15 Ways to Get More Out of Pandora

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<p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora - Lifehacker</p> <p>http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-...</p> <p>Top Stories : MySpace custom style remover Greasemonkey script Get free coffee from Yahoo! Keep track of the latest Firefox developments || next Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the software downloads and web sites that actually save time. Don't live to geek; geek to live.</p> <p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora</p> <p>by Wendy Boswell There's just so much you can do with music discovery engine Pandora: create your own personalized radio stations, find new, original music and share your stations with friends, just to list a few. But listening to Pandora can be a drag on your system, and its song recommendations can go off the rails if you're not careful. This week I've got 15 ways to get better music - and better performance - out of Pandora. For clarity, I've divided up this article into two distinct sections. The first will focus solely on ways you can get Pandora to run more smoothly on your system; the second on how to teach Pandora to fetch more of what you like, music-wise. Pandora system tweaks 1. New browser window: In Firefox, open Pandora in a new browser window instead of a Firefox tab. You won't use up as much memory this way. For example, my CPU usage shot up to 39% with Pandora in a tab; Pandora in a window? 16%. 2. Shut it down: Turn Pandora completely off about once every two hours. The player tends to get, for lack of a better term, stuck, and doesn't do as good a job finding your stuff the longer it plays. Turning it off and on every once in a while seems to resolve this issue. 3. Put Pandora in your system tray: Another way to streamline your Pandora playin' is the PandoraBrowse, a free Windows only app that sticks Pandora in your system tray for easy access. Just right-click on the icon to bring Pandora up if you need to tweak your stations. 4. Pandora standalone: Again, Windows only; download the free OpenPandora and have Pandora run as a standalone interface on your desktop; it hides in your system tray when Top 50 Credit Cards Which credit card offer is #1? Click here to see our rankings! Web 2.0's Wiki of Choice Get a Free Wiki. Visual Editing, Spreadsheets, Blogging. Simple Online Data Backup Mozy.com backs up you're all done. I've used this successfully to listen to music AND have about 27 Firefox tabs open, and haven't had any serious browser crashes and/or memory drains yet. Pandora music tweaks</p> <p>1 of 8</p> <p>9/20/2006 7:26 PM</p> <p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora - Lifehacker</p> <p>http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-...</p> <p>5. Rate 5 every 60: One thing I've found that works well in teaching Pandora to play your faves is take just five or ten minutes an hour to rate songs, yay or nay. You'd be surprised at how much better your playlist will come back. 6. Share your music. Take advantage of the shared songs feature. I have found my best radio stations this way. 7. Request one song. Get more music added to one particular station by requesting one particular song. Adding just one song will add over a hundred songs (on average) to each Pandora station. For the tightest adherence to the kind of music that you want, just try adding five songs to a new station and then listen to it for at least a week before adding any more music. 8. Add an artist's name. For a broader range of music, you can create a Pandora station with an artist's name. This can add hundreds of songs to your station, especially if the artist has a varied body of work. 9. Edit your stations. If you change something in your station and then later find out that these changes have caused your station to, uh, suck, just click on the triangle next to the station name. That will allow you to go in and edit any changes you've made. 10. Pandora RSS feeds. Take advantage of Pandora's RSS feeds to find even more music and share your favorites. Your Internet friends can sub to YOUR feeds and then you all can trade your favorite Pandora songs, artists, and stations. You can also find more music by subbing to the Top Rated feeds in your feed reader of choice; this is a great way to find music you might not have ordinarily thought of. 11. Backstage. Use Backstage to find even more music you might like. Just type in a song title or an artist's name, then click on one of the songs that comes up.You'll see that you have the ability to create a station from that song, listen to it, buy it, bookmark it, and even explore similar songs. Backstage is a good way to play before you create a station; to have more editorial control over it, so to speak. 