Pandora - Free Music & Radio

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Pandora  - Free Music & Radio App Poster Image
Popular Internet radio app great for discovering new music.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Though the app isn't intended for learning, kids can learn about select song components -- such as minor key tonality -- via written info from the Music Genome Project, which tracks and compares song details. Kids can also read brief musician bios. 

Ease of Play

The app is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is register and enter musicians' names to create different music channels -- then sit back and listen.

Violence

Teens can create stations that will play songs with violent lyrics. Parents can enable the explicit content filter with a PIN; this will limit content to what would be played on daytime broadcast radio.

Sex

Teens can create stations that will play songs with sexual lyrics. Parents can enable the explicit content filter with a PIN; this will limit content to what would be played on daytime broadcast radio.

Language

Teens can create stations that will play songs with mature lyrics. Parents can enable the explicit content filter with a PIN; this will limit content to what would be played on daytime broadcast radio.

Consumerism

Teens with a free account will hear and see ads regularly. Users can pay to subscribe to Pandora One, which doesn't have ads and offers a higher audio quality when listening on the web.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens can create stations that will play songs glorifying drinking drugs, and smoking. Enabling the explicit content filter will limit some but not all of this type of content.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pandora - Free Music & Radio is a music streaming app and website that lets users create stations based on favorite artists, songs, or composers. Users must be at least 13 and need to sign up for a Pandora account to use the app. Registration is free but requires your name, zip code, birth year, gender, and a password you create. You can't add profile info through the app -- you'll need to log on to a computer to do that -- but you can make your profile private by unchecking a box during registration (if you don't, the profile will be visible to everyone). Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhellopamela July 1, 2012

Pandora Radio

we especially like the children's indie radio. i think it is good for 7 and up with parental supervision, and only choice selections. we listen to it as be... Continue reading
Adult Written byJennifer A. April 23, 2018

Parental Controls don't work

I've been extremely disappointed that even with the "No explicit content" control selected, my son was able to search for explicit songs and list... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old July 1, 2012

Pandora Radio

great,but try to avoid some inappropriate stations and mostly for 10 + like today's hits but, also listen to stations before kids do
Teen, 15 years old Written byrebma97 May 30, 2012

Ok app (3.5/4 stars); some iffy songs

This is a nice app version of the website. I like how it picks songs for you based on your genre interest, but (like the radio) I don't like how you can... Continue reading

What's it about?

Like the online version, PANDORA - FREE MUSIC & RADIO lets users create customized stations by entering the name of an artist, band, or song; it'll will then play that musician’s songs and ones from similar artists. As kids listen, they can indicate whether they like a song, and it will program the station accordingly. There are some limits: You can’t play specific songs, and you can only skip a few each hour. However, kids can easily discover new music they like through the app’s music-matching capabilities.

Is it any good?

This music streaming service offers a similar experience to its website counterpart and does what it does well All you need to do is enter an artist's name to create a station that'll play songs from that musician and similar artists and bands. (Station content is based on info from the Music Genome Project, which tracks and compares harmony, rhythm, and other song details.) You won't have the same level of control your iPod provides: Pandora - Free Music & Radio doesn't let you play specific songs, and you can only skip a few tunes an hour. But that's part of its charm. The app can help introduce you to new music in genres that you like and will fine-tune your stations if you click on the thumbs up or down icons that appear with each song to indicate your preferences.

However, users need to be aware that when you register for the app, your profile will be public, unless you uncheck a box to make it private. Altering other parts of your profile requires you to log on to the website. (If you want to hide your listening activity or block other users from commenting on your profile, you'll need to manually change those settings online.) If you don't, strangers can easily access your profile -- and, even if your profile is private, users can still find the stations you've made if they search for you using your email address.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the notes Pandora - Free Music & Radio provides about song characteristics. As they begin to recognize more characteristics, challenge kids to identify them in songs on their own.

  • Create playlists of music your kids may not know based on artists you like -- and have them do the same for you!

App details

For kids who love music

Our editors recommend

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