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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. Max
    May 20, 2009 at 8:07am
    Thanks, Pandora team! I'm delighted to pay the subscription fee for these great features. Let me be the first to bite the hand that feeds me with a few nit-picks. The desktop app is beautiful, but I was expecting a few standard things that I don't see: 1.) Media key support: Maybe the app already has this, and my rubbish Microsoft keyboard isn't doing it right. But if not: One of the big wins with a desktop app should be OS interoperability, and that certainly includes the use of media keys! This was always one of my biggest gripes with Pandora. It doesn't even need to specifically be "Media key" support--just some form of hotkey support. It would be great to pause & skip without having to navigate to the app. 2.) "Minimize to tray": Pretty much every media player out there will automatically remove its taskbar button and exist solely in the tray when you minimize it. This reduces clutter a hundredfold. Most apps will toggle between restored/minimized when you click on the tray icon. I was confused, because this *seemed* to be the case when I first started the app, but I couldn't get the taskbar button to disappear again! 3.) Song info on hover: You ought to get the song info when you hover over the tray icon, instead of just "Pandora". I know it's Pandora! What am I listening to? :-] Like I said, these are tiny nitpicks, but the devil is in the details. With the subtle changes like the three I listed above, I feel that the desktop app would truly be a 10/10. Oh, there is one other thing that I'd love to have, but is certainly not an "expected standard". Right now I use the Firefox LastFM extension to "scrobble" my Pandora tracks to my last.fm profile. I know... EVERYONE does that, right? If you guys ever have the time to cater to my slim "pedantic power-user" demographic, it would be great to have last.fm support for the desktop app. I think it's something the last.fm client guys could take care of, too, but they seem reluctant to add support for more players than their current list. It's too pad you guys struggle with your licensing issues so much. I'd be interested to know the details, just out of curiosity--is this kind of information publicly available in the form of laws & standards, or is it a private contract you have with a single distributor? Thanks so much for your time. Pandora regularly makes my day, and I evangelize it everywhere I go. I wish I could help more than just the subscription fee!
  2. Steve
    May 20, 2009 at 8:16am
    So, with the debut of Pandora One, the "standard" pop-out mini player is gone? Bad form.
  3. Tom Conrad
    May 20, 2009 at 8:21am
    @carl -- yes, Pandora one works great from a regular browser. You get 192Kbps streaming, a new set of skins, unlimited daily skips, and the web miniplayer. @steve -- yes you can install Pandora One Desktop on more than one computer. One caveat: Pandora assumes that a single account is only be used in one location at a time. Our playlist quality will degrade for you will degrade if you have Pandora playing from two locations at once. @terry -- if you minimize your taskbar, you can always use the control buttons in the desktop app window itself. Like the idea of a few few subtle buttons in the pop song notification window. We'll take a look at that for a future version. @greg, @daniel -- sorry you're missing the "mini player" in the free web version. The reality is that we simply couldn't get advertisers interested in paying to advertise in that small format player. It was a consistent money loser for us in the ad supported mode. I *hate* taking features away but in the interest of ensuring that Pandora will be around for many, many years to come we have to deliver the product in a form that allows us to recoup our licensing costs. In the case of the mini player it got to the point where we simply had to make it a subscription only option. @Mestafais, @Gareth -- sadly the licensing issues we face outside of the US aren't resolved by the subscription/free dimension. We're still working on sorting out international access, but it's slow going. @Danny -- drop us a note at support@pandora.com and we'll see what we can do to get you up and running under Ubuntu.
  4. Max
    May 20, 2009 at 8:25am
    Oh, one more thing: You folks should definitely consider a "Gift" interface for buying someone else a subscription. If you already have one, make it easier to find!
  5. Francis
    May 20, 2009 at 8:41am
    Will this player be keychain-usable? Many of us listen to Pandora at work, where applications cannot be isntalled on the workstation.
  6. Ryan Meray | ctechsinc.com
    May 20, 2009 at 8:43am
    On thing I've come to love with Pandora is the mash-ups that let me scrobble my stuff to Last.fm (pandora-fm) and tweet a specific song on demand (dora.fm). I assume Pandora One won't work with web-based mashups, so I hope that at some point you integrate built-in scrobbling and song-tweet capability. You do that, you've got my subscription in the bag. For now, I'll likely stick with the web interface.
  7. jazzimus
    May 20, 2009 at 8:50am
    @pandora_radio im on http://www.pandora.com/subscribe i don't see the lock or https when entering my cc info
  8. Chip
    May 20, 2009 at 8:50am
    Tom & Co, Thanks for the upgraded features in Pandora One! Since I was already a paid subscriber, this is pretty much a free upgrade to me, an much appreciated. Can't wait to check out the upgraded bitrate once I'm somewhere I'm allowed to stream audio! :) Of course, you didn't think all the great news was going to prevent us from pestering you further, right? Does the stand alone app offer or bring us any closer to having an external control API for the Pandora service? Thanks, - Chip
  9. the guy in the next cube
    May 20, 2009 at 9:00am
    I LOVE Pandora and these new features sound like nice improvements to the service... but still not enough to compel me to pay. sorry. * I have no complaints about the free sound quality. * I already have a desktop app that is basically just an embedded browser that allows me to position it and resize it to simulate a standalone, mini-player. * I don't mind the occasional (2-3 a day) audio ads. * I don't have a strong desire to "customize" an app that stays minimized 99% of the time. * I rarely skip songs... 12 is plenty (if I don't want to hear it, I thumb it down). * The "Extended Interaction Timeout" would be nice but not that big of a deal.
  10. Tim
    May 20, 2009 at 9:06am
    I would have no problem paying for Pandora, IF it were billed monthly instead of annually. Shelling out $3/month makes me feel better than doing $36/year. I know, it's the same thing, but $3 a month would just feel better.

Comments are closed.