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 beta-feedback@pandora.com. 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.


  1. Matthew
    May 20, 2009 at 8:11am
    UGH! Has this project been abandoned? Why can't the pop-up issue be fixed? It'd be a semi-decent alternative to using Pandora through a browser if pop-ups would just freaking work. Also... WHY ARE THERE NO ADS? Isn't that the whole freaking point of it being this big and sacrificing usability? Don't you want money? Also, if you'd make a small, mini-player without ads available I'd happily become a subscriber... as I'm sure lots others would too. Once again: DON'T YOU WANT MONEY!? o.O; I love Pandora but this is really confusing for me.
  2. Tom Conrad
    May 20, 2009 at 8:24am
    Hi Matthew, Yeah, this version of the desktop application was pretty much a failed experiment. 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: http://www.pandora.com/pandora_one and the new destkop app here: http://www.pandora.com/desktop_app
  3. Con
    May 21, 2009 at 10:36am
    I really like the release of this new Pandora desktop. I appreciate all the work that went into making an application for multiple OS support, to stream random music selections. My one question or maybe suggestion is, here at our business we have XM playing to our internal speaker systems throughout our building, and we hate it. It is choppy and the system for it is bulky, and has a single point of configuration for changing stations. Does Pandora have a road map for building a Pandora for Business Desktop application, that would be a larger fee, yet have a better pause timeout? It would be nice if you had an application you could set to only stream for business hours (7-7), and then the stream would turn off. This would then allow our CEO / Execs the control of what music we have playing, lets be honest that is the highlight of their day, but also allows for Pandora to put in a type of Parental controls on which type of songs would be played and a larger fee to charge (XM $135 a year). We don't really care about bandwidth utilization. Suggestion: Pandora Box... A small Asic with a network interface, a management app and a 3.5 headset jack, that just does Pandora radio. Thanks again for this desktop app, it is a step in the right direction. -Con
  4. Hilary
    May 27, 2009 at 2:23pm
    I wish that the new Pandora|One app could be hidden by closing the window. The previous version of Pandora desktop allowed me to close the window but keep Pandora playing. I am wishing I wouldn't have downloaded this new version as I find it annoying to have it up in my taskbar the whole day. Just a suggestion for the next version - perhaps you could work that functionality back into the app. Thanks!
  5. Seth
    June 03, 2009 at 6:58am
    Hilary you actually can play the new player "closed." Just use the close button to close the player, it will still be running in your notification area in your taskbar, but will be paused. All you have to do is right click on the Pandora icon and hit play. Kind of an bass ackwards way of doing it, but it can be done. The guys at Pandora just need to make it so it does not pause on "close". Also make sure you have the "Always display in taskbar tray" option seleted in the preferences of the desktop app.
  6. paul
    June 06, 2009 at 10:36am
    yeah, that's really lame actually. The desktop app used to be free.
  7. Justin
    June 10, 2009 at 3:51pm
    Well for everyone wanting a linux version, just try to install it on linux, install adobie air then download the pandora.air file and try to install it. (you have have the old pandora desktop installed, remove the pandora folder from /opt and then remove the dpkg reference from it (http://eatthepath.com/2009/05/29/installing-pandora-under-ubuntu-linux/)
  8. TV
    June 12, 2009 at 4:14pm
    I've used this for months without a problem. Starting this week though I've had problems. Anytime I click play, skip or pause in the Player it opens a web browser and opens Pandora there. Its ends up on the right station, but it plays two songs: one on the app and the other on the browser. What's up?
  9. Brandon
    June 17, 2009 at 10:16pm
    this sucks this used to be free i want the free one why should i have to upgrade a free service just to get a desktop app
  10. rhall
    June 19, 2009 at 1:59pm
    Just like Justin - I thought this app was great until recently where now clicking to learn more about the artist, it tells me that my pop ups are blocked (they are not) or if I click to vote on a song it opens another instance of Pandora through the web browser. I wonder if this was this a function of the Safari update to version 4? I'm also disappointed that we have to subscribe for the new app. I tried Pandoraboy, but it didn't provide the artist info (or not that I saw) and you could not resize the window.

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