Pandora is becoming impossible to use... Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Archguy, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Pandora Plus (which I've been using for years) has become impossible to keep using. Since the last couple of "software upgrades" the system is convinced that I am trying to stream from multiple devices (I'm only using one) and nothing I do will convince them otherwise.

    Pandora is now stopping right in the middle of songs with a very loud, shrill announcement that "Someone else is listening to your Pandora account." The interruptions are extremely annoying (and they are entirely unnecessary--Pandora could simply stop the stream with a visual indication if it's so sure I'm a pirate).

    The first time I 'opened a ticket' with them, they changed my password and erased all of my stations. I was able to recover my stations, fortunately. Ever since, I just get "Form Letter" responses and I have already cleared all data from my tablet device.

    I'm realizing that the only solution is to switch to another service. I guess I'll lose all of my station development ("curation") which is a shame, but may I look forward to a service with decent SQ and maybe even the ability to play a specific song on demand? Can I get this for anything like the $56/yr I'm now paying? 95% of my listening is jazz if that matters.

    It has to be compatible with Chromecast Audio. Thanks for any suggestions.
     

     

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  2. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Odd. I use their premium service in several locations, never had an issue.

    Amazon is the next cheapest service if you have Prime.

    Also, there are numerous free jazz radio stations that stream, and several internet-only stations. Try https://www.jazzgroove.org
     
  3. wlhd1610

    wlhd1610 Penny and her new friend Sponsor Subscriber

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    I also use their "premium"service for $9.99/month and enjoy commercial free seamless listening on the dozen or so stations I've created.

    Bob
     
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  4. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    I wonder if I pay $120/yr instead of $56/yr I'll get better performance. Or will I be twice as mad? [​IMG]
     
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  5. Decibel_116

    Decibel_116 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I used to really like Pandora, but that was a few years ago. The user interface has changed and is not as intuitive as it used to be. Also, the number of audible ads have become unacceptable. I tried listening a few nights ago to see if anything had changed. One song, then one commercial, then another song, then two commercials. I turned it off.

    In the past, I used Pandora for music discovery with a fair amount of success. They seem to have a good algorithm for predicting which music you may like based on what you have "liked" before. Too bad I can't stand to use it anymore...
     
  6. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Well, there are no ads at all with the Plus and Premium service tiers, as I'm sure you know.

    I actually think the Plus is a good deal, when it works. It's been working well for a few hours now. I wonder if they can ratchet down (or off) the multi-streaming sensitivity when they get legit complaints from users.
     

     

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  7. invaderzim

    invaderzim AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I use the $56 plan and switch between PC, App (offline and on) and Squeezebox Touch for playback.

    I found that the more popular the music was that I was listening to the more commercials it tended to have. The Spanish language commercials were a bit odd for me but the award for most annoying commercials went to Spotify when I was trying it out. I've come to think that they all want to drive you to the paid option (youtube included) by inundating you with bad commercials.

    I eventually decided I listen plenty enough to justify $5 a month. Having a couple stations downloaded to my phone for my commute spoiled me. Having it throw some new songs into the mix based off my preferences is also really nice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  8. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    I use Pandora Free via ROKU and get very few commercials. I like that it knows what I like. Lately I've been listening more to FM 94.7 The Brew locally OTA via my Sony XDR-F1HD tuner.
     
  9. RTally

    RTally Speaker addict Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I wonder if your problem stems from using ChromeCast Audio. CCA streams directly from the 'net with the mobile device only providing a control interface. I have heard of ChromeCast getting separated from the controlling device such that the controlling device opens a second stream to the one running on the CCA.
     
  10. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Yes thanks—good point—I wondered that too, particularly in light of previous experiences. I'd hate to be ragging on Pandora for something which isn't their fault, but I also hate when my music is interrupted, especially by such a loud, rude voice. Heck, generally I won't even talk on the phone if I can help it. With texting & email you can let the music play on [​IMG]

    More to the point, though, the simulcast thing isn't happening much at all any more and when it does, I'm quick to terminate one process. I keep the volume on my tablet turned up so that I don't miss any such occurrences. It's now as though they've throttled back on that possibility and introduced the reverse—can't hear any stream at all. I don't know a thing about the technical aspects but I do wonder if they're trying to keep a tighter rein to prevent multiple streams and in the process they end up tightening too much.
     
