Pandoras Box by developer Francisco Garza is a Mac client for the Pandora music streaming service. It lives in your Mac’s menu bar and offers easy access to all of your existing Pandora channels and playback controls, plus the ability to create new channels, tweet what you’re currently listening to, and go directly to iTunes or Amazon to purchase songs.
(In case you’re wondering, the name of this app appears to be missing an apostrophe to denote the possession of said Box, which kills me to type but what can you do?)
If you’re not already familiar with Pandora, it’s an online music service where you can create your own personal radio stations based on music you like. Pandora has offered its own official Pandora Radio iPhone and iPad app in the App store for several years now. Pandora is free and ad-supported, with the option to upgrade to a premium account that removes all ads and offers higher quality audio and more. Pandoras Box works with both free and paid premium accounts and uses the higher quality audio files available to those with premium accounts.
Pandoras Box also offers Growl integration, showing notifications on your screen according to your personalized Growl settings each time a new song starts to display the artist, song title and album name, a useful feature that helps me take note of new artists and songs I haven’t heard before without pulling my focus entirely away from what I’m doing.
Though it’s possible to listen to Pandora through your web browser right on the Pandora site, I keep far too many browser windows open as it is and prefer a standalone app that offers customizable keyboard shortcuts and quicker access to give current songs a thumbs up or down and see what’s currently playing and Pandoras Box does exactly this with no problems.
If you want to get really fancy, Pandoras Box works with Airfoil app, Reemote, so that you can control playback on your Mac through your iPhone. Using Reemote requires Rogue Ameoba’s Airfoil app ($25, available here) for your Mac and reemote Server (free, available here). I haven’t tried this set-up but it’s a nice option if your Mac is a central part of your music listening set-up at home.
If you listen to Pandora often and want a quicker way to control playback and be aware of what’s playing in a more streamlined way, Pandoras Box is a good purchase, grammar issues with its name aside.