Record your Pandora streaming radio

Pyrrha
With Pyrrha you can now record music from the streaming radio stations that you set up in Pandora.

Update:
You can still find the application here. (Thanks, Trevor)

The application gives you a simple interface where you log on to Pandora, select the channel you want to record and how long you want to record.

Pyrrha makes one 128 kbit MP3 of the recording and a playlist-file (PLS) with the correct song and artist names. Simple as that.

Have fun while it last.

Pyrrha used to have a page on their site with an explanation of the fact that it is legal to record your Pandora radio stations for personal use. For some reason this page has been removed. When I tried Pyrrha for the first time it was a trial, and Pyrrha had a page where you could purchase the full version.

Right now the information on the Pyrrha site is very limited and for me it seems like the version 1.0.1 of their application is a fully working free version.

Update:
I got this very good answer from Pyrrha:

Unfortunately after pursuing legal council it came to our attention that we could incur legal liability if we charged for this type of application. In light of this information we have decided to release the application for free to the community to enjoy. As a part of this release we also hope to obtain feedback from the Pandora.com user community with their reactions and thoughts on the legality and usefulness of such an application. If the community deems this type of application valuable we would encourage the community to email Pandora.com with their thoughts.

Additionally we are attempting to provide small improvements to the current application and will take into account your suggestions in regard to duration control and login credential saving. We are also looking for feedback from the community and would love submissions for feature enhancements. I must preface this however by the fact the we have chosen to not support the download of single mp3 files and consider this an abuse of the Pandora.com service.

We ultimately hope that our application will bring additional attention to the Pandora.com service and the experience it can provide users outside of the web browser. We will also attempt to reintroduce a legal disclaimer about the use of Pyrrha. One point to note is that we are attempting to distance ourselves from the moniker “podcast” because this could convey the distribution of copyright materials from the Pandora.com service which we obviously discourage.

Record your Pandora streaming radio

Pandora plugin for Meedio

Screenshot - Pandora plugin for Meedio
…or should I say “Pandora plugin for Yahoo GO TV”?

Anyway, it looks like an excellent plugin. It gives you the Pandora music recommendation engine directly in your media center. Unlike the Pandora plugin for Windows Media Center Edition this one also gives you a bit of control over the Pandora player from your remote.

When will the Pandora guys allow scaling of their player so it will be possible to make it fit better into the big screen user interface? Or even better, make full support for media centers?

(Thanks, Trond and Maarten)

Pandora plugin for Meedio

Pandora plugin for Windows Media Center

Screenshot Pandora Playing in MCE
I have written about Pandora before. It is the first music recommendation engine that I actually like and find useful. When I tried it for the first time I instantly wanted a plugin for my Media Center that would let me open Pandora.

I guess I wasn’t the only one. Colin Savage has made a little plugin that not only let you open and start Pandora in your media center, but it let you start Pandora on basis of music from your local collection.

Update:
The links are dead and unfortunately I don’t know where this project is now.

The plugin is a little web application hosted on Colin’s page. It seems like he has some performance issues, so my friend Jahn-Tore has kindly offered a mirror. He has also done some minor changes to the plugin to make it look slightly better in MCE. You find the modified version here.

Screenshot More Music Like This

Then what?

You can go to your artist listing, select an artist and hit the Info-button on your remote. Now select “More…”. That will let you start Pandora playing similar music to the artist or track you have selected.

In other words, I am listening to Tom Waits in my Media Center. Two clicks and Pandora streams similar artists choosen from the very detailed Music Genome Database that is the basis of the recommendation engine in Pandora.

The main problem with the plugin is the fact that the Flash based Pandora player does not scale and is not designed for navigation with a remote.

If now only the Pandora guys get the message, talk to Colin and implements a version that is tailored for MCE. Until then, this solution works fine. The fact that the Pandora interface looks like crap on your 40 inch LCD as long as it doesn’t scale does not destroy the good recommendations and acceptable sound quality from Pandora.

The installation of the plugin from Colin’s page is not 100% straight forward. It includes saving a file to the right directory on your media center and register the plugin. For the people that is afraid of starting that dangerous black command line window and write strange commands in there I have made a simple BAT-script that will register the plugin for you. Just right-click this link and select “Save as”. Save it to a place where you find it and double click it after you have saved the plugin from Colin’s or Jahn-Tore’s page in your eHome directory.

Pandora plugin for Windows Media Center