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More quickly refine a station




I am looking for tips to fine tune my stations. I have tried thumbs up/thumbs down or with no success.

I am wishing I could access their criteria myself. The thumbs up/thumbs down criteria feels like a big game of twenty questions in trying to tell it what songs I prefer.

Here is my personal preference:

For my party mix I start with good old fashioned rock and roll. Any band from Van Halen to Theory of a Deadman.

Then I want to screen new additions by;

1) No ballads - ever

2) No 'live' versions - ever (especially when the artist 'talks the song in' - groan!)

3) I dislike 90% of songs with harmonica

4) I dislike 99% of songs with flute

5) If the song lyrics complain or whine about anything I probably don't like it.

That's it. That screen would eliminate 85% of the music I don't want to hear, yet I have been unable to get there even after a profound amount of 'thumbs-up/down -ing'. 

Any suggestions?

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4 Replies


Hi @Eric_L thanks for posting your feedback on tuning your station. 

I'd be happy to offer some station tuning tips, but it's not currently possible to tune your station in this detail through ad-supported Pandora or Pandora Plus.

Ad-supported Pandora and Pandora Plus are designed to introduce you to new music through the artists and songs that you already know.

Here are a few tips for you to try:

  1. Make a fresh station. Sometimes the best thing to do is to 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 you can always bring a station back (with all your Seeds and Thumbs intact) by re-adding it.

    You can also use Browse or For You to view station and playlist suggestions picked just for you. 
  2. Thumb freely. Thumb ratings tell us everything about the kinds of music you want to hear. 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, thumbing down a track counts as a skip.
  3. Listen using Pandora Modes. When listening from a computer, a mobile device, or the Sonos app, you can access Pandora Modes to customize your station experience. You can pick different modes like Crowd Faves, Discovery and Deep Cuts.
  4. Review your station. When stations are playing songs wildly out of place, or songs that aren't fitting within that station's sound, you should check your station definition and edit any Thumb ratings or seeds that may be adversely affecting the playlist. Let me know if you'd like me to send over steps to help edit your stations.
  5. Switch it up. Don't be afraid to make changes. If your station is repetitive, first try our Add Variety feature. 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 choosing "I'm tired of this track." In some cases, it might actually help to remove Thumbs Up ratings in the station definition to mix things up.
  6. For a more stylistically focused playlist, try creating stations with songs instead of artists. Using song seeds can provide a more focused playlist, by diverging from the mainstream and focusing on a distinct set of musical attributes.

I would also recommend checking out our Premium subscription. Premium offers more control over the type of music you want to listen to. 

Here are a few of the benefits of Pandora Premium:

  • Listen to songs or albums on-demand.

  • Create custom playlists.

  • Enjoy podcasts.

  • Download songs, albums, stations and playlists for offline listening.

  • Access Higher Quality Audio

  • Queue content to keep the music playing

  • Utilize all of the benefits of Pandora Plus, like ad-free music, unlimited skips and replays on your stations.

To learn more, click here

Tanner | Community Moderator

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Hi Tanner;

It sounds good in theory, but in practice seems sloppy.   If I 'thumbs down' Kiss "Rock and Roll All Night" (a song I like) because it is the live version - will Pandora know I don't like it because it is the live version or will Pandora think I don't like the song?  Or Kiss?  Or 70s metal bands?  

How many 'live' songs will I need to thumbs down before Pandora catches on?  Even worse - how many irrelevant - or even damaging - exclusions might manifest while Pandora tries to figure this out?

What if it plays 'Beth' - a love ballad - and I thumbs down that one.  Is that two strikes against Kiss?  How soon will Pandora figure out that I detest ballads?  How many more damaging exclusions might happen along the way?

If I thumbs down Blues Traveler will it know that the harmonica solos are painful to me or will it start excluding *all* blues?  

It just seems like a long, tedious, and sloppy way to indicate my preferences.  

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I should add; I would have no problem paying to have this feature.  I am hesitant, however, to pay for a screening process which I don’t understand and that seems arbitrary and inefficient 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi, @Eric_L. 👋

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this! @TannerPandora shared some helpful info as well.

Live Versions: 

In the meantime, if you Thumb Down a live or remixed version of a song, you will not hear that version again on the station you're listening to. This will not keep the studio version of that track from playing and doesn't necessarily mean that you will no longer hear other songs by that artist. As always, you should use your Thumb ratings freely to tell Pandora what you want and don't want to hear.

At this time, the way to completely control what you listen to is by listening to content on-demand with Premium.


Feature Request:

Based on your message, it sounds like you'd want to have more specific options for your Thumb feedback, or to simply refine your station completely (ex. no flutes on a specific station, no ballads, etc...). Basically, a deeper dive of feedback from a listener's perspective so that your listening experience can be much more personalized. I completely understand where you're coming from with this.

If you haven't already, I would recommend creating a feature request for the specific option you're interested in here. Other listeners may want to see something like this implemented too. 

To find out how our feature request process works, feel free to check out: "How do requests become features?"


Alyssa | Community Manager
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