When I'm shaping a Pandora station, I have a definite idea of what I want to hear depending on my mood and the purpose for the music (i.e. mellow music for nighttime; intense, motivating music for runs, etc). But despite my efforts to tailor my stations to avoid certain types of music that don't mesh with the sound palate of the station in question, I still have to thumb down pretty frequently most of the time.
For example, I would like my Jeff Williams Radio to mostly contain a pretty eclectic mix of electronica and rock with jazzy _influences_, but every third song that comes up is an actual jazz recording. I love jazz, but only in my jazz stations. Has anyone found a way to deal with this annoying shortcoming of the thumbs-down feature?
Sorry to hear that your stations aren't playing the way you want them to.
Pandora stations adapt with every song to try to find the right music for you. It does this by using a combination of the detailed information in the Music Genome Project, the station seeds and Thumbs feedback you have given along with feedback given by other listeners under similar conditions.
There are a number of variables that come into play when selecting the next song:
The complete range of musical attributes for all of the songs we have by the artist you used to create the station. For example, for a station based on Brian Eno, you might hear rock songs and ambient music. You might try creating a station from one of the artist's songs instead (e.g. Lucky Star by Madonna). This should make the station much more specific.
The type of feedback you've given on the station (all the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down ratings) and any additional artist or song seeds you've added to the station. Pandora lumps all this together and tries to determine what the best musical match is based on our musical analysis.