Pandora

Pandora provides a nice streaming music service that somewhat “learns” what you like based on you rating the music it plays.

I was a Pandora subscriber for several years. It plays well through most of our front-end devices and I find most receivers have Pandora clients built in, too.

The trouble I find with Pandora is potentially more a problem with how I use Pandora. I start off a station with a song or artist I’d like to hear, but as the day progresses and I rate various songs, I invariably end up with effectively the same station every time. I can start off with just about any artist and after a week end up with a station that plays overproduced pop music (which, I admit, is a guilty pleasure of mine). I find that I have to be very stalwart in my recommendations and not just respond on whether or not I like a given song but also whether or not the song appropriately fits the mood I want to keep on that particular station.

While I still use Pandora on occasion, in December 2019 I purchased a family plan for Google Play Music (which became YouTube Music) because we started listening to a lot of music through our Google Home / Google Assistant devices and it became more valuable to be able to request a specific song or genre. I understand this is generally possible with the premium Pandora offering, but that doesn’t integrate as well with the Google Family construct or Google Assistant powered devices.