Today people listen to music allot differently then they did 5 or 10 years ago. Many people listen to their iPod or other mp3 player when they are on the go.

However with all this technology, there is still the time consuming task of finding and downloading or copying all your music onto your portable device – keeping it synced and so on. Also, you end up listening to the same songs over and over, until you get sick of it and download more. The problem with this is that you will be listening to music you already know and will never discover new songs or bands that you may love. However, you dont want to listen to the radio because they never play anything you like – and you have to listen to commercials.

The solution? Pandora.

Pandora is a website that only plays music you like. You simple tell it a few bands or songs you like, and it plays them along with other similar songs and bands. If a song comes on that you don’t like – give it a thumbs down. Pandora will remember that you didn’t like that song and wont play it again – it will also base future song selections off other songs or bands you may have given a thumbs down or up to. Simply put – Pandora learns the type of music you like, and plays it just for you. You can even create up to 100 stations. For example, I have my “alternative rock” station, and a “classic rock” station setup depending on my mood.

The best thing about Pandora is that its completely free. So, whats the catch? For one, you can only skip a certain number of songs per day. Second, you can only listen to 40 hours of music per month. Also, there are commercials played between songs on occasion. However, most people won’t listen to 40 hours of music per month, and the commercials are short.

Pandora

If you do listen to more than 40 hours per month, you can upgrade to a paid membership for a mere $36.00 per year. Paid members don’t have to listen to commercials, can skip more songs, and theres no limit to how many hours per month you can listen. Way cheaper than satellite radio which plays music you don’t want, but is also commercial free.

There are a few downsides to Pandora. For one, you cannot replay or rewind a song – however you can pause and resume. Also – it plays what it wants based on your feedback, you can’t listen to a specific song on demand.

Pandora is also available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm Pre, and Windows Mobile. There is even a desktop application for paid members for Mac, Windows, and Linux (via Adobe Air).

I use Pandora at work, and in my car on my phone every day. Its a great service, and I believe its the future of radio.

I’d like to know other peoples thoughts on the future of music and what they think about Pandora. Leave your input in the comments!