Internet radio platform Pandora finally has a native desktop app so you can access the streaming service without having to fiddle with a browser window. The app, which is available for Mac only with Windows support on the way, has a clean, mobile-influenced interface with a blue color scheme, lyric support, and easy-to-use recommendation tools. You can download it here.
Pandora says it’s also shipping some new features exclusive to the app, including keyboard playback controls, on-screen notifications, and controls for its new Pandora Modes feature, which launched back in March. The whole experience is a stripped-down, much more utilitarian alternative to Apple Music and Spotify, both of which are packed to the brim with features and can be somewhat cumbersome to navigate on desktop. It’s also an official version of what has been offered in less complete and lower-quality forms by a number of third-party apps over the years.
Pandora may have been one of the earliest pioneers in streaming music, having popularized internet-based radio starting nearly two decades ago. Over the years, however, as music streaming eclipsed digital downloads, Spotify and then Apple Music, alongside less popular offerings from Amazon and Google and others, have become the main distribution avenues for the music industry.
Pandora has held on largely thanks to its commitment to internet radio even as playlists took off, its acquisition of Rdio’s assets in 2015, and, most recently, its sale to SiriusXM for $3.5 billion. In 2017, Pandora began offering a premium, paid tier to better compete with Spotify alongside its ad-supported radio offering. Now, with SiriusXM’s backing, it seems Pandora is ready to start launching some more minor features to help it better compete and retain its more than 75 million monthly users.