With biggest update in two years, Pandora wants more of your feedback

The company's updated mobile app wants users to rate songs more frequently

Pandora's updated app provides new ways for users to see their history of ratings, and change them.

Pandora's updated app provides new ways for users to see their history of ratings, and change them.

Do you hate the song Pandora just played for you? The music streaming service wants you to give it more feedback so it can play the songs you want to hear.

Pandora has released a major update to its app for iOS and Android smartphones -- the biggest update in two years, the company says. The interface gets a cleaner design, but more importantly Pandora is now nudging users to provide more feedback about stations and songs they like.

It's also added a new feature that lets users change their thumbs up or down ratings for songs after the fact, providing it with more accurate input.

It's part of a plan to keep users active and continually supplying Pandora with data about their likes and dislikes, so it has a greater chance of playing music they want to hear and can keep them from switching to rivals like Spotity or Rdio.

"Thumbing is a strong signal to us," said CTO Chris Martin. "Getting every user to thumb more has high value."

Pandora has already started to roll the update out and it should reach everyone soon.

Users can see what songs they've given a thumbs up or thumbs down to in a new personalization section, where they can update those ratings if they've changed their mind. The section also shows new genres and artists that Pandora thinks you might like.

No new forms of data are being gathered with the updated app, Martin said. But Pandora hopes the changes will keep users engaged at a time when there's no shortage of alternatives for streaming music. Spotify and Rdio, for instance, let users create their own playlists instead of asking them to rate each song.

Pandora has now collected 45 billion data points about people's likes and dislikes, which it incorporates into its algorithms for deciding which songs to play. It says it has a library of over 1.2 million songs, which it's analyzed by looking at everything from the breathiness of the vocals to the guitar sound and the prevalence of the bass.

Spotify though has more than 30 million songs in its library, and has grabbed a lot of attention lately.

But the increased feedback Pandora gets will help it play more of what its users want to hear, Martin said. That's assuming they keep busy with their thumbs.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesSpotifyPandoraMusic and audioRdiomobileBeatsinternetmobile applications

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?