  11. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Okay, this is now happening several times per hour. It's become completely unlistenable, and Pandora CS isn't helping. They requested screen shots a week ago, which I promptly provided, then they've ignored me since. Obviously I'm not worth the trouble. I can cancel but since I purchased my annual sub through Google Play, Pandora won't pro-rate (or provide) any refund.

    I'm ready to try Spotify, though it costs twice as much. I guess there's no way of porting over my stations which I've spent a couple of years 'curating'... Meanwhile, any Spotify fans here who can tell me what to expect? I mainly listen to jazz FWIW.

    Someone on another site once helped me find the email address of the actual "Chief Experience Officer" SVP at Sprint (which continued charging me for months after I'd cancelled cell service, and sent my case to collections) and it actually got results--within two minutes--after I'd spent weeks going back and forth between their phone support ("that can only be done in store") and the local storefront ("that can only be done on the phone")--I actually got the rep in the store to phone up CS and they had their own shouting match. The SVP sent an email to the right person and the problem was fixed the same day. It sure beats getting endless form-letter emails from Bangalore. I'm going to try and see if I can find that again, as one last-ditch attempt.

    Ah, here it is, as my gift to you, gentle reader: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/

    Ugh, they don't have Pandora listed: https://www.elliott.org/class/electronics/
    I've sent Elliott an email now.

     

     

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  12. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Alternatives?

    CDs. Records. Maybe even tapes!

    :D
     
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  13. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I chose Tidal after trying Pandora, Spotify, Amazon and Google. Sounded the best on my system and like the others can run it through a laptop, CCA, Firestick, tablets and phones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  14. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    I've got a Pandora app on my Dish Hopper > ext DAC > 2ch living room stereo. Never sounded that good to me … the programing (tailored to what you like) is alright but I never though it sounded that good on my rig. The Sirius XM :yikes: app sounds good coming out of Hopper ... I know a lot of people think XM sounds like crap but it works fine on my setup on the stations I listen too. Tidal lossy is what I use the most for my digital listening sessions and the sound quality works for me on the mostly modern recordings that I stream.

    I do spin Vinyl but not CD's any more which are ripped for DAP's & car mostly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  15. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

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    I've been with Spotify for a while and like it.
     
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  16. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Moi aussi. It is also supported with an LMS plugin where I stream through a Raspberri PI/Allo DigiOne and a microRendu.
     

     

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  17. krg291

    krg291 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Build up a digital library by buying CDs and saving them to a pc. Preowned CDs are cheap, I bet you could buy 56 cds for the price of your pandora sub. After a few years you'll have a great digital library, zero commericals, full control over curation and song selection, and no requirement to continue paying for sub-par service.
     
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  18. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The service is great for what I use it for. My "critical" listening is vinyl, digital is background noise going almost 24/7, just hit pause before idiot box sessions. Plus Tidal does a military discount!!
     
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  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I use Pandora via CCA daily and rarely have ever had the "multiple streams" message. Maybe once every three weeks or so. I still have the grandfathered Pandora One subscription for $3.99/month and since I use it almost daily (2-3 hours for dinner), it's a bargain IMHO. They are offering to let me try their premium service for six months, but I don't know if I would get back my $3.99/month rate when the trial is over.
     
  20. Todd Dodds

    Todd Dodds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Have you made a decision yet, OP?
    FWIW, it doesn't take long to adjust from Pandora to Spotify and figure out how to get the same level of satisfaction of curatorial / discovery experiences. You'll likely like Spotify's ability to "save" entire albums, and play what you want, when you want. At any point, you can just click to change the album (or artist) into a "station". Then, just like Pandora, you'll be introduced to new, but similar material which you can likewise save.
    I've fiddled with Pandora, Spotify and Tidal for over a year now, and probably haven't listened to Pandora for 3 or 4 months, so I'll be dropping it soon (...but, thanks for the memories).
    I still have Tidal solely for the very hi-rez "Masters" selections (which I finally decided do, in fact, sound slightly better to me), but Tidal's operating system seems limited to me.
    All things considered, I think you'll be happy with Spotify...just be open minded long enough to learn your way around.
     
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