Pandora just announced that it has added a few comedy genres to its streaming radio offering. Much like you’d rate a song or artist, you can give each comedy track a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, and Pandora’s “Comedy Genome Project” will recommend different performers based on your tastes. Users can choose a specific comedian, or can select a specific genre such as “political comedy,” “working class comedy,” “PG comedy,” or comedy from the 60, 70s, 80s, 90s, or 2000s. Slacker Radio has had this feature for a while, but if you’re looking for some Lisa Lampanelli to spice up your lunch break, than Pandora should now have you covered as well. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
A new report filed by The Wall Street Journal suggests that New Jersey federal prosecutors are beginning to take a long, hard look at mobile applications. The publication writes that a grand jury will investigate whether iOS and Android applications distributed by Apple and Google “illegally obtain or transmit information about their users without proper disclosures.” Several application makers, including Pandora Media, informed the Journal that were issued subpoenas by the court, but have been told that they are not the target of the impending litigation.
“In early 2011, we were served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury, which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms,” Pandora noted in a regulatory filing on Monday.
The investigation aims to determine whether mobile application developers have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by transmitting anonymized (read: not so anonymized) data to app makers and/or third-parties. The report notes that prosecutors could charge individuals or companies with a “felony or misdemeanor” or could “pursue civil charges.” Neither Google nor Apple responded to the WSJ‘s request for comment. More →
Back in March of this year, Microsoft proudly announced that Pandora would be one of its big-name Windows Phone 7 launch partners. In an interesting turn of events last week, however, the popular Internet radio provider said on its Twitter account that it has no plans to develop an app for Microsoft’s new platform. Following reports of Pandora’s statement, the company reiterated its position:
I’m not sure if/when we will be available on [Windows Phone 7]. Appreciate everyone’s enthusiastic suggestions. I’m passing the feedback on.
We can’t imagine that Microsoft was lying when it boasted of Pandora’s imminent arrival on the Windows Phone 7 platform, but now Pandora is saying its future on the OS is uncertain. Pandora’s change of heart is yet another blow to Microsoft’s mobile platform as the company struggles to get popular apps on its new OS. Pandora Radio is one of several widely popular apps that would help ease customers’ transitions to WP7, though two of Pandora’s biggest competitors — Slacker and Last.fm — have developed and deployed Windows Phone 7 apps.
UPDATE: A Pandora spokesperson gave BGR the following statement with regard to the company’s plans for Windows Phone 7:
While we’re excited to see companies innovating and while we’re not ready to make an announcement specifically related to the Win 7 phone, we generally want to be everywhere our listeners want us to be.
Today, Panasonic announced that they will add Twitter to the list of built-in web entertainment technologies on their VIERA CAST enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players. The company already offers Skype, Netflix, Pandora, Fox Sports, Amazon Video-On-Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg, and weather services on VIERA televisions with the IPTV functionality built-in. Panasonic’s VP of corporate development had this to say:
Since we introduced Panasonic VIERA CAST IPTVs three years ago we have added more and more of the top entertainment and social networking sites in the world. The addition of Twitter to VIERA CAST further strengthens the interactive options Panasonic VIERA HDTV owners can now use to communicate with family and friends worldwide. Consumers with VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVS can now tweet on Twitter, video chat via Skype, share videos on YouTube and digital photos via Google Picasa right from the comfort of their living rooms.”
Maybe the future of HDTV isn’t in 3D and ridiculous refresh rates… maybe it’s applications? We’ve got the full press release for you after the break. Let us know if functionality like this is something that interests you, or if you think it is just something that will get in the way of your television-viewing enjoyment. More →
You can’t get your hands on iOS 4 just yet, but rest assured that when you can, Pandora will be ready for you. In an app update released today, Pandora added the multitasking capabilities that the iLoving masses have been waiting for. Of course, Android, webOS, and BlackBerry users are unimpressed by this; having had it for what seems like years. But hey…try to be nice to those iPhone users out there, it is a big day for them.
UPDATE: iOS 4 is out in the wild. If you’re interested, and we can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be if you are an iPhone owner, go and grab it! More →
It’s pretty incomprehensible that until about two weeks ago, I had never used a piece of Sonos equipment. Heard about it, and read about it? Sure, but never used it. What MP3s did for personal audio enjoyment 5 years ago, Sonos does for your home, office, or wherever you want today, ingeniously creating a seamless and practically unlimited expandable system. Sonos is literally one of the coolest things I’ve seen in years; not because they reinvented the wheel (even though they kind of did in some places), but because it works. More →
One of our favorite set-top boxes, Roku, has just announced that it is launching the Roku Channel Store. The good news for you couch potatoes is that the first 10 channels are free. The open platform for sharing content on TV will allow you to share pictures and video, and listen to Internet radio and podcasts. New channels available to add right now are Pandora, Facebook Photos, Flickr and TWiT (This Week In Tech). Plus, since this is an open platform, developers can jump on the Roku bandwagon to add in getting more channels out.
