Pandora Radio is one of the best and most versatile online music streaming services for radio. Pandora offers a different experience over Spotify and Rdio in terms of the relevancy of songs played and breath of music selection. That being said, the application offers a very controlled experience (mostly due to legal and financial motives) with frequent advertisements and limited control of the specific songs played.
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Pro Most personalized radio experience
The Pandora music streaming service is the best at predicting which songs the user would enjoy hearing. Unlike services which have rudimentary recommendation algorithms, Pandora uses over 400 selection attributes that are combined to form over 2,000 focus traits including rhythm syncopation, key tonality, harmonies, and instrumental proficiency.
Not only does Pandora use this plethora of conditions to determine each song's inclusion in your station, but it also displays the specific reason that each song was played, as well as its relation to your input criteria.
Pro Easily learns what you like and dislike
The Pandora music streaming service allows you to rate each song played with a "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" to signal your opinion of the song that is played. The station incorporates every single rating to intelligently learn your preferences over time, resulting in an extremely tailored station based on your input.
Pro Extremely versatile stations
Unlike other music streaming services, Pandora allows you to create a station from a single song, artist, album, or genre, and the service has a huge library of over 800,000 tracks from 80,000 artists.
More importantly, Pandora lets you mix and match an unlimited number of input criteria to create a station for any mood/style/occasion.
Pro Available on mobile and in vehicles
Pandora has an application on all major mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and WP7. In addition, it is available in numerous vehicles as an add-on, many with voice commands.
Being available for free means anyone can try the service in order to see if it appeals.
Con Not available outside the US
For those that live outside the US, the service is not available to them, which greatly limits users from around the globe.
Con Limited skips
Pandora makes it very difficult by limiting your playlist to only a specific song or artist. The player also does not allow you to rewind or repeat any songs.
You are only granted six skips per station per hour, and even this is limited to 72 skips per user per day. This is often frustrating if you are trying to focus your playlist on a very specific music selection.
Con Limited bitrate
Most songs played on Pandora Radio are 128 kpbs bitrate. That being said, the paid version of the service offers songs with a bitrate of 192 kbps.
Con Frequent advertisements
The free version of Pandora has frequent audio advertisements that are injected every few songs, making the service impossible to use in a party-type setting. However, these can be avoided by paying for the premium edition or by using other ad-blocking software.
Con Limited artists
There are only 1 million songs on the service. This means there are a lot of artists missing.