Pandora Internet Radio

Pandora internet radio is a great way to listen to radio online on your smartphone, and a host of other devices! Let me tell you about Pandora internet radio, how to use it, its limitations (there aren't many), and why it is my streaming music player of choice.

About Pandora Internet Radio

Pandora internet radio is a program that allows you to listen to free music in the genre of your choice. It is a part of what is known as the music genome project, which has researched what makes songs similar to one another and how we respond to them. In other words, they have tried to come up with a formula that lets them accurately guess what music you like based on several factors they have come up with that link songs together.

As of writing this article, it was only available in the United States. It has become of the premier free providers in the country. It has an unbelievable amount of radio channels. In fact, you can even create your own station by picking an artist or song and letting it pick other songs that it thinks are similar. More on that below.

How to Use Pandora Internet Radio

Pandora internet radio has a streaming radio player that can be used on the web or on just about any smartphone or cell that has a data connection. There are also some standalone Pandora internet radio players as well as some devices that can be installed in your vehicle. Let's talk about using it on your computer first.

Using it on your computer is extremely simple. Just go to their website and type in a song or artist and they will create a station around that musician or song using the data they have compiled from users and from the music genome project. Make sure you have a good internet connection and some good speakers to get the most out of listening to it on your computer.

It's easy to use Pandora internet radio on your phone as well. I iphone, Android phones, and Blackberry all have apps for the service. Just go to whatever marketplace you use on your phone, search for it, and download it. The same process holds for the app as on the web – just pick a song or musician, and you are listening to songs online! (I am listening to it right now on my Droid while I write this article.

If you have a phone that does not have an application available, but you do have an wireless data connection, Pandora internet radio can be accessed via the mobile web as well. Just go to their website and start it playing.

If you want some type of gadget that has Pandora internet radio built in, they out there. There are several options for standalone players as well as car audio devices, and from the way things are going, I would assume there will be more and more every day. Who doesn't want to listen to free internet radio that has such a great selection and a simple interface.

On any device you use Pandora internet radio, the principles are the same – the service takes a choice from you and builds a radio channel around it. Whether you like classical music, Christian music, or rap, it is available. If you can't decide on a radio channel, it has lots of stations already built in that you can choose from.

You can also purchase music from Pandora internet radio. If you are listening on your computer or phone, there will be an option to purchase and download any song that comes up, typically for 99 cents. Not a bad deal, and it helps them out since they are free (They do also make money from ads).

Once a radio channel is playing on your device, you can skip ahead if you do not like a song, and your can either vote a song up or down. When you do this, the music genome project take this information and gets even better at picking songs that are similar and suited to your particular tastes, making Pandora internet radio even better.

For example, while writing this, I just gave a song a "thumbs down" and it skipped to a new song it thought might be more relevant for me (and it was right!). Right before that, I gave a song a "thumbs up," and that will be registered as being positively related to the artist that I originally chose. It is amazing how accurate it can be!

Limitations of Pandora Internet Radio

There are some things that Pandora internet radio can't do. For example, you cannot record music with it. You also can't go back and repeat a song again. In addition, don't be surprised when you pick a song or artist and that person or song is not the first thing that Pandora internet radio plays. They can only play an artist or song a certain amount of times per hour, and they are limited by their licenses with the record companies on how they can use their songs.

Pandora internet radio can also only be heard in the US. Also, you can only listen to songs for so long per month (I believe it is 40 hours) before you have to purchase a license, but the license is only 99 cents. You can also only skip past songs so many times.

Another limitation is the need for a good internet connection for your computer or data connection for your smartphone. If you don't have a good enough of connection or signal, Pandora internet radio might not play.

Despite these limitations, Pandora internet radio is still my first choice when I want to listen to the radio online. With all kinds of options out there for music and entertainment, Pandora internet radio stand out as one of the most stellar streaming radio players on the market. Now, whip out your smartphone or open up a new browser window and try it for yourself!