Gone are the days that what you listened to was based on a popular radio station or whatever was rocking in your Walkman or now iPod. Technology has permitted an array of choices in which not only can you download music online, you can now make sure you’re only listening to your favourite tunes. Welcome to the Pandora experience.

What is Pandora?

Pandora is a personalized Internet radio station that lets you search artists, song titles and discover new music along with music that you already love.  A Pandora station is a musical stream represented by one or more song, artist or composers of your choosing. Pandora uses in depth musical analysis, reflected in a study called The Music Genome Project, to create an automated recommendation service for users. You can have up to 100 Pandora stations in your account. Let’s look further into the actual study.

The Music Genome Project

Musicians and musician-loving technologists came together in January 2000 to create the most comprehensive analysis of music. They assembled a very large group of attributes or “genes” into what they have named The Music Genome. These genes capture the melody, rhythm, lyrics, instrumentation and the world of singing in order to best guess what type of music a user likes. Over 400 different musical attributes are considered when selecting the next song. Users are given the opportunity to offer positive or negative feedback for songs chosen which then further assist’s their services and offers to refine your musical palette

It’s not about who the artists are or how well they are selling, but more of how their musicality categorizes them into a particular stream. This customization will guarantee that no one station will be the same even if they have the same artists or genre of music.

Once you’ve registered with Pandora, which at this time only extends it’s free services to users within the US, you then can create a profile as in every other online social platform. Your profile showcases the numerous stations you’ve created with a list of artists and songs. Upon selecting songs or stations in your list, others can dig further into obtaining the particular lyrics to a song, preview artists and stations that are similar to the initial song within the Pandora community. While listening, users are offered the ability to buy the songs or albums at various online retailers.

Payment Plans

The service has two subscription supported by advertisements and a fee-based subscription.  A free plan gets you a streaming limit of 40 hours of music per month. At the time your music expires, you can either pay $0.99 to continue listening for the rest of the month or wait until the first day of the next month to re-start your 40 hours. The $0.99 is a one-time payment and does not recur automatically. Only when you’ve reached your limit before the month ends. Finally, you can pay $36 for one year of Pandora services which provides unlimited listening hours, no advertising and higher audio quality streams.

Pandora doesn’t have the resources to pursue music-streaming licensing arrangements in many countries in the immediate future but are continually striving to reach international audiences. Recently, Pandora has just hit a new milestone of obtaining 100 million registered users. Of those registered users, 36 million access the service on a monthly basis. Pandora’s market share has increased and it accounts for 3.6% of all radio listening in the U.S.

Whether your prefer to fill up your iPod with a collection from your musical library or need to find the lyrics to that song you only know the title of, Pandora offers a unique service that merely requires an internet connection They are continuously exploring popular and obscure music to offer an extensive group of artists that you may not be aware of otherwise. In time, the exposure of international audiences will only propel Pandora’s popularity and play like a pleasingly orchestrated symphony