updated 10:06 pm EDT, Fri July 6, 2012
Song lyrics, post-play rating, 'tired' option more
Subscription and ad-based US music-discovery service Pandora has pushed out a significant update of its self-titled universal iOS app. The update, version 3.2, mostly makes changes to the interface and functionality seen on the smaller iOS devices, the iPhone and iPod Touch. In addition to a visual overhaul, the app adds musician biographies from the iPad version, the ability to rate songs post-play, song lyrics and more.
The service leverages the Music Genome Project to allow users to pick a single song or artist and create a "station" of music from that artist and others similar to them. Through rating songs with a thumbs-up (or -down), the program can fine-tune the "station" to help users discover artists similar to the ones they already like.
The new version offers a blue-and-white motif similar to, but distinct from, Facebook's color scheme. Song lyrics can be displayed while the song is playing, and the update also features a new "I'm tired of this track" option that will avoid playing the song again during the current session. Users will also see a simplified sign-in and registration screen.
The biggest change apart from the UI makeover is the new ability to rate songs after they've played, allowing users to scrub back in the history and rate, buy or comment on tracks that have been played. The feature allows users to focus more on listening without having to look at the program's interface to rate the song during play as has been the default behavior. The app is also said to reduce its battery use in the new version, and users can now start a new station directly from the Now Playing screen.
The update is free and available now in the App Store, but continues to be non-functional for users outside the US (as it has been since 2008, despite an email sign-up for notification of when this might change). Subscriptions are available to remove ads and add features to the web and iOS versions at a cost of $4 per month or $36 per year.