Friday, February 20, 2015

Take Pandora to the Next Level with Your Favorite Songs

When was the last time you purchased a music CD? Any time in the past year? For me, it has probably been 5+ years. Why? Because there are so many other resources for listening to music.

Deep down inside I know this is probably killing the music industry, or at least catering to pop music, making Taylor Swift ever so much more money, but I can't help it. Music streaming is so much easier and more convenient.

One of my favorite services is Pandora. If, by some random chance, you haven't heard of Pandora, it's a music streaming service that allows you to type in a favorite artist, song or genre, and it will create a radio station around that. Then you can thumbs up/thumbs down songs and Pandora will customize the station based around your musical preferences.

Pandora has opened the doors to many new artists and genres and I've actually purchased many songs from iTunes that I first heard on Pandora.

But one frustrating thing about Pandora is it's not an on-demand service. Plus, the thumbs-up feature is more for Pandora's benefit than for yours, letting them know you'd like to hear more of that song and/or artist. But what if you just want to see and/or listen to all your thumbed-up songs?

Don't worry, there are some sites for that.

The first is Songs Liked on Pandora. This site is super simple: it analyzes all your thumbed-up songs and shows them to you in a list based on either artist or date thumbed-up.

To do this, go to Pandora and click on the My Profile button.

In the address bar of your web browser, copy your ID/username.

Paste that username into the field on Songs Liked on Pandora.

Wait about a minute and all your songs will appear. This is super helpful when trying to find new music to buy or if you want to build out a favorites playlist on another service like Spotify (also an awesome music service).

The downside to Songs Liked on Pandora is it doesn't allow you to instantly play those songs. For that, you can use another handy site: 

This site is similar to Songs Liked on Pandora, in that you need to enter your Pandora ID/username.

From there, it will analyze all your Pandora playlists and suggest custom YouTube playlists built from your thumbed-up songs.

You can decide which playlist you want and the site will snag all the relevant YouTube videos it can find and combine them into a handy YouTube playlist.

You may be thinking that YouTube is just a video site, but it's also a pretty powerful music player. It takes a minute or two to build out the playlist, depending on how many songs you've thumbed-up, but once it's created you can listen to all your favorites and even save it for future reference/listening.

I should give a warning that the playlists generated by this site are public and viewable on this user's YouTube channel. I don't find this to be a big deal, but if you're super concerned about privacy you may want to give it some thought. This site/playlist doesn't give anyone access to your Pandora account and if your Pandora profile is set to public anyway, this gives less information than Pandora does. But I thought I'd put the disclaimer out there.

So, does this do away with Pandora? Absolutely not! Pandora is still the engine that finds great new songs for you, plus it provides needed variety. These services are helpful when you're just craving an absolute hits list.

Give it a try!
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