I am a Pandora Premium subscriber and mainly listen via the Android app or web browser. The results I get when searching for music are confusingly bad, and I think Pandora should either document how it's supposed to work or simply improve the logic.
The current logic does not seem to prioritize text comparison or my listening history or common sense. This seems to hold whether I'm searching by artist, album, or song.
For example, I recently searched for the song "Mother" by Lissie, which I've played several times but is not in my collection. I typed "Mother" in the search box and clicked songs. I then scrolled through 165 results with the following breakdown:
54 songs with "Mother" in the title (none of which I've played)
110 songs by the artist "Mother Mother"(none of these song titles include the word "Mother")
The song by Lissie was not included in the results. Most of the songs with "Mother" in the title are inexact matches like "Mother-in-Law", "Mother Goose Lullaby", or "Mothership Connection".
I get that Pandora has 30 million songs in the library, but I have questions:
Why would 2/3 of my search results "by song" include results that are obviously for an artist?
Why is my listening history not weighted in the results?
Why are there so many inexact matches placed higher in the results than songs that match the exact search term?
I recognize Lissie has a relatively small audience and that I can bypass search by adding her music to my collection. However, the above pattern reflects much of my experience using search. It seems like a basic thing to get right in 2021 for a service that knows so much about my listening preferences.