The New Pandora Website Sucks a Lot Less

Date Fri, December 2 2011

I listened to Pandora all the damned time when I first set up the iPod Touch. I downloaded it immediately to my phone and, usually, I put it on when I’m in the shower (on my phone, because the speaker is better). But I’ve hated the website since day one. Formerly, it was this odd Flash thing that really didn’t integrate with either of the app experiences. I frequently found myself wanting to sign on to figure out a song I’d recently heard because I don’t always stare at my phone or iPod intently when listening to Pandora. The website actually got a facelift a while back and while I intended to check it out, I kept forgetting. I finally signed on tonight to take a look over it and, while not perfect, it definitely is an improvement.

For starters, it will now remember my password which is awesome because I suck at that even though I only ever use a couple passwords for everything (my bad). The next cool thing is that it immediately begins to play whichever station I was previously listening to on the app. For me, that Daft Punk radio (I’m not entirely sold on it; there’s far too much vocal-less electronica for me). The new Pandora website displays the player prominently on top, allowing me to skip songs, rate them or find more information about them. Of course, the search bar also lets me switch stations to one based around a different song or artist.

My home page displays all the stations I have and I can change order by date or name. The lyrics, song and band information for the currently playing song display prominently. The current station is highlighted on top and Pandora lets me add variety by adding another artist, see other users who like the station and even view recent activity like viewing thumbed up and thumbed down songs. Finally.

My profile also makes a little more sense. I won’t link to mine because it’s private but the music feed shows recently create stations, songs I’ve thumbed up (and even allows me to play samples) and what I’ve been listening to lately. I can specifically click over to view my stations and likes which is something that maybe I could do before but it was so awkward that I didn’t. I can log on to Pandora, whenever, to find the titles of songs and bands and listen to more of them immediately, which can be a little difficult when using the mobile app, or Google them.

The interface is more pleasant to look at. It’s still hues of blue, white and silver but it makes better use of space. It still uses Flash, or what-have-you and there’s periodic ads, just like with the mobile app, but it’s not as mind bogglingly stupid. I won’t use the website to listen to music but I will be able to use it now.

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