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.
The application is written in Adobe AIR ensuring cross platform compatibility.