Pandora: Six Ways To Make It Even Better

How to use Pandora to truly fit your musical whims

Photo: Kari Shea/Unsplash

Pandora is one of the most useful sites on the Web today. It's your very own radio station - and you control what music shows up. Here's a few tweaks that I use to make Pandora even better:

  • Tell Pandora your preferences. Instead of just fast-forwarding past the songs you don't like, rate the song with a thumbs up or thumbs down (shows up when you mouse over the artist cover). This will make your radio station a lot better; you're essentially "training" it.
  • Add more music to a Pandora station. You can group similar artists (or dissimilar, it's up to you) within one station. Find a station you've already made and click on the down arrow next to the station name. A menu will popup; select "Add more music to this station." For instance, I just added David Wilcox to my George Winston station. You can do this by artist or song; adding it by artist expands your station a lot because Pandora will find similar artists.
  • Find a shared station: My favorite Pandora stations are the ones I've found by clicking the "Share" button on the bottom of the Pandora player.
  • Music for the holidays. Last Christmas I was able to listen to non-stop holiday music courtesy of Pandora. Just type in your favorite holiday song and Pandora will find similar tunes. Or, you could just type in the name of the artist followed by the word "holiday": 'Aretha Franklin holiday', for example, or 'Pandora Christmas music'.
  • Pandora Feeds: Pandora just started offering RSS feeds for various fun stuff; you can check it out at Pandora Feeds. Subscribe to top listened to songs, grab a sidebar that shows stats, stations, etc.