

Each track played can be responded to in four ways:
* Thumbs up - Play more like this.
* No response - No change in preference.
* Thumbs down - Do not play this track again, play fewer that are similar. Also skips if any skips are left.
** A second negative response to the same artist will ban that artist from the selected playlist unless that artist has been manually added to the playlist or has received at least one positive vote.
*In addition, a menu is provided with the choices: Don't play this song for a month, Why was this song selected?, Move song to another station, Bookmark, and Buy.

Limitations

The content licensing imposes a number of restrictions:
* Pandora is currently only licensed to provide music to users in the United States. Initially this was enforced by requiring a US ZIP code at registration but since May 3, 2007 Pandora has checked the users' IP address.
* Rewind or repeat is not possible.
* Only six skips per hour are allowed, including those resulting from a thumbs down response. Previously, if at least two music stations had been created, switching from the current playing station to a different one and back allowed skipping past the built-in limitation. However, this has been changed so that when the user switches back, the station will still be playing the same song. However, one can still change the song through refreshing the player (provided it is not in mini mode, though some players such as Firefox will provide a URL bar which can be used for refreshing the player). Additionally, the songs continue playing regardless of whether the station is being listened to. If one waits long enough before returning to that station, the song will have played entirely and will move to the next song.
* Play of a single artist is limited. Pandora provides similar music, not a play-on-demand service.
*Banner ads unless ad blockers are used as well as Flash blockers. However, some ads are off-angle and will leave a white or black area in that spot. Ads can also be removed more cleanly by using the mini player. However, ads will still interrupt the station occasionally, putting an ad over the entire player. Also, smaller ads can be put in the songs played list. Ads can be removed through the paid service.
*Such things as genre stations and about the song cannot be accessed from the mini player.
* Pocket PCs using Flash 7 for Windows Mobile cannot use the Pandora tuner.
*Users are unable to rate genre or albums, nor are they able to ban albums, genres, or artists. A user may "ban" an artist by giving a thumbs down to two of that artist's songs, provided the artist was not used to create the station or added to the station. Artists can be added to the station in the same way songs are.
**There are premade genre stations that are editable after you rate one song.

Other features

*Pandora Podcast, a musicology show updated every few weeks in the form of a podcast. It is hosted by Kevin Seal of the band Griddle. Each show is based around a specific music topic, and features guest musicians and Pandora experts who normally analyze the music featured on the Pandora website. [ [http://blog.pandora.com/podcast/ Pandora Presents… the Musicology Show] ]
*A Facebook application developed to allow users to put their Pandora radio stations on their Facebook profiles. [ [http://www.pandora.com/static/pandora_facebook.html Pandora Internet Radio] ]

Extensions

A few hacks for Pandora have been created to enhance Pandora's functionality and ease of use. For example:
* Wrappers for the Pandora Tuner
** These applications isolate the Pandora tuner into its own separate window allowing the user to use the Pandora service without keeping a browser open at all times.
*** Windows: [http://openpandora.googlepages.com/ OpenPandora] , [http://www.cfdan.com/posts/Wrapper_Application_For_Pandora_Running_In_Task_Tray.cfm Pandora's Box] , [http://www.ksoftware.net/pandorabrowse/ Pandora Browse] Note: Pandora has recently introduced a beta of their own desktop application that serves the same function as the various wrapper programs. This application (http://www.pandora.com/desktop) uses Adobe AIR to move the web-based application to the desktop.
*** Mac OS X: [http://www.intrarts.com/software.html PandoraMan] , [http://code.google.com/p/pandoraboy/ PandoraBoy] , [http://www.bitcartel.com/pandorajam/ PandoraJam]
* [http://openpandora.googlepages.com/ OpenPandora]
** OpenPandora is also a wrapper, but adds several additional ways to control the Pandora tuner like multimedia keyboard and the Wii Remote. OpenPandora also adds a miniplayer and integration with Last.fm, Live Messenger, Skype and Xfire. OpenPandora is open source and licensed under GNU General Public License.
* [http://forums.hak5.org/index.php/board,21.0.html Pandora's Jar]
** Pandora's Jar also acts as a wrapper for the Pandora tuner, but includes much more functionality alongside. Pandora's Jar runs in a browser as well and provides integration into Last.fm, as well as CDDB. Pandora's Jar's main attraction and feature is the ability to extract the music files you are listening to in the tuner at the time. The latest version was rumored, by a few biased peopleWho|date=October 2008, to contain a trojan - This has been proven to not be true by extensive community testing of the actual filesFact|date=October 2008. Downloading from a remote source, not supported by the author, could be cause for suspicion of a trojan.
* [http://pandorafm.real-ity.com PandoraFM]
** PandoraFM allows listeners of Pandora custom radio to record their listening habits to their Last.fm profiles. It also allows users to tag tracks in order to build radio stations within Last.fm's interface. Within PandoraFM's interface it displays Pandora's "genome description" of the track, the Last.fm biography of the artist, and links to photos, videos, groups and other stations that are relevant to what is being listened to.
* [http://www.foxytunes.com/ FoxyTunes]
** FoxyTunes is a Firefox extension that displays currently playing Pandora song information on browser status-bar, along with volume controls and a button that finds and raises the Pandora player window or tab. The extension also supports the PandoraFM site and many additional media players and music services
* Connection through a proxy server
** Accessing Pandora through a proxy server allows users to mask their IP with an IP that appears to reside in the US. See Proxy server

ee also

* Live365
* iLike
* Last.fm
* List of Internet stations
* List of Music Genome Project attributes
* List of online music databases
* MeeMix
* Music Genome Project
* Musicovery
* Slacker
* Stitcher Radio

References

External links

* [http://www.pandora.com Pandora web site]
** [http://blog.pandora.com/faq/ Pandora FAQ]
* [http://www.folksonomy.org/2007/05/interview_w_pandora/ Interview with Tim Westergren] The co-founder of Pandora.
* [http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/101/pandora.html Pandora featured in Fast Company]
* [http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/digitalmedia/2006/08/17/inside-pandora-web-radio.html?page=1 Inside Pandora: Web Radio That Listens to You (O'Reilly Digital Media article)]
* [http://www.theflux.tv/index.php?/Podcast_Player/latest-podcast-the-low-down-on-pandora/ The Flux podcast interview with Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora]
* [http://www.wnbc.com/technology/11322780/detail.html Pandora feature on WNBC-TV]
* [http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2007/05/03/closing-pandoras-box-the-end-of-internet-radio/ Closing Pandora's Box: The End of Internet Radio? ] - May 3, 2007 interview with Tim Westergren
* [http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9821318-7.html Pandora adds classical]
* [http://uk.intruders.tv/The-story-of-Pandora-so-far-from-founder-Tim-Westergren_a275.html Interview with Tim Westergren about the Music Genome Project and Pandora] video
* [http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Melodeo-Inc-905442.html Dave Dederer & nuTsie Challenge Pandora]


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