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Tanner's Tips: #8 Tips to Improve Stations

TannerPandora
Moderator
Moderator

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Welcome to Tanner's Tips!

This post is dedicated to all the great features that Pandora has to offer. Each week I'll be talking about and breaking down a Pandora feature in detail. Some of you may be using these features every day and others maybe not so much. My goal is to introduce something new and fun to your Pandora experience. Thanks for listening! 🎧

If you have a support question, please visit our Support Forum and choose the board that best suits your question. If you'd like to submit a feature request, please visit our Feature Request board

 

TIPS TO IMPROVE STATIONS

  • Device: Mobile, Web, Desktop app
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We want all of our listeners to get the most out of their Pandora experience by discovering and enjoying music they enjoy. Here are some suggestions to help you improve your station experience if the content you're hearing isn't to your liking. Remember that because stations are personalized, there are many factors that go into making it for you and as the listener, you have a lot of control over how your station is shaped. Don't be afraid to poke, adjust, edit, and change things up a little. 

In that spirit, I suggested trying out Pandora Modes. Pandora Modes means that you can specify what content plays on your stations, such as:

  • Crowd Faves
  • Discovery
  • Deep Cuts
  • Newly Released
  • Artist Only

For more info on Modes, check out Tanner's Tips: #1 Pandora Modes.

THUMBS!

Thumbing is an important part of Pandora. Pandora stations adapt with every song to try to find the right music for your stations. Without Thumb info, Pandora has to guess what songs you like or don't like. Thumbs are station specific, so feel free to Thumb up and down accordingly. Giving a Thumb rating on one station will not affect any of your other stations.

 

WHAT IF I HEAR SONGS OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF MY STATION?

If you begin to hear songs outside of the scope of your station you created, I recommend checking your Thumbs Up and Down, and edit either if necessary. 

You'll want to keep your thumb rating as balanced as possible. If you have too many thumbs down (more than thumbs up) you may want to edit your station by thumbing up more songs, removing some thumbs down or adding variety. Thumbed down tracks narrow down the song pool and can lead to erroneous behavior, like error messages or songs that don't quite fit.

Thumbed up tracks, on the other hand, act like seeds that inspire similar music to play. On that note, if you thumb up tracks from artist that don't fit the genre of your station, it may bring in other similar artist and songs. Make sure each of the Thumbs Up or seeds you've added fit with the type of station you want and remove those that don't.

 

I'VE ADDED VARIETY AND I'M HEARING SONGS I DON'T LIKE

If you've added variety, you'll want to check and edit any seeds that don't fit your station. Adding variety to a station doesn't narrow the song pool that Pandora chooses from, nor does it increase your chances of hearing a particular song or artist. Rather, it opens up your station to a lot of variety, which can make for some undesirable matches.  As a general rule, stations seem to work best with no more than 3-4 seeds added.

 

SOMETIMES, YOU JUST NEED TO MAKE A FRESH START

Sometimes the best thing to do is simply start over with a fresh station based on a different starting point, such as a related artist or one of your favorite Thumbed Up songs. Note that even if you delete a station, you can always bring it back (with all your Seeds and Thumbs intact) by re-adding it.

 

THUMB FREELY

Thumb ratings tell us everything about the kind of music or podcasts you want to hear, and have specific purposes if you're using Pandora Modes. If you have a reaction to a song, let us know! This will give us a better idea of what to play next. Keep in mind, Thumbs Down count as skips (except if you're listening to a podcast).

 

SWITCH IT UP

Don't be afraid to make changes. If your station is repetitive, first try our Add Variety feature. In some cases, it might actually help to remove Thumbs-Up ratings in order to mix things up. If you get sick of a track but don't want to completely ban it, you can also put it "on the shelf" for a while by selecting I'm Tired of this Track/Song.

 

 FOR A MORE STYLISTICALLY-FOCUSED STATION

Try creating stations with songs or tracks instead of artists. Using song seeds rather than artist seeds can result in a more focused station by diverging from the mainstream and focusing on a distinct set of musical attributes.


Running through these steps should increase the variety of your station pretty quickly. However, if you're still dissatisfied with your experience, remember that you can always listen to content on-demand.

  • If you're a Pandora Premium subscriber, just search for a song or album and hit play.
  • If you're a free listener or Pandora Plus subscriber, search for a song or album and tap its name in the results list. This will take you to a backstage page, where you can press play to initiate a complimentary session of Pandora Premium.

 

Tanner | Community Moderator

- Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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