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When you start building something like Pandora you quickly realize there’s going to be a bunch of things that you’d love to do from day one that will have to wait for a later date. We have a long list like that and one staple of that list for the last 4 years has been an upgraded version of Pandora for listeners who want more features, better audio quality, and other things that we just can’t do in the advertising-supported free version of the product. Well, the day has finally come when we can cross this one off our list.
Introducing Pandora One.
For $36/year we’ll upgrade you and enhance your experience with these new features:
* High Quality Streaming: When listening on the web, experience 192K bits per second audio. That’s the highest quality streaming experience on the Internet. More bits means better sounding music.
* Pandora One Desktop: Listen to Pandora from a dedicated desktop application; no need to keep a browser window open. Control playback from the Windows taskbar or the Macintosh dock. Get popup alerts when a new song starts to play. This is the ultimate Pandora experience: simple, efficient, pure.
* No Ads: Pandora One is completely free of any sort of advertising: no audio ads, no visual ads. It’s just you and your music.
* Personalize Your Look: Surround the Pandora player with one of 8 custom “skins” that will make the look of Pandora as personalized as the music.
* Mini Player: Minimize Pandora One into the smallest possible browser window. This makes it easy for the web version of Pandora to live side by side with other web sites and applications.
* Skip All Day Long: With the standard ad supported version of Pandora you’re limited to 12 total skips per day. With Pandora One you’ll be able to skip as many times per day as you’d like (note you will still be limited, thanks to licensing constraints, to six skips per hour).
* Extended Interaction Timeout: Listen for up to 5 hours in a row without interacting with Pandora at all. Just turn it on and let it go. Every time you interact the timer is reset so just one click around lunchtime can get you through an entire workday.
So that’s Pandora One. The highest quality audio. Pandora One Desktop. No Ads. More features. No limits. As with everything we do, we’re very interested in hearing your feedback. Drop us an email or a comment here to share your thoughts. Your feedback will help shape future versions of Pandora One. This is just the beginning.
Tom
CTO @ Pandora
PS: If you had previously subscribed to Pandora to avoid advertising, we’ve upgraded your account to Pandora One status for free. Welcome!

Comments

  1. Roman
    May 20, 2009 at 12:54am
    Well, that seems to be it. Pandora bites the dust. I'm on Linux. Means, that even if I want I can't buy the app. But I don't want to. 12 skips per day is horrible with the amount of modern crap being fed into my 60s stations, without the option of preventing ban and thumbdown list merge. Not mentioning that listening to new songs becomes impossible. Pandora, when will you learn, that making people suffer is not a way to prompt them pay you money? R.
  2. Tom Conrad
    May 20, 2009 at 1:16am
    Hi Roman, The Pandora One desktop app will run on Linux. We've successful had it running on KDE4.1/AMD64 Linux as well as Debian unstable and Ubuntu 9.04. Because of all of the flavors of Linux out there it's not something we formally support, but I can personally tell you that in many cases it will work. Sounds on the other hand like we're really letting you down on your 60's stations. You certainly shouldn't have to "suffer through" modern crap on a station you want to play 60's music. We'll keep working on the playlist algorithm; that's what we do. We are the first to admit though that we don't always get it right today. The last thing we want to do is to make you suffer... the ad supported free version of Pandora will always be the way 95% or more of our listeners experience Pandora and we want that experience to be the very best it can possibly be. The trick with skipping is that we pay licensing royalties for each and every song we play. Even if we play just one second of the song, we play the full royalty. That means that the very small minority of our listeners that skip more than twelve times a day (and it's a tiny, tiny percentage) drive our royalty rates up and up. Sadly we just can't serve enough ads in that scenario to make the ad supported free model work. So, for the small group that wants unlimited daily skips we ask that you subscribe. We hope that's a fair value exchange. Our only goal in this is to ensure that we can afford to keep available in all it's forms for years to come. Tom CTO @ Pandora
  3. Arvind Satyanarayan
    May 20, 2009 at 1:38am
    The desktop app is absolutely gorgeous, you guys have really hit this one out of the park. I'm so glad that Pandora is no longer tied down to my web browser (which with 20+ tabs is often prone to hang/crash and so, screw with Pandora)
  4. Roman
    May 20, 2009 at 1:42am
    Thanks for the quick response. I run a Fedora Linux; I am not sure your application will run, and what I miss most is a trial version. It may be even with a preset royalty-free playlist, just to check that the application WILL work before I pay the money. As for the skips, I understand the license issue, but understand my point too: * Without the skips (mostly sleeps in my case) and a with severe thumbing both ways, Pandora gets stuck on a list of about 1500 songs at maximum, introducing about 5-7 new songs daily at most. * The lists of thumbed stuff are unmanageable and unmergeable. Inability to set temporal filters worsens the problem. I would like to suggest an alternative for free users: Present a "Coming next" list with the next four songs you're about to play. Allow the user to sleep/skip/thumbdown the songs in advance. Then you won't have to play that 'second of the song' you pay the royalty for and we'll keep our playlists neat and clean.
  5. Tom Conrad
    May 20, 2009 at 1:53am
    Roman, I love your alternative solution for free users, unfortunately the Internet radio licenses under which we operate explicitly forbid us from pre-announcing upcoming songs names (or even artist/album names). Another area where the licensing terms keep us from being able to do what we'd like. Very frustrating for us too. Understand your points with respect to variety and thumb management on Pandora. We're working on both and understand that to varying degrees they are a real issue with our current offering. We're not standing still on these issues and thanks for taking time to articulate the particulars of what you're frustrated by. Tom
  6. Roman
    May 20, 2009 at 2:03am
    I see. A revolution and putting RIAA against the wall is due. What about the ability to try the application before having to pay for subscription?
  7. Tom Conrad
    May 20, 2009 at 2:16am
    Roman, I personally really like the idea of a demo version of the desktop application. Something for us to ponder for a future release. Tom
  8. Carl
    May 20, 2009 at 4:26am
    Is it possible to use Pandora One without the desktop app? I also run Linux, and I'm happy with the browser method, since during any given day I may want to listen to music on 3 different computers. I don't want to install new applications each time I change. Also, I use the beta BlackBerry application. How does that interact with One?
  9. Steve
    May 20, 2009 at 5:00am
    Can I install Pandora One on multiple computers? (Work, Home Desktop, Home Laptops, etc)
  10. Terry
    May 20, 2009 at 5:14am
    Tom, downloaded the desktop app, very slick. Good job. Being one of those people that uses the 'hide taskbar' in windows. How are we supposed to skip songs, or thumbs up/down etc, without sight of the taskbar? I thinkg it would be useful for the x seconds that the next track popup overlays the screen to include the > arrows, likewise the thumbs up/down?

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