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Car Tech Spotlight: Pandora voice commands in the 2014 Mazda6

Pandora Internet radio is available in more vehicles, but few make it this easy to change stations and more via voice.

By Douglas Newcomb Aug 16, 2013 6:23AM

Pandora integration in a 2014 Mazda 6.Pandora Internet radio is available in more than 100 car models from 23 automakers, and the company recently announced that more than 2.5 million people now use its onboard applications in new cars.

Pandora is just one – although the most prominent – of the streaming music services coming to the car. Others, such as Slacker, Spotify and TuneIn, are also being integrated into the dashboard via smartphone apps.

But one of the issues with these in-car apps is the in-dash interface, and automakers sometimes have to adapt their existing infotainment systems to work with these services. Car models that were designed before Pandora became common usually have more problems. I encountered this in a 2012 Toyota Prius, in which I had trouble getting Entune system to connect to my phone and recognize the Pandora app.

Pandora integration in new models such as the 2014 Mazda6 is generally more seamless. The top-of-the-line Grand Touring model I tested allows accessing Pandora through voice commands, which makes this popular app easier – and safer – to operate while driving.

As you can see in the video below, voice command in the Mazda6 worked flawlessly. I used the feature about a dozen times during a weeklong test, and only a couple of times did Pandora fail to recognize and execute a command.

You can use voice commands to skip tracks, change stations, give a song a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, view a station list or bookmark a station. Pandora integration and voice commands are available on all 2014 Mazda6 models, Ss you don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line trim to get it.

Aug 19, 2013 11:36AM
When I bought my new car, I explicitly told the salesman to not sign me up for Sirius XM satellite radio; he did it anyway. After the six months trial expired, Sirius harassed me for another year with phone calls on my prepaid mobile phone, causing me not only inconvenience but a financial expense as well. They also buried me with postal and electronic mail, constantly trying to pressure me into buying a subscription plan, even after being repeatedly and explicitly told that I will never pay for it and do not want it. Even after being told "NO", they still tried to haggle with me and pressure me into a paid subscription, repeatedly!

What happens when the trial period expires, will Pandora inundate the owner to pay for subscription like Sirius harasses people to do that?

Can mazda6 buyers opt out of Pandora when purchasing their mazda?
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