Ok, it is not a real productivity tool in the traditional sense
Other than having Alpine and emacs open 90% of the time Pandora is the app that is open 90% of the time. What is Pandora? Pandora is a streaming, learning music program. You initially feed it an artist or song or genre and it starts playing similar titles, you can like or not like a title and it will change what it plays based on all sorts of magic algorithms.
Why Pandora over local music?
All through HS and college I was mostly a heavy metal fan with a few outbursts but I find as I get older I am tending to a larger variety of music. Even though Cold is still my favorite band for historical reasons that don’t make sense! Plus I find myself cutting my MP3 collection to around 5-6 gigs, music that is core to me and not all the one off CDs I bought when OnCue was going out of business. I found I needed variety, and something beyond my normal tastes. For instance on my Raconteurs list it is playing a new track, “Say Yes” by Wax Tailor, never heard it but really digging it at the moment. My local music after a few weeks of a new album begins to feel stale, but Pandora always has something new and enticing.
It is always there for you!
When work was an hour away I had XM radio which was great, local radio for the most part sucks and XM back in the day had lots of good stuff. But now with my iPhone going everywhere and having decent cell connection I can carry music in my pocket for the road. Switching tracks sometimes takes a few seconds but its easy on long road tracks to hook up the iPhone to the car hit Pandora and have good music cross country. I don’t know how radio will live in the future with such services!
A issue I have
I have an issue with the desktop client though, firstly it is Adobe Air which means it pops up that it needs to update at least once a week and two it behaves in some non osx fashion. I wish they would come up with a native client for OSX and windows, would make my life happier.
Should you use it? Yes!
Why should you use it? First its free, I paid for it for no ads and to support something I love. Secondly it allows one to broaden ones music choices, plus its fun to experiment with, I have a Lady Gaga channel I started for the fun of it, after over a year of pruning it now plays anything from Regina Spektor to Ben Harper to Kayne West.