Pandora Updates iOS App with Auto-Mute, Better Buffering for Poor Connections

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Pandora Radio app for iOS to make music listening a more user friendly experience on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with the ability to auto-mute, better buffering and more.

    Now when a user mute his or her device, the app will automatically pause the song being playing so that users don't miss any of their music. The app also has improved buffering, which will help deliver stutter-free music playback in areas with poor reception or Internet connectivity, according to Pandora. Other improvements include better linking and general bug fixes:
    Pandora Radio is a universal app available for free in the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Pandora Updates iOS App with Auto-Mute, Better Buffering for Poor Connections
  2. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2009
    Scranton, PA
    This is their response to iTunes Radio? Hopefully they can remain competitive when release day comes. Competition is a good thing!
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Someone's getting a little worried with the competition.
  4. macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2008
    New Jersey
    Hmmmm...sounds like they're trying to get around people skipping songs, rather than "don't miss a song". Similar to iHeart Radio, you only get so many skips/hour, and what I do when I run out of skips is mute the radio, and then unmuting it a few minutes later to 'bypass' the song...I have a feeling that's why they're pausing the music, so that you can't mute it for the time being, and in theory, skipping over the song...:mad:
  5. macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2012
    The mute sounds interesting, however after the update it seems to have no effect at all.

    Anyone else get this to work?
  6. macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2005
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2007
    Indy, IN
    Apple probably just destroyed Pandora with iTunes Radio. It's just one less app I need on my phone and it's more integrated into the music I already own.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2005
    I don't think that's it at all. As you're using it, muting is in no way a "skip." Just hit the mute button on your keyboard or, if you need audio from other apps, turn the volume down in Pandora. Seems like there are many other equally convoluted ways of accomplishing your "bypass" without using mute.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2010
    doubtful. i dont think they care if you mute past a song...they are given a restricted number of skips, so if you use them up and mute the next song it doesnt matter to them. they arent in the business of forcing you to listen to music you dont like.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I agree. It's too bad but unless Pandora does something amazing then it's numbers are going to start plunging once iRadio comes out.

    These just released improvements were probably already in the pipeline and are almost certainly not their response to iRadio though.
  11. macrumors regular

    May 25, 2013
  12. macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2010
    I was worried about this because I often use the ring/silent switch when listening to music or podcasts in the car when I don't want to hear the alert noises from my chatty friends who are constantly sending me messages. The ring/silent switch (popularly called the 'mute' switch, even though it isn't) does not actually mute currently playing music in any app I've tried, only silences alerts - which is exactly what I want - but I was afraid Pandora had messed this up somehow.

    In fact, after a few minutes of testing, I can't figure out what Pandora actually changed. It still works the way I described (thankfully). Neither the ring/silent switch, nor the volume buttons, not the on-screen volume slider had the effect of pausing the music. Which is fine with me - if I wanted to pause, I would just press pause. But I'm curious as to what they actually did.

    No matter; I'm sure I'll switch to iTunes Radio in a few months anyway. Pandora haven't done anything to improve their product in 10 years.
  13. macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013
    You are probably right on both counts. Their numbers may drop and these improvements were probably already in the pipeline.

    The portion I bolded from your comment is where we differ some. I see it as Apple needs to do something amazing to get me to leave Pandora. From everything I just read on Apple's website there's nothing compelling about iTunes Radio that would make me switch from Pandora. I may be in the minority because I have multiple devices from different companies so the Apple ecosystem component doesn't mean much to me. I am curious though.

    For those who use Pandora currently AND are heavily into Apple's ecosystem, what's the motivating factor to change? Not trolling, genuinely curious.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2010
    A common misconception. Pandora decided to restrict skips, not the record companies or anyone else, and the restrictions are entirely under Pandora's control.

    The reason is that Pandora has to pay per listen. A skip counts as a listen just as much as if you had listened to the entire song, and Pandora has to pay the same amount either way. So a user who is rapidly skipping through songs will cause Pandora to have to pay much more than a user who is just listening to songs at a normal rate and not skipping anything.

    This is because Pandora pays according to the statutory, compulsory licensing terms set by the government. Pandora has no agreements with the record companies, but the government requires that they must allow any radio station who wants to, to play music for certain pre-determined fees, in the absence of any voluntary agreement. The compulsory terms have no concept of a 'skip' because traditional radio stations do not have this feature, so Pandora must pay as though a skip is a listen.

    Why doesn't Pandora have a voluntary agreement? Because the record companies hate Pandora, like they hate anything that is new, because they hate and fear what they don't understand. Yes, even after 13 years, Pandora is still new and scary to them, and they wish it would just go out of business already.

    Note that none of this applies to Apple, since they were able to come up with a different, voluntary agreement with the record companies. This is the magic of Eddie Cue.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    You have a good point. If you are heavily invested in Pandora and have a huge number of custom stations then what is the incentive to leave? You are probably in the minority in that you use Pandora and understand the Apple ecosystem and iTunes.

    IMHO the fact that one can buy music from iRadio and that it would be the only service necessary is huge. I have no facts to back this up but I think there are probably more potential customers for music services than their are current customers.

    I'd expect Pandora's growth to level off and then start shrinking. It won't be some sort of overnight catastrophe.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    Holly Springs, NC
    Well the app is either broke or doesn't work with iOS 7 because at the end of each song the app says that it paused my music because I muted my phone. After it did this on 5 songs, again after ever song ended, I switched back to iTunes Radio and my channel there. So far I may ditch Pandora all together and save that little bit of room on my phone.
  17. macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    I wonder if Apple will include some sort of scan and save function for users wishing to transfer stations over from pandora to Iradio. Not the actual stations, but the raw data (liked this, skipped that, bookmarked this) I doubt pandora would be okay with this and I don't even know if its legal but I'm sure it's possible somehow.
  18. macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2011
    And there's those of us who haven't opened apples music player since spotify.

    Enjoy the all inclusive Walmart approach to your device. Ill stick with the best experience ...a thumb tap away.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Me too and it sucks. Worked fine before in my 2011 BMW 3 series (via lightning adapter)

    With update every single song auto pauses assuming I muted (for no reason)

    Hmmm, might be enough to force me to move to iTunes Radio!
  20. macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Same thing happened to me this morning driving to work even when I unmuted the phone. It started working after I unplugged the phone and plugged it back in to the car after I unmuted it though. So make sure the phone is unmuted before you plug it in.
  21. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    Pandora doesn't mind when you are skipping a song, it's the record companies that mind. No, they don't mind either, they just charge Pandora money if you skip a song the same as if you played it. I think what Pandora wants to achieve is to pay the record companies only for music that you are actually listening to. So if you mute your phone and forget that you were playing music, Pandora won't get charged for 7 x 24 hours of music when you unmute it a week later.

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