Do you like Pandora?

I just started service today, and I’m wondering if my experience is atypical. I set up a “Chis Isaak” station and started listening. Most of the songs playing now are already reruns from just a few hours. And 80% of the related tracks are Van Morrison and Dire Straits. Okay, I understand the Morrison connection, but the Dire Straits one is tenuous at best. I can think of a dozen other artists with music as close or closer to Isaaks, and none of them have shown up yet.

Is this what I should expect when I create a station by specifying only one artist?

Yep, that’s pretty typical for just starting out. Make sure you are rating songs up & down, as you add more data to the algorithm, it’ll start to bring more to the rotation.

There should be an icon somewhere near the top (if you’re doing this on a phone, I’m not sure of the web interface) that you can touch that will pop something up to make it explain WHY it chose a specific artist. A little question mark maybe?

Also, if there’s someone else you want to hear…by all means, create a station for them. For me, I almost always keep it in QuickMix which draws from all the stations. But if I want to listen to something specific I create a station for it, then when I’m done I go back to QuickMix and now that new person (or song) is part of the QuickMix selection.

Jesus Christ, Van’s Into the Mystic has just started it’s 3rd play. Looking through my own music, I see 4 artists just among the "A"s who I would think might show up, but none have (Aaron Neville, Art Garfunkel, Alison Krauss and Annie Lennox). And while I like both Van Morrison and Dire Straits, the reason I signed up for Pandora was for more variety, not less.

Joey P, that’s good to know, but not really what I was getting at. So many songs, from so few artists, repeating in such a short time – how common is that?

And every artist that shows up his a list of other “related” artists as well, but almost none have played so far.

Ok, "m gonna throq in the names of a bunch of other vocalists I think have similarity of voice or style to Chris, and see how that changes. I put in the 4 from the post above, plus, Bill Withers, Carly Simon, The Cranberries, Dan Fogelberg, Diana Krall, Don Henley, The Drifters, and Dusty Springfield. If it works out I’ll go back and start on the "E"s.

Now, being of course someone who’s overly concerned with EVERYTHING, I’m thinking it’ll just play all these others. What I was really hoping for was to get introduced to lots of new artists (to me, at least) to expand my horizons.

Have you been rating the songs that are played, though, like Yaxche said? It’s your thumbs-up to Morrison and thumbs-down to Dire Straits (for example) that teaches the algorithm your tastes.

I have never found repetition to be a problem, but I rarely listen to Pandora for more than an hour or so at a time, so I might be an outlier.

I would try making an additional station with a couple different “seed” artists or songs, and see how that goes.

Yeah, Pandora will go off into never-never land pretty rapidly if you don’t tune it. Be sure to hit the “more like this” and “less like this” buttons (I think that’s the text) for the first hour or so of a new station. It’ll catch on but it takes a while.

I’ve recently started with Pandora as well. (It’s built in on my new tv.)

I have a varied selection from Classic rock, 80’s rap, Metallica, lots of bands.

The other day I turned it on while I was doing some house cleaning.

I put it on “Quick Mix”

For two hours all it would play is Classic rock and 70’s disco.

Which is strange because I have no disco radio stations.

That said, It was a happy accident as I enjoyed the entire two hour worth of songs. I only had to FF once or twice the entire time.

And if you guys ever tell anybody that I was listening to Disco music, I will hunt you down and strangle you with a pair of bell bottom jeans! I swear I will!

Yeah, if you’re not rating songs, it will repeat very quickly. What I would like is for it to consider all covers and versions of a song as the same song. I get bored of even my favorite songs when they play two different studio cuts, an acoustic version, the concert version and two remakes in an hour.

A few months ago I woke up in the middle of the night to show tunes. It took me a second to figure out what the hell I was even listening too. Then I realized that when I went to bed I set a new station for either Rocky Horror Picture Show or Hedwig and the Angry Inch because I wanted to hear some of those songs as I was falling asleep. Sure those are show tunes as well, but My Fair Lady is a far cry from RHPS. I don’t blame the algorithm, it just caught me off guard.

I get A LOT of hours out of their stand up comedian tracks. Louis CK, Patton Oswalt, John Mulaney – it’s awesome.

Y’know, she’s real cute and I thought things were going great but then the itching started, followed by syphilis and then the clap. I don’t think I can recommend her or her box to anybody.

One of these things is not like the others: syphilis, AIDS, or a house in this market.

You can get rid of syphilis.

I find systems like Pandora infuriating because I use it as background music while I work and tuning it is a waste of time.

They have comedian tracks? I had no idea. I’ll have to add them to my mix.

Yeah, that’s my problem with Pandora. I don’t want to be sitting around and rating songs all day for it not to have a short playlist. And even rating a lot of songs, it still seems to me that it gets repetitive quite quickly. I ended up ditching it and just listening to Internet radio stations in genres I enjoy.

I tried to use Pandora to discover artists that I hadn’t heard of, which it just didn’t do very well, so I gave up on it after a month or so. My wife stuck with it for a lot longer, but was very frustrated with the fact that it kept playing a particular song every hour or so, regardless of the fact that she downvoted it every time it came up. I don’t think she uses Pandora much anymore, either.

I started with Pandora and liked it, but now use Jango on a friend’s reccommendation. It’s pretty much the same thing as Pandora, but with no commercials. I set Jango’s variety setting to “wide” for all of my stations and have no problems with repeat songs. I showed another friend Jango, but he switched to Pandora, so YMMV. One thing I like about Jango is about once an hour they’ll play a song from an up and coming act that still fits the genre of whatever channel I’m listening to. Still can’t dial up a specific song, but that’s what You Tube is for. I really like it for background music.

I love to listen to Pandora, but I never use just one artist to seed a station. I have also found vastly different results using song seeds vs. artist seeds.

I pretty much only listen to broadway showtunes and that’s exactly what I get. I could see it being a little trickier if I had more varied tastes though. It does probably give me a little too much Glee.

Yeah, me too. And I find that rating songs simply makes it barf out more songs by the people I gave thumbs up to rather than new somewhat similar artists. I only listen to it when my MP3 player runs out of charge during the work day.

I love Pandora- I’ve been using the paid service now for about three years. All the music I can listen to for $36/year? Hells yeah.

I recently installed a new stereo in my car, one which can do bluetooth audio. Lately I’ve been streaming Pandora to it from my phone, which is wonderful. The only problem is I can only pause the music without taking my phone out- I can’t vote songs up or down, or change the station. Still really great, though.