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Monday, March 12, 2012

Pandora outside the US, and how to use it properly!

     Let me start today by telling you exactly what Pandora is. Pandora is an Internet radio service. What you do to start is type in a song you like. Then Pandora will start with that song and automatically play songs relevant and similar to the song. I think that's great. You don't need to search for songs you like and purchase them either. With your Pandora account you can save your stations. For each song or I guess it becomes a "type of song" you want just create a station. That's it. The Pandora "now playing" page displays a horde of information. Along with the artist, song name, album art, etc it also shows you the lyrics, a bit about the artist/band, and similar artists.


    There are some disadvantages to Pandora.Since it is a radio station you are at the mercy of what Pandora want you to listen to. However, it does a superb job of selecting relevant tracks.
If, the time comes when you absolutely don't like the track that is playing, I suggest you to do two things. First, click the "thumbs down" button if you never want to hear the track again, because Pandora makes you feel like the almighty-and-in control(although you're not) with it's message. The message displayed is "Sorry about that. When this track is over, we'll never play it again on this station.". The next thing I suggest you to do is hit the "mute" button on the speakers until the song finishes. There is a "next" button, but I wouldn't click on it except when the song is completely unbearable. the reason being that you only get to skip the track 6 times per hour (including all the stations not each one) , and only 12 a day. Apparently this is because of some licencing issue. So skip cautiously! Once you finish listening to a song, you can't go back to hear it again either. I know...sad. It reminds me why radio wen out of fashion a long time ago.
    But all in all Pandora simply is amazing. Its software to find similar music is really something. I'm finding new bands all the time. Now to address the next HUGE issue.

   You can't access Pandora outside of the United States.

However there is a solution. I'll give you two methods. I personally recommend the second one.

1. Proxy : In this way go to this site. Direct the proxy to Pandora by typing in "www.pandora.com", in the required box. Then click "surf". This doesn't usually work on the first time an you'll have to try it a few times.
Or you can....

2. Use this extension: The extension is for Mozilla Firefox browsers and in beta for Google Chrome. It encrypts your connection to as many websites as possible to make sure you have a secure connection. It is called "HTTPS Everywhere". After downloading and installing this extension. Simply go to pandora.com . It will work. This is because IP address based filtering is apparently not active for HTTPS secured connections (these extensions force it). For those of you apprehensive about the safety of the extension. Don't be. It is made by a very famous reputed organisation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation

   Use as many stations as you want and when you don't like a song just give it the old thumbs down. Pandora will learn about what you like and don't like.

So enjoy Pandora and Happy Listening!!!

Stay tuned for my next post this one saves your ears, the next one will do it to your eyes!

Note: After listening to around 3 songs, Pandora requires you to set up as a user. Please do this, Pandora is worth it.I did this and they do not ask for your exact date of birth, only a the year which I appreciate. Also you have to enter an American zip code. I can't legally tell you a zip code that you can use but I am just saying one word, "Google". 




Update: After using Pandora again I found that when I press the "thumbs down" button the song skips and no message is displayed. If this happens to you please tell me in your comments. I don't know why but I'm going to try to find out because Pandora is so awesome.

The blue Pandora logo is propperty of Pandora.Inc

2 comments:

Ingredient X said...

When you download the pandora extension, most anti viruses advise against it. Does that make it safe or not?

Suhith Rajesh said...

good question
well it is safe because as you can see in the newly updated post, the organisation (EFF) that produces the extension is reknowned and trustworthy. So no problem.

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