Pandora Radio , custodian of the Music Genome Project is available only in the United States. 

Streaming audio has been around for many years now.  This type of audio offers new services, and attempts to provide the citizens of the Internet with a new, more personalized experience. Most end up being small niche products, with few rising to the top as near ubiquitous destinations for media consumption. Since its launch in early 2000, Pandora has become one of the top music streaming services on the web. 

            I use it when I know I’m going to be on a long conference call to provide background noise in the event of long, potentially awkward silences. I don’t have to build a playlist; I can rely on station knowing the musical tone won’t change.  As a premium subscriber I don’t have to worry about ads interrupting the music which makes Pandora the perfect choice for my calls. I also use the service while I work to help keep distractions to a minimum; it’s an easy way to find new music that’s likely to suit my unique tastes. The recent updates rolled out have simplified the usage of the site while adding social sharing features, more information and the ability to listen to an unlimited amountof music regardless of the user’s account type. 

           Creating new stations has been simplified with better auto-complete; including, a new search page, and personalized suggestions based on the user’s other stations. Now, when I don’t really know what to look for while creating a new station, I can just click in the New Station section and select one of the recommendations. 

            Pandora has added Facebook integration, which I use to share my favorite stations and artists with my friends. Each station has been given its own unique URL.  This allows users to share their recommendations over Twitter, Facebook or by email. In addition to the normal playback options users have grown accustomed to, a new Shuffle option has been added which allows users to add variety to their listening habits without changing the seed selection for individual stations. Users can choose multiple stations, allowing them to add as wide or narrow a variety as they desire. This is a really nice feature that comes in handy when I’m not really sure what I want to hear, but I don’t want to listen to the same types of music all day. 

         The additional information on artists, tracks and lyrics has been expanded to further sate my curiosity when I find a new artist or band that I enjoy. The change that probably has the largest number of people jumping for joy is the removal of the 40 hour per month listening cap. Now free users can listen to unlimited music, though it’s still accompanied by the occasional audio ad. 

            Pandora’s new updates have added some great features that make it easier to find fantastic music. All of the updates seem to have added at least some small amount of enjoyment to the Pandora experience and leave me wanting more.

Guest post by Danielle , Eatbreatheblog