But here’s the best part: Anthony Wood, CEO and co-founder of Roku, says, “Now content producers and distributors – from single person shops to billion dollar corporations – can deliver their content directly to consumers without having to go exclusively through cable operators, satellite networks or TV affiliates.” Less restriction could mean more of the content you want without paying premiums. When is it available? Existing customers will get a free and automatic upgrade and new Roku customers will get the upgrade as soon as they get their box going. If you own a Roku box and are currently subscribed, let us know what you think of the new channels.
First and foremost, Internet radio lovers have some serious cause for celebration as Pandora announces a somewhat workable resolution to the ongoing royalty dispute that nearly drove the company into the ground. By somewhat workable, we mean it’ll keep them in business but it’s still paying the highest royalty rate in radio. What does this mean for Pandora users? Well it means they can keep using Pandora of course, and 90 percent of users will experience no changes whatsoever. For the other 10 percent though — users who don’t pay for Pandora One but stream more than 40 hours of music per month — the free ride is over to an extent. Any non-subscriber who goes over 40 hours in a month will have to cough up $0.99 in order to continue streaming during that month. $0.99, as in less than a dollar… We’d say that’s pretty fair. In all seriousness though, if you’re listening to 480+ hours of Pandora per year and not supporting the company by forking over $36 for a year of Pandora One, well, you should definitely consider it. So congratulations to Pandora on ending a 2-year fiasco. It might not have been the best possible outcome but hey, if it keeps the company afloat it’s not all bad.
You won’t see it on the dedicated BlackBerry page just yet but rest assured, Pandora has launched the highly anticipated BlackBerry Storm version of its mobile streaming application. When we told you about initial BlackBerry availablility last month, there were two main caveats: 1) No T-Mo. 2) No Storm. Resourceful as our readers are, it was quickly discovered that the whole no T-Mobile thing could be circumvented pretty easily. The lack of a Storm-compatible build however, would prove to be a slightly tougher nut to crack (obviously). No matter, as Pandora unveiled an official Storm build via its Twitter feed last night. Enough talk — time to get streaming. Hit http://www.pandora.com from your Storm’s browser or look for it in App World to get your hands on Pandora Radio and let us now how it goes.
So, check it. There’s something called the Palm Pre. We linked up with our friendly Palm rep, and he gave us a walkthrough of some of the brand new third party applications. Things like Pandora, Sprint TV, Palm’s Classic OS emulator, and Flight View all got shown off on Palm’s sexy Pre hardware. We also got a brief hardware walkthrough too, just for you guys.
That’s all we got for now, but hopefully the video quenches your thirst for some Pre hotness!
BlackBerry users rejoice, Pandora has finally released v1 of it’s custom internet radio streaming application this morning and long story short, it’s everything we’ve been waiting for. It’s… About… Time! We tested the app out on a Bold via AT&T 3G and it worked perfectly — no hiccups and no pauses or stutters. We also tested the various basic functionality such as song skipping, giving a song a thumb’s up or thumb’s down, pausing and creating a new station. Everything worked as it should, though skipping to the next track often took a tad longer than we would have liked. The fact that’s our biggest complaint should give you a pretty good idea of how happy we were with the app though. There’s some more popular Pandora functionality packed in of course, such as the ability to bookmark a song or artist, but we trailed off into a state of bliss before we could get into all that. At this point, after only a short time with the app, we would definitely call it the greatest thing to happen to music on a BlackBerry since, well, music on a BlackBerry. There is some bad news however… No (official) T-Mobile love and no support for the Storm for the time being. Ouch. If you’re a Pandora user with a non-T-Mobile ‘Berry though, hit the read link or go to pandora.com from your mobile browser and get streaming.
[Via Zatz Not Funny!]
Since the announcement of VUDU’s Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform, we’ve been waiting for some new big news to come down from the Santa Clara-based set top box-based movie distributor and this morning it looks like we’ve got it. Pandora, perhaps the most popular among a new wave of intelligent internet radio services, is now available via VUDU hardware. Pandora represents the first music application to hit the VUDU box and owners will have full access to just about all of Pandora’s great functionality. VUDU’s implementation also allows for multiple log-ins, allowing each member of a household to easily access his/her custom stations. The Pandora application is integrated seamlessly into VUDU’s sexy UI, as seen above, likely making it the most attractive Pandora-streaming option currently available. The addition of Pandora is awesome of course, but we’re still waiting for a monthly subscription option in addition to a la carte movie rentals/purchases before we get too excited about the service in general.
We’ve covered Pandora’s troubles before here on BGR and while the custom internet radio provider struggles to strike a workable deal with the RIAA, subscriptions just aren’t covering the bills apparently. Pandora, for those unaware, is a fantastic streaming music service that creates custom stations based on the tonal qualities of songs in its extensive catalog. By way of Twitter, Pandora clarified the fact that it has implemented audio ads in its guest streams. In other words, non-paying Pandora users may hear audio advertisements while subscribers ($36/year) will continue to enjoy unlimited music without interruption. No, we’re not talking about anything close to terrestrial radio’s music to ad ratio of 1:1 or worse – just a quick word from a sponsor every now and then. The move is a logical one of course, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Pandora ends up increasing its subscription charges as well. Users happy about the addition of audio commercials can send thank you notes directly to SoundExchange and the RIAA. Those of you unhappy about the news, will it stop you from using the service – or push you to subscribe?