Update: The Beta version of the desktop application described in this blog was pretty much a failed experiment for us. We learned a lot though and just today launched a totally new desktop player that is part of our Pandora One subscription offering. Learn all about Pandora One here: Pandora One, the new destkop app here: Pandora One Desktop and share your comments with us here: Blog Post announcing Pandora One
And for posterity, here’s the original post on the “old style” desktop app:
We’ve always wanted to find a simple way to deliver Pandora as a desktop application — it’s probably been on our to do list longer than any single feature. Today we’re dipping our toe into those waters for the first time with the release of a Beta version of Pandora Desktop.
Truth is, this little guy is pretty simple. It’s just a way to pull Pandora out of a browser window and make it accessible with a single click from the Windows tray or Mac dock. We’ve built in quick access to common Pandora features from the tray/dock menu (pause, change stations, etc). If nothing else it ensures that you’ll never accidentally browse away from Pandora and lose your stream.
One big caveat: it’s important to understand that at Pandora we have big licensing and streaming bills to pay and from the beginning we’ve been working hard to figure out that piece of the puzzle. That means that advertising is an integral part of the Pandora experience and in an effort to keep the advertising as unobtrusive as possible we’ve focused on graphical ads rather than audio ads. The one downside to that is that we need lots of pixels to run the ads, so one thing you’ll find with the desktop app is it’s not some tiny little widget. As nice as that would be, it would make it basically impossible for us to cover our costs with advertising. So, at least for now, the main window of Pandora Desktop (which you can minimize) looks pretty much exactly like the Pandora.com home page.
One little caveat: this is a Beta and we’re asking you to take a look and send us your thoughts and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re interested in everything from bug reports, to feature requests, to commentary about the general utility of the application.
The application is built using Adobe AIR, which should automatically install if you don’t already have it. If you have trouble with that step, there are links for a two-step manual install too.
Known issues: performance of the Mac version is more CPU intesive than we’d like it to be. This seems to be an Adobe AIR issue and we’re working with Adobe to understand what we might be able to do to improve the situation.
To get started, visit this page: http://www.pandora.com/desktop and don’t forget to send us your feedback.
The fine engineers over at Facebook have done something pretty neat. You can now “import” all your Pandora activity (station creation, bookmarked songs and artists) into your Facebook news feed.
Setting it up couldn’t be simpler — just visit your Facebook profile page and click the “import” link at the top of the Mini-Feed section, select Pandora, enter the email address you used when you registered with Pandora and Facebook will fetch your most recent station creations as well as your recent bookmarks and add them to your mini-feed. Better still, from that point on, any time you create a station or bookmark something on Pandora those events will automatically be added to your mini-feed also. It’s a great way to keep your Facebook friends up to date on your latest musical discoveries.
We feel pretty lucky to be included in the very short list of sites that Facebook is choosing to integrate directly into the mini-feed. Thanks Facebook!
Much like spring flowers, Metal pops up in many varieties: Grindcore, Metalcore, Death Metal, Black Metal, and legions more. If you’ve ever had difficulty distinguishing between these many styles and subgenres (as I certainly have), then this show is for you. Three metal mavens — Ava, Kurt and Weasel — enter the recording studio to perform original songs in each of these styles, and to explain how these genres are musically distinct. They don’t shy away from Progressive Metal or Hair Metal, either. Get out your black leather, your chrome studs, and your best steel-toed boots and check out the show.
Please remove sharp objects before banging your head,
p.s.: What’s your favorite metal?
p.p.s.: Any glaring omissions in that list of examples? What do you think we overlooked?
We had the pleasure of meeting many of our San Francisco listeners on May 13. Thank you to the hundreds of people who came out for the event. It was great to talk with you, not just about your Pandora stations, but about all things musical.
The occasion for the party was the premiere of our latest Studio Stories video. After screening the piece, we hosted a Q&A session with the leaders of the Plant Studios, Arne Frager and Mari Tamburo. It was enlightening to hear Arne and Mari’s insights about the music industry, and their opinions on what studios need to do to thrive in today’s climate of home digital recording and shrinking production budgets.
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In the latest episode of the Pandora Video Series, our guests are Arne Frager and Mari Tamburo, the leaders of the Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA. The river of great albums made there is stunning, with notable records by Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, and Rick James just skimming the surface. In the video, “Studio Stories: The Plant Studios,” we talk about the ways that the lavish studios of yore can adapt to survive in a changing music industry. We also look at one creative way that a recording studio can involve itself in music education, as the Plant has done.
If you want to download the full-sized video rather than stream it from the page, subscribe to the feed in iTunes or any other feedreader.
Drumming wizard Jeff Anthony has returned! When Jeff isn’t analyzing music for Pandora or playing recording sessions, he is frequently thinking about rhythmic patterns. The man is dedicated. In this newest episode, “Drum Feels (For Toms and Kick),” Jeff shows a range of drumset variations that infuse arrangements with spice and zazz. Anticipations, tribal-sounding tom patterns, surf sounds, fills to cover BPM changes, and more. He is around to field questions, too, so fire away on the show page.
Shave and a haircut… two bits,
p.s.: We now have separate subscriptions for our Audio and Video programs… This one for the Audio Series, and this RSS feed for the Pandora Video Series. As always, they’re all free. Enjoy!
Wow. My previous post somehow managed to elicit a few fairly incendiary comments regarding rap music: so I think we’d better have this discussion now. Let’s keep it civil, and aim to have as our ultimate goal the promotion of a greater awareness of all the amazingly great rap and hip hop music that’s out there.
Ok. One listener wrote “I can’t figure out for the life of me why rap is considered music”; another made the rather extraordinary claim that “…rap music is non-music and it is forced on the media to reach kids to pull them into the gansta, dope dealing, guns and prostitution junk while as they depict their lifstyle as the high life.”
This idea that rap somehow “isn’t music,” is pretty prevalent, so let’s check it out. Setting aside the minefields of class and culture and race and just keeping it to the music, I’ll just say that musically speaking the idea that rap is “not music” probably comes from the fairly obvious observation that (en masse and in very general terms) rap songs don’t have melodies in the same way that popular songs do. There are plenty of melodies in rap, and there is lots of great music as well; but the salient point here is to compare what there is in rap songs to what there is in the basic popular song.
Pop songs, folk songs, art songs, and even instrumental music are almost always built around a melody. In most rap, that focal role of the melody is replaced by the voice of the rapper, and by the words. Now it turns out that the vocal cadences of rapping do in fact have a whole music of their own (as do our own speaking voices), and it’s a music that is quite subtle and absolutely bursting with the kinds of deep human information that animate the strongest art. But, to the new listener, or to the listener who is accustomed to singing along with melodies, or who carries with them a certain idea of what music is and is not, it’s worth observing that the fundamental composition of most rap pieces is in fact a radical musical challenge.
As such, if someone were to say that they didn’t like rap in general because they listen to music primarily for melodies, then that would be at least a concrete musical argument.
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I made a Cinco de Mayo radio station for you… Enjoy the day!
We are having a Pandora meet-up at the Santa Monica Main Library Auditorium in Santa Monica. Hope to see you there–excited to meet our Santa Monica listeners!
If you would like to attend, please RSVP by sending an email to Angie at email@example.com with SANTA MONICA in the subject line.
When: Monday, May 12th, 2008 @ 7 PM
Where: The Santa Monica Main Library Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (