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It's Live! Pandora Music Hits OZ

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 10/12/2012

Listen up Spotify: Pandora Internet radio has landed Down Under.

The US based "personalised " radio service is now live in Australia and New Zealand.

Pandora is now available on iPhones and Android smartphones and you can also download the web based player for PCs - all for free.

The service has 175 million registered users in the U.S and comes as another major Internet music mogul - Spotify - arrived in Oz in May.

Pandora's radio service allows listeners to create stations based on personal music tastes across 400 genres of music - its massive catalogue offers everything from current hits, singer-songwriter, electronic, roots and reggae dub, indigenous to classic pub rock.

Among the unique Aussie stations are '60's and 70's Summer hits', 'Aussie Today's Hits', 'Aussie Classic Pub Rock' and 'Aussie Hip Hop'

Personalised stations are powered by "thumbs," which fine-tunes the stations and you can create up to 100 unique "stations."

When you do punch in the name of a favourite song or artist, it will also suggest 'similar artists', let you create a 'music feed' and 'personal profile.'

Ex Fairfax exec Jane Huxley, Pandora's new Managing Director ANZ says "this version of Pandora has been built specifically for Australians and we are going to be all about bringing the best music experience of local and international artists as well as supporting local musicians."

It also lets music lovers unearth new independent music via Music Genome Project, which has over 1 million tracks and 100,000 independent artists that have been manually analysed by a musician along hundreds of musical "DNA" traits.

"The service has certainly changed the way people have consumed and enjoyed music in America for the last 12 years, and I'm looking forward to seeing its adoption in Australia and New Zealand," said Huxley. 

Holden will offer full compatibility with Pandora via its new MyLink infotainment system - debuting in the new Barina CDX - and is the first car company to do so here.

In the first quarter of next year, drivers will be able to use the Music service while driving. They can stream music and access track information on a touch screen.

"After years of preparation and anticipation we are absolutely thrilled to fully launch Pandora internationally in Australia and New Zealand. Personalised radio is a wonderful medium for listeners to enjoy music they know and discover music they'll love," said  Pandora Founder Tim Westergren.

"Now we begin the incredibly exciting process of connecting the 100,000-plus working musicians in the Pandora catalogue with millions of new listeners"

The Pandora app has received good reviews from Android users - over 670,000 have rated it five stars.

"This is better than xm radio and its free," one user wrote.

Another said: "good app but has some glitches here and there that can get annoying. Will sometimes freeze up in between songs. I prefer it over the Spotify app, though"

Pandora's is holding listener "Town Hall" events in Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney this week, where Tim Westergren and Jane Huxley will meet Pandora users and fans and talk about the local service.

Locations include: Auckland, 6:30 p.m. December 10, Viaduct Events Centre, Melbourne, 6:30 p.m. December 11, Melbourne Town Hall, Sydney, 6:30 p.m. December 12, The Establishment Ballroom

To check out Pandora and hear the new local genre stations, go to www.pandora.com and sign up for the free service.

To listen to the new genre stations created for Australia and New Zealand visit:

· Australia: www.pandora.com/new/au/music

· New Zealand: www.pandora.com/new/nz/music

To download the mobile apps, go to www.pandora.com/new/au-nz.

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