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Q: I like to log on to Pandora and leave it up as I do other things on my computer.  This worked fine until about a week or 10 days ago, when Pandora started playing for 5 to 10 minutes and then the audio stops. I’ve tried going back to the website, changing stations, clicking the “like.” Nothing I do gets the sound back. I have to close it down and log back in again, when it will play fine for another few minutes. What’s with that?  Another thing that started happening about the same time is similar to a pop-up, but it’s music — no way to X out of it. It’s always the same instrumental music, louder than my current setting, and drowns out everything else. Lasts about 15 seconds and goes away. It’s completely random. I’ve had this pop in while emailing, shopping, whatever. I wonder if the two problems are related, and is this some kind of malware?? ~ Anita Gard

Tech+ From an initial glance, it sounds like your browser is getting clogged up and so it pauses the music, until you clear its memory (i.e. cache) so it can start fresh. Pandora offers tips on doing this for various browsers and devices:

Another issue users online are complaining about is that Pandora is playing one song at a time, and then you need to press play again. That’s not quite what internet radio is about. I just tested this in Google Chrome and had the same issue, even after following Pandora’s suggested tips for Chrome.

Make sure all your other software is up to date — from Windows to the browser. Online, others suggest turning off “power save” mode and making sure background data is allowed on smartphones, if that’s what you’re using. Or making sure Wi-Fi stays on.

The simplest fix may be to find a browser or device where it just works. Switching to Firefox worked for me and music began streaming smoothly — plus the ads. Using a browser that you don’t normally use can also help offload Pandora’s processing needs elsewhere so it doesn’t get in the way of your normal browser’s duties.

As for the 15 seconds of classical music, that is likely an ad since Pandora ads seem to always be 15 seconds. To stop them? Pay for the service, which starts at $4.99.

Obviously, companies are doing what they can to make money in order to pay the bills. The company isn’t profitable. In its most recent quarter, which ended in September, Pandora lost $66.2 million, which is worse than its third quarter last year when it lost $61.5 million.

That’s why it’s pushing paid subscriptions. It seems to be helping financially for the company. Pandora added 4 million paid subscribers in its third quarter, which is not chump change. Literally! Those new subscribers helped third-quarter revenues grow 50 percent to $84.4 million from last year.

You can also ask Pandora for help. The customer service page is at help.pandora.com and users can fill out a form to ask for help HERE. The company also has a Twitter account dedicated to helping users at  twitter.com/pandorasupport.

Everything’s better online! For complete answers and quick links, see the latest Tech+ Q&A at dpo.st/mailbag. Miss a week? Then subscribe to the new weekly Tech+ newsletter to get this week’s question and more delivered to your inbox. Sign up, see past Tech+ answers or ask your own tech question at dpo.st/mailbag. If you’re emailing your question, please add “Mailbag” to the subject line.

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