Pandora Radio

Common Sense Media says

Popular Internet radio app great for discovering new music.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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 $36 a year 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.

Privacy & safety

Stations you create will show up in searches other users do -- but if you change your account settings to make your profile page private, your profile won't be linked to your station if someone accesses it. However, if someone uses your email address to search for you on the site, all the stations you've created will be listed. Users can also find their friends' profiles by logging in with Facebook. Users also have the option of making their listening activity public.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pandora is an Internet radio app 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).

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • storytelling

Arts

  • music
  • rhythm

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Free, cloud-based music service can be a great way to connect and find out about new music. A lot of fun for music fans.

Learning Approach

Kids read to learn about select song components as well as the musicians themselves. They also have quite a bit of control over their experience -- their input helps Pandora create customized stations.

Support

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • storytelling

Arts

  • music
  • rhythm

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

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. The app doesn’t offer much in-depth musical info (such as song time signatures); it wasn’t designed to show how music is made. The music notes and bios are interesting extras. Kids are more likely to be enticed by how they can customize their listening experience, as they can enjoy everything from classical to alt-country to calypso. Pandora helps kids discover and gain appreciation for new songs, artists, and genres.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Like the online version of Pandora, the app lets users create customized stations by entering the name of an artist, band, or song; Pandora will then play that musician’s songs and ones from similar artists. As kids listen, they can indicate whether they like a song, and Pandora 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?

QUALITY
 

The PANDORA app offers a similar experience to its website counterpart. 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 doesn't let you play specific songs, and you can only skip a few tunes an hour. But that's part of Pandora's 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 Pandora 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.

Families can talk about...

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

  • Encourage kids to read the notes Pandora provides about song characteristics. As they begin to recognize more characteristics, challenge kids to identify them in songs on their own.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:November 16, 2011
Category:Music
Size:5.60 MB
Publisher:Pandora Media, Inc.
Version:3.1.16
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Pandora Radio was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byhellopamela July 1, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

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 bedtime music together. (i would not let my child have access to Pandora totally unsupervised, and agree that some selections and advertisements are not appropriate.)
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 7 years old July 1, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

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
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 15 years old Written byrebma97 May 30, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

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't skip some songs (sometimes you can, but you can only skip songs a certain number of times). Depending on what song you're listening to, it could be appropriate/innapropriate.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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