A while back I bemoaned the fact that Pandora is now only available to listeners inside the USA. Well, the situation hasn’t changed but they have released Pandora Desktop which as the name suggests, is the desktop version. After experimenting with some of the tips suggested on the Digital Alchemy site, I managed to get it working with limited success and took it for a test drive.
In reality, there’s nothing particularly different from the online version of Pandora. The difference is that it’s much more easily accessible. You can access it in a jiffy from Windows tray or Mac dock and they’ve built in some instant access links to common Pandora features such as pause, change stations, etc. As the developers admit themselves though there are no major changes and, “If nothing else it ensures that you’ll never accidentally browse away from Pandora and lose your stream.”
The one thing that you can’t avoid on the desktop version is, yes you guessed it, advertisements. To pay for all the music licensing, Pandora need to use advertising to keep it going. The difference, and I prefer this to the online version, is that the ads are graphical rather than audio. The big downside is that because the program requires so many pixels to run the ads, Pandora Desktop is not exactly a small desktop application and can tend to hog your RAM. The other slightly annoying thing is that it requires installation of Adobe AIR to work (which it does automatically) which is worth having anyway because there are so many cool applications coming out for it. However, Mac users be warned that Pandora Desktop is apparently particularly heavy on RAM and the CPU which the developers have identified as an Adobe AIR issue which they are working to resolve.
Pandora Desktop is currently in beta stage so if you experience any other added problems or issues, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org