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Ideas: Customize stations based on track features (Instrumental, genre, explicit)

Ideas: Customize stations based on track features (Instrumental, genre, explicit)

Opening Act
Status: Open Ideas

Pandora has a "music DNA" system where they figure out the DNA of a song or artist and then play more stuff like that.

It's called the Music Genome Project (

It would be nice to be able to skip the "song or artist" part and just write the DNA yourself.


Pandora sometimes does a shallow job of figuring out the DNA of a song.  It's impossible for them to tell what you like about the song, and it's likely they'll focus on the wrong aspects.  Being able to specify the aspects would solve this problem.


Let users add or remove DNA items.  Maybe let them specify priority of these DNA items as well.


Only as is easily approachable from a development perspective, suggested interactions
* Add music genomes positively (like)
* Add music genomes negatively (dislike)
* Remove/clean up music genomes (no relevance)
* Genome priority rating system?  (eg rating in range [100, -100] where 100 means songs must have genome and -100 means songs must NOT have genome)


explicit(-100), instrumental(50), jazzy(80) => jazzy instrumental songs (emphasis on jazzy) which do not include expletives

Moderator Edit: Changing title for clarity

Labels (2)
Opening Act

Other use cases:

Blocking Explicit Songs -

Specify Instrumental Tracks Only -

Specify Popularity Level (up and coming, well known, etc) -

Stations built around specific genres -

Create bounds (no 90s on 50s station) -

Exclude Live Performance Versions -

More expressive LIKE and DISLIKE abilities (by choosing DNA found in the song)

Program your own station -

Increase weight of certain songs and artists (by prioritizing specific DNA) -

Play songs based off lyrical subject matter (if such a thing could be considered music DNA)

Easier way to add variety -

Easier to search for songs based off features -

Stations for emotion or activity -

Prevent edits, covers, remixes -

Prevent "censored" (bleeps, mutes) versions of songs by blocking censored genome -

Specify BPM and other filters -

Status changed to: Open Ideas

Hi @Seph Thanks for your post!

We’re always looking to improve, and getting feedback like this definitely helps with that.

Thanks for being a part of our Community!

Opening Act

Hey @TannerPandora,

Could you ask one of your devs hows the genome for a specific station is calculated?

Is it functional, as in the product of a complex join using your history?  Or is there perhaps more of a pre-calculated thing, each action creating simple modifications to a relatively simple set of joins that defines the musical genome of any given station?

Seemingly, from a developer perspective, creating this feature would probably be significantly easier than doing the exact same thing using songs and artists as seeds...  Unless you're using a lot of ML...

Local Performer

This should have been in pandora 1.0. The relevance this has to so many other requests/issues makes it a no-brainer.

Opening Act

Recently realized this feature could easily be used for sharing stations.

I wanted to copy a friends station, and while it would be neat to have that feature in its entirety, simply copy-pasting the station DNA would be (probably) a lot easier and more fun.

You could modify things if you like.  Or even post the DNA online as text, so it could be easily shared anywhere, while not being a black-box link.

Just some new musings for this riff.


I was asking for it in a far more technical form than I think the average user might use.  7/8 time, major key, female vocalist?  No problem!  Synth, brass, and prominent banjo?  No problem!  But finding those that exist without using the genes to seed a station would be pretty tough, and even seeding a station with such tracks is no guarantee that it's going to recommend what you're really asking for.  I want this, as a musician, to see if any wacky idea I have has been done, done well, and what worked or didn't work.  It would also let me really zero in on stations I simply listen to normally, where I see a strong pattern of genes but the algorithm doesn't use those as an absolute.

But I've been asking for this for a decade.  I once got a reply from a dev on a blog or something that they'd bring it up in a meeting.  (2013 or so?  I forget.)  Then this suggestion would suddenly have no mention or response anywhere, as if it wasn't just shot down, but actively suppressed.  It's hard to generate revenue outside of ads when the user can point the algorithm far away from popular music that a label might pay to promote.  The fact that the back end for this basically exists already, and we'd only need a UI has me convinced that we've never received this feature because of money, and there's no chance they tell us whose money keeps it away.

Opening Act

@Seph , I like all of these ideas, and appreciate your curating from other posts as it makes it a lot easier to pull everything together in one place.

Opening Act

@Desirsar , I’d love to be able to do that also.  While my stations seem to make themselves (I rarely thumb and generally know the kind of artist producing music I enjoy), this would allow for all kinds of fun searches and discoveries.  

Local Performer


This would improve the experience incredibly! 

Not much to add to the discussion, just adding my enthusiastic support for this.

Opening Act

@Desirsar They could always make people pay more for this feature.  I certainly would.  Honestly, paying to not have songs that are "pushed" is a lot like paying to not have ads.