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Spotify's Pandora clone, Stations, comes to the US

The standalone, pared-down version of Spotify simulates a personalized radio station.

Spotify Stations.

Spotify Stations -- a stripped-down version of the company's flagship streaming music service -- is now available in the US. It can be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. 

Read: Spotify tests new, Pandora-like app called Stations

If you already have a Spotify account, you can use it to sign into the Stations app. Otherwise, you'll need to create a new account, which requires providing your name, email address, date of birth and gender, and agreeing to the company's terms of service. If you use the free plan, you'll hear ads interspersed with songs on the Station app. (I listened to music using a free account for about 15 minutes before hearing the first ad.) Spotify Premium account holders will hear ad-free music. 

Once you're signed up, the interface is simple and intuitive: you can select an artist or choose a genre or mood, and Spotify will curate a playlist for you based on your listening habits. Once you tap the 👍 button 15 tracks, Spotify creates a personalized playlist called "Favorites." Unlike the flagship Spotify app, the Stations app doesn't allow you to search for or play specific tracks and albums. And Stations will let you skip only six songs per hour. 

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Spotify launched Stations as a test app last year in Australia. The company would not disclose whether or when it plans to bring the app to other countries; a company spokesperson shared this statement: "At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of experiments to create better listening experiences for our users. Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. Spotify Stations is one of those tests."