In this post, we’re going to take an in depth look at the Pandora iPhone and iPod Touch application in a continuing series of iPhone and iPod Touch applications right here on MakeUseOf.
Released originally in 2008, Pandora’s free iPhone app features all of the great features of the famous web application, as been seen on MakeUseOf before. If you’re not familiar with Pandora, the website lets you create your own custom radio station by naming a favorite artist or song, and then automatically adds variety to your stations and plays you songs from a vast library. However, with Pandora’s mobile app, this functionality integrates your iPhone and internet radio, anywhere you go!
The application carries a similar user interface to Pandora’s online player, complete with album artwork, thumbs up and thumbs down voting buttons, a skip button, play/pause control and volume control (you can listen through a headset/earbuds or just through the device’s speaker). Just like browsing through songs, you can also look at your favorite “bookmarked” songs from your account on the app.
New stations can be created through the website and will show up on the application, and “Quickmix” stations can also be created directly from the device for playback at both locations. Settings such as the account you’re signed into, power management/battery preservation and higher quality audio are also available.
The feature of viewing why a song was actually played also is on the app. So you can see something similar to “We’re playing this track because it features varying tempo and time signatures, repetitive melodic phrasing, etc” right on your device, which is a handy feature to find out why the system might have picked that song for your musical taste. Currently playing songs can also be bought off of the iTunes store on your device with the click of a button, and they can also be skipped up to six times per hour, per station if you don’t like the song selection.
In a few personal tests with medium signal quality on AT&T’s 3G network near Los Angeles, I found the app to have great audio quality, although there were a few times when I would skip a song or the song would change and I would see a ten or fifteen second delay. In full signal though, this delay was not present, and there was a smooth transition between songs. Use of the app though on my home wifi network though showed great audio quality as well as no delays in between songs, although when I took my iPhone out for a day of 3G music streaming, battery life on my device took a big hit.
Pandora’s iPhone/iPod Touch app [iTunes link] is a must-have application for music lovers, and has a great array of features to accompany mobile device support with the one-click iTunes purchasing ability, ability to skip songs, and the synchronization of stations with the website player.
Do you use the Pandora iPhone/iPod Touch app or the website to listen to music? What other “must have” iPhone applications do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments below!