Pandora opens its box of special features for Windows Phone 8

Pandora Windows Phone 8
Pandora's Windows Phone 8 features make it special

Streaming music services are all the rage these days, and fighting for users in the crowding marketplaces on various operating systems is no doubt a daunting task.

Pandora has had the benefit of being one of the more recognizable and reliable streaming services, though upstarts like Spotify have no doubt made keeping hold of that valuable audience a challenge.

With new threats from Apple, YouTube, and possibly even Twitter potentially looming on the horizon, there's no better time for Pandora to try out some new tactics.

In an effort to set itself apart from the competition, Pandora has teamed with Microsoft and its Windows Phone 8 brand to provide some unique exclusive features for users of phones like the Nokia Lumia 822 and Lumia 920.

Truly free music

Pandora Windows Phone 8

Right now, Pandora offers free music streaming through ad-supported stations, but with the new Windows Phone 8 app, those ads are a thing of the past.

For the remainder of 2013, all streamed music from Pandora on WP8 devices will be ad-free, and will have no limits on how much music you can stream.

Users will also be able to pin their favorite stations to the home screen, where the Live Tile will display what song is currently playing.

To make this new Pandora experience even more appealing to parents, when the app is launched through the Kid's Corner, all music will automatically be filtered for explicit content.

All of the other features present on Pandora apps on other operating systems return here as well, including the ability to create 100 stations, or buy music you hear straight from the related marketplace.

The app has only just released, and its biggest draw may be temporary, but for now there's a clear front-runner when it comes to the best free streaming music app available on Windows Phone 8.