If you're a music lover who has "gone mobile" then listen up – we have an essential app for you.
Pandora Radio by Pandora Media, Inc. is a free app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and also available on Android devices. You might already be familiar with Pandora from using it on your desk or laptop, if so – adding the app to your mobile device is definitely a good move.
For starters, it's cheap and eager to please. Yep, it's a free app and is constantly trying to provide you with a wonderful musical experience. The way it works is this: Pandora has many "Genre Stations" you can choose to listen to, but a cool thing to do is to create your own station. Once in the app, type in the name of a favorite song title, artist or composer and Pandora will generate a radio station around that particular name or song. You can have up to 100 personalized stations so start thinking about those favorite singers and songs! Do you really like "Halo" by Beyonce or little ditties by the cast of Glee? Your "Halo" radio station might play you music by Beyonce, Destiny's Child, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga or Diana Ross. The Glee Cast radio station will most likely include a few showtunes in addition to songs from the sitcom itself.
Pandora is a great way to learn about artists and hear new songs, too. You can purchase any song that is played by tapping through to the Apple or Amazon stores as you listen. Curious about the band? Pandora has you covered since it always offers a bit of biographical information as the music plays.
The best part of Pandora is that it's interactive: you get to be involved in how your radio stations shape up. If Pandora plays a song you don't like, tap the "thumbs down" icon and it will immediately stop that song, make a note you don't like it, and move on to another piece of music. If you do like the song, tap "thumbs up" so Pandora knows it's on the right track. Giving a song a thumbs up or down isn't mandatory, though, so if you're content to listen to what's being played, you can leave it be. There's also a "skip" feature so if you like Poker Face by Lady Gaga but just aren't in the mood, you can pass on it. Just note that you can skip a song up to six times an hour and no more than 12 times a day.
Now you can walk around with your perfect radio station in your pocket. I use Pandora on my iPhone during my commute to and from work – I just choose a station and plug my phone into my car's sound system. When I'm at home, I'll listen to Pandora while gardening or cleaning the house because it kills two birds with one stone: my phone is with me should anyone call and I am entertained with my favorite music.
The free app works for me, but you can always upgrade and purchase Pandora One for a small fee (about $36/year) thus removing all advertising and providing you with unlimited daily skips, among other perks. Regardless of which version you choose, if you enjoy having a soundtrack to your everyday life then the Pandora radio app might be for you.
Images courtesy of Kate Holt's iPhone.