Pandora. Strategy, Thumbprint, Algorithm questions

I use Pandora Radio, paying monthly so I don’t have to hear ads. I’ve played around and created a few stations I really enjoy, but I have a few questions maybe someone could help me with.

  1. Strategy.
    I “like” (thumbsup) stuff that I like. A friend told me that is not a good thing to do, as they’ll overplay any song that you thumbup. He, instead, assumes he will like anything they play on a station. He never thumbsup, instead he thumbsdown anything he hates. That way, per him, each station has more variety. Is this correct?

  2. Thumbprint
    OK, a relatively new offering is the Thumbprint Station, which is made up of all the thumbsups you’ve given on all your stations, plus related songs. I love this station. Obviously, my friend who never thumbsups does not have a thumbprint station. His loss.

I occasionally find that the thumbprint station gets stuck in a certain genre. Anyone else have this problem? I just switch stations, come back, and all is well.

  1. Algorithm
    So, I have a Dusty Springfield station. Please don’t hate me. I have consistently thumbsdowned anything that doesn’t fit perfectly and thumbsupped everything that embodies Dusty Springfield’s work. For those times when I need some Dusty Springfield.

It works. I love the station.

But one day I felt like some Dusty Springfield. After a few very fitting songs there was a song that absolutely did not fit. I was surprised. Then I looked to see who the band was. Buffalo Springfield. Was Pandora trying to be cute, or does the algorithm work like that?

  1. Interesting weirdness
    I was playing around with a comedy station. Just to see what would happen, I intentionally thumbed down any non-Caucasian or female comedian, curious to see how the algorithm would respond.

In a short time I created a horrid comedy station that was all red-neck southern humor. Interesting. I deleted the station. :smiley:

From what I understand, giving a thumbs up basically just adds that song to the list of seeds. If you never thumbs-up anything, your station will be entirely seeded by whatever it started with. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on your goal with the station. I generally like Pandora because it provides means of letting me know about music that I might like, so I generally am liberal with the thumbs-up, as it allows the station to grow organically into different subgenres.

Pandora’s algorithm sucks. I’ve gotten so good at figuring it out, I pretty much know what band will be playing next before the previous song is over.

And if you put it on shuffle. It does a good job shuffling between stations. But it keeps playing the same 4 or 5 songs from each station. Ironically, you get more variety if you just leave it on one station.

Also, would really love a “No live music” option.