An English playwright once wrote, rather famously, that music soothes the savage breast. We say it works pretty well on babies and overtired toddlers too. It’s even better when you don’t have to sort through a towering pile of cds to find just the right song. Enter Pandora.
Pandora, just relaunched in Australia after an extended hiatus, is a wildly popular online personalised music streaming service that plays just the songs you love. I could go into a detailed explanation of how it uses a head-spinning set of mathematical algorithms and attributes to assess your musical tastes, but I won’t. Put simply, it finds music it thinks you might enjoy based on music it already knows you like. That’s all you need to know!
I gave it a go and discovered that while I already like Of Monsters and Men, I may also like tunes by Mumford & Sons and Imagine Dragons. Well, I do, I do. But this post is not about my own musical predilections. It’s about how to make Pandora work for you.
Pandora honchos have taken great care to presort genres to help you on your way, with pretty much every taste catered for. You can add artists or songs to your own stations, then like or dislike Pandora’s picks to build your own ultimate radio experience. Or just listen as one of Pandora’s own stations takes you on a musical journey through tens of thousands of possible songs. And, just as I promised at the start of this post, there’s even a Lullabye station for back-to-back tunes to send – or keep – baby in the Land of Nod. You’ll find it in the family section, along with streaming options for toddlers, tweens and even children’s indie.
Pandora is free, though you will have to put up with ads between songs and pop-up ads in the app (available for all manner of Apple and Android devices) or on your computer. If the ads annoy, you can always opt for the paid Pandora One subscription service, which costs US$3.99 a month or US$36 annually.