12. Search Pandora profiles. Personally, I love seeing what other people are listening to, because most of the time they have such better picks than I do. Try this query in Google to search Pandora user profiles: site:pandora.com inurl:people. Then just click on any profile that comes up and start browsing their selections. You can add whatever you like to your profile from each individual profile page. A similar query is site:pandora.com inurl:artist, which enables you to look through all of Pandora's databased artists, or site:pandora.com inurl:song, which lets you browse through some of Pandora's humungous database of indexed music. 13. Search for entire albums. Another Google query: site:pandora.com inurl:album. This takes you directly to artist's complete albums, where you can sample songs and save them to your own stations. This is just another way to access Backstage; but I like the Google route better because I can sample artists I've never heard of before. 14. Search for specific types of music. And yet another Google query for youse guys: site:pandora.com inurl:album intitle:acoustic. Now, this doesn't work as well as I'd like it to, since you're only searching for the word "acoustic" (or whatever kind of music you're interested in) as it occurs in the title. However, this last tip has a way around that....</p> <p>2 of 8</p> <p>9/20/2006 7:26 PM</p> <p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora - Lifehacker</p> <p>http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-...</p> <p>15. Search for what you feel like listening to. What if you're in the mood for some romantic music, but just can't think of what might fit the bill? Try using Pandora's musical classification index to find what you need. Use this query in Google: site:pandora.com inurl:song "romantic lyrics" "major tonality". I got some really good results back this way; Ella Fitzgerald, Hill Street Soul, Louis Armstrong, etc. You can combine any of Pandora's musical attributes to find exactly what you want. Now, the trick with this is that you have to have the list of attributes up in front of you. It would be exceedingly simple (hint hint, Pandora) to plug all the attributes into a database with corresponding "moods"; for example, I'm in the mood to get jiggy with it, so I'd pick the mood "Get Down", which is linked to "Danceable Grooves", "Flat Out Funky Grooves", and "Insistent Backbeats". Just an example. And one more, just for fun Now, you didn't hear it here, and this is definitely NOT endorsed by Pandora, but you can rip music from Pandora using a few simple little DOS prompt commands. You can read about how to do this in quite a few places on the webernets; here's the ones that are most user-friendly: How to Rip and Save Pandoras Music to MP3 Files for Free Noobs Guide To Pandora's Rip Hack Save Pandora MP3 Streams with Pandoras Jar Again, standard disclaimers apply. How do you bend Pandora to your music-lovin' will? Tell us all about it in the comments. Wendy Boswell is an associate editor at Lifehacker and a big Pandora fan. Her special feature Technophilia appears every Monday at Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Technophilia RSS feed to get new installments in your newsreader.</p> <p>read more: feature free internet radio music pandora radio recommendations technophilia top[+]</p> <p>All about the music. If only it were.</p> <p>NineTailedFox says:</p> <p>Pandora's worth persevering with, then? I tried it a while ago, a few times; I'd put in an artist, and get back two tracks by that artist and a dozen by people trying to sound like them. I could hear that the maths was working in that sense, but it wasn't producing a decent playlist. On virtually every occasion I used it, I went through my skip allowance. After a while, I settled on Last.fm, whose social model seemed to produce much better results, but I've read good things about Pandora since. Maybe it's time to reaudition it.09/18/06 01:12 PM</p> <p>wendyboswell says:</p> <p>@ninetailedfox: Honestly I think you should give it another try. It really has a lot going for it. :&gt;)09/18/06 01:15 PM</p> <p>3 of 8</p> <p>9/20/2006 7:26 PM</p> <p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora - Lifehacker</p> <p>http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-...</p> <p>taz20075 says:</p> <p>If you're a LastFM member and want to scrobble your Pandora listenings go to http://pandorafm.real-ity.com/ instead of the regular Pandora site.09/18/06 01:20 PM</p> <p>cosmo says:</p> <p>Bravo! This is why I love Lifhacker! Everything I always wanted to know about Pandora.09/18/06 01:27 PM</p> <p>Claire says:</p> <p>A Mac equivalent of PandoraBrowse is PandoraBoy. It works just fine, but it takes up about the same amount of CPU power as running it in a Firefox tab. http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/2275609/18/06 02:24 PM</p> <p>minijonb says:</p> <p>I love Pandora. I've been using it all year. I share my playlists and favorite songs on my blogs. It takes a while to properly tweak a station, but the tips you listed here are spot on. "listening to Pandora can be a drag on your system" Really? It's much less of a drag on system resources than, let's say, iTunes.09/18/06 02:27 PM</p> <p>pmhesse says:</p> <p>I've got a bookmarklet that opens Pandora's mini player in its own window... The contents of the bookmarklet are below, but for ease of use you can go to my blog post on it instead (below).