Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Example: Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio

A tagline: summarize the app in one sentence
Listen to all your favorite music wherever you are as this app mixes musical selections based on your preferences from one of the world’s largest music databases.

The problem the app solves
People enjoy music. This is a fact of life. What people don’t always like is having to pay for it. Further, some people don’t like having to constantly pick the next song to play. This app allows the user to select an artist/song/genre and then plays music similar to that selection. Once one song ends, another follows, and this continues for as long as the user wishes to listen. The user doesn’t have to constantly add to a playlist or anything like that to keep the music playing.

Why I like this app
When I first started using this app, it was a little work “teaching” Pandora what I liked. Once it got the hang of it though, I could listen at work all day without having to skip a song. I like that it’s free and I don’t have to tie it to a social media account or anything like that. I can simply log in and listen at my convenience. I also like having access to Pandora on all my devices. I can even stream music from the app to my car’s speakers through Bluetooth.

Competing apps, and why this app is better
Pandora’s main competition is probably iTunes and similar music library programs. These programs charge you either by the song or monthly. Other free apps like Spotify exist, but it’s only free for the computer (have to pay for mobile access). Pandora also picks song for you instead of forcing the user to manually select what should be played next. This is probably the most important distinction for me when it comes to this app, along with it being available at no cost.

A little bit about how this apps works
The user experience in Pandora is quite simple. Pick an artist, song or genre to create a station. You can have as many stations as you like and can switch between stations at any point. From there, you can indicate whether or not you enjoy the song that plays (thumbs up/down). You can also skip the song (allowed certain number of skips per hour). As you continue to provide feedback regarding preferences, Pandora notes this information and uses it to compare with its music database (each song/artist has some defined characteristics) to help determine songs to play that you may be enjoy.

For more information about this app:
Access my VoiceThread critique here:

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