</p> <p>javascript:(window.open('http://www.pandora.com?cmd=mini','Pandora','width=728,height=380,menu http://pmhesse.blogspot.com/2006/09/pandora-bookmarklet.ht... Now, once you've found a bunch of music on Pandora that you like, perhaps you'd like to obtain some physical CDs instead of being at Pandora's whim? Have you checked out the lala cd trading service? $1.75 per CD, as long as trade in roughly as many as you receive. Email me if you would like an invite.09/18/06 02:42 PM</p> <p>Brad says:</p> <p>Instead of trying to find a Pandora standalone app on the Mac, I instead just downloaded Opera and set its homepage to http://pandora.com/?cmd=mini. Then I changed the window size to get rid of all that whitespace, et voila! a fully-functioning Pandora-only app. Since I don't use Opera for anything else, it's just a Pandora player for me now. The only problem is that I can't hide the window or it won't advance to the next track (it just stops when one track finishes), but it will work fine if I minimize the Opera window to the dock.09/18/06 02:50 PM</p> <p>Matty says:</p> <p>Somehow I'd never heard of Pandora before. Thank you! I like to have Groove Salad playing in the background in my office, but after a while you hear the same things over and over. Pandora has opened up a whole new box of tunes for me (pardon the pun)!</p> <p>4 of 8</p> <p>9/20/2006 7:26 PM</p> <p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora - Lifehacker</p> <p>http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-...</p> <p>All I did was take a look at one song I was listening to on Groove Salad happened to be "Boards of Canada", and now I'm groovin' all day to new things. Thanks again!!!09/18/06 03:08 PM</p> <p>onesix18 says:</p> <p>Pandora is the most fun I've had discovering music since the early days of Napster where I'd find a really juicy hard drive and download all sorts of new bands I'd never heard of.09/18/06 03:13 PM</p> <p>ToddS says:</p> <p>Man I love Pandora. If you aren't a fan of the Pandora 'ripping' programs (I've never found one that works to my satisfaction), there is an alternate route you can take to get those songs! 1) Go into the plugtmp folder in your Temp folder (mine is found at C:\Documents and Settings\todds\Local Settings\Temp\plugtmp) 3) Go up a level (C:\Documents and Settings\todds\Local Settings\Temp for me), and sort in the same way 4) These files are (mostly) mp3 files saved to your HD. Add the extension .mp3 to the end, and Voila. *Pandora switches between the two folders at random and stores 1 song ahead. The song currently playing will be the second most recent mp3. *Sometimes you get some non-mp3s in these folders. If you can't figure out which are which by the file sizes, files found in plugtmp should look like "4910631916722167898", and files found in Temp should look like "plugtmp-13." *Since some of these files will be in use, COPY the file to the folder of your choice before modifying it (i.e. renaming it)09/18/06 04:31 PM</p> <p>ToddS says:</p> <p>Oh, and this Greasemonkey script will get rid of all the non-essentials on http://www.pandora.com/ and leave you with only the player. "Pandora Tuner Only" http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/553809/18/06 04:34 PM</p> <p>ToddS says:</p> <p>In my first comment, after step 1) should read the following: 2)Sort by date modified with the most recent at the top.09/18/06 04:35 PM</p> <p>Paul Stamatiou says:</p> <p>I can't believe no one mentioned PandoraMan for OS X. It keeps me sane through the day.09/18/06 08:23 PM</p> <p>Paul Stamatiou says:</p> <p>Pandora Man for OS X!09/18/06 08:23 PM</p> <p>5 of 8</p> <p>9/20/2006 7:26 PM</p> <p>Technophilia: 15 ways to get more out of Pandora - Lifehacker</p> <p>http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-...</p> <p>rerunx5 says:</p> <p>Here is a Firefox extension which submits tracks that you are playing at Pandora to last.fm http://code.yerblog.com/lastfm/09/18/06 09:47 PM</p> <p>slip says:</p> <p>The day someone figures out how to play Pandora mobile-ly will be a happy day for all mankind. I was nearly about to buy a Nokia 770 because I thought it would work within wifi range (not hard to find on a university campus these days), but then I found out that it doesn't support Flash 8. Forget XM/Sirius...I want mobile Pandora. I wouldn't even care if it was just simple streaming audio---train your pandora at home, listen non-interactively away. Make it so! :)09/18/06 10:06 PM</p> <p>timofsuburbia says:</p> <p>Share your stations here: http://pandorastations.crispynews.com Talk outside the box here: http://www.pandora-forum.com Thanks!09/18/06 11:51 PM</p> <p>timofsuburbia says:</p> <p>For those of us who love Pandora, I think we need to be careful about promoting activities such as hiding the advertisements or ripping the songs. Tim Westergren and crew gotta live just like everyone else. Please don't make them resort to putting the advertisements in music stream!09/18/06 11:53 PM</p> <p>Monolith says:</p> <p>While both PandoraBrowse and OpenPandora work great as seemi...</p>