Opening Pandora

Another in the occasional iPhone series!
Today I learned on Macrumors a way to get 2.0 software on my iPhone – successfully; then I downloaded a few apps to try …
There’s a lot of “imperfect” so far, with Mac iTunes failing to sync multiple times, needing to authorize the PC and Mac so that apps could be backed up (stupid!), and overall the many months of 2.0 hype result in an iPhone that’s hardly different to the one I had this morning.

Still, one app – Pandora – is mind-blowing incredible! You create a (free – for now?) account, and tell Pandora one or more music artists you like (I started with Electric Light Orchestra, Genesis, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton), then you let it play.
It’s cool enough on a PC/Mac, playing music from artists you specify and others that it thinks you’ll like (and so far in an hour, I’ve thumb-down’ed just one track) … but installed on the iPhone, it’s just EXCELLENT:

I shut down WiFi on my iPhone, and it happily streamed music using AT&T EDGE … great sound through the iPhone speakers!
I plan to hook it up via AUX input in the car tomorrow, and see how it handles playing during my journey to work (very unfair, since AT&T is basically awful in Essex) … if it works, it makes me wonder why I’d still pay $13/month for Sirius, when I could pay $36/year for Pandora …

The only disappointment (imposed by Apple) is that it doesn’t keep playing when you switch to a different app 😦

UPDATE: I’m not the only one that thinks this

15 thoughts on “Opening Pandora

  1. Great to hear…I was hoping some of the flash-based free streaming music sites like pandora and slacker would come out with iphone clients. They have a great potential to replace satellite radio in the car, and the stations learn and play music that you personally like, not just a single genre that you choose.

  2. RADIO PARADISE and Techicolor Web of Sound are my internet radio stations of choice. Now Ian my iPhone speakers suck. Maybe your later model is better.

    Still considering the 3G. I went to a MINI club dinner last Saturday nite. Another dinner had a iPhone-ish thing. It was sort of a Mattel toy phone but I was put to shame by it’s downloading speed. 3-4 times faster than EDGE. No WIFI available to compare speeds. The screen was a joke.

  3. In-car results:
    I played Pandora through the car on my 20 minute drive to work today.
    The first annoyance is needing to put the iPhone a LONG way from the stereo, to minimize the beeping/chirping sounds being picked up as the phone communicates. We need shielded stereos!

    As expected, the playing did drop out a couple times along route 22 in Essex, an AT&T deadspot (I typically have no service all day at work).

    One other curiousity – Pandora doesn’t seem to “pre-fetch” the next track, so there’s a 5-10s delay between tracks (not noticeable on WiFi); I think Pandora should fix that!

  4. The new iPhone launch isn’t going that well, as far as activation goes.

    .mac, now “Mobile Me”, “UGH!”, is still down, last time I checked. Couldn’t save any new posts at Twisty for 2.5 days and numerously odd stuff going on with my Apple Mail?

    The usually very “right on” Apple is hitting some snags here lately. My iPhone has been acting very erratic lately! Tapped keys acting like they are stuck? Stevie must be having a coronary.

    I’m sure Pandora will get worked out as will all this other stuff. But it’s weird having this much going wrong.

    If I recall the story of Pandora’s Box, it had good and bad attached to it.

  5. You’re right, Robert … PR nightmare for Apple today! I’m so glad I risked updating my iPhone last night – apparently much safer to do it the un-official way!

  6. Beware of updating tonight, if the activation servers are still having trouble – the iPhone must be re-activated after loading 2.0, and it activation fails, you have a “brick” 😦

  7. I must be extremely lucky or something because at 8:10 AM this morning I downloaded and installed 2.0 to my 1st gen iPhone and added half a dozen apps that all worked fine. I did stand in line for a 3G today for longer than I’d like to admit before I bailed upon learning about the sketchy activation issues. I’m fine to wait a day or two until it’s all ironed out (seemed to be normal by late afternoon) but with all the features added to my current iPhone the only reason to upgrade is for 3G speeds when away from WiFi. I

    ‘m still going to get a 16 Gig 3G iPhone but that’s just me. ; )

  8. I’ll wait for Josh to get his 3G iPhone next week, and see if it has any better reception at the office … also check out the GPS and supposedly improved sound.
    Make a decision after that (although saving $10/month is a + for the original iPhone!)

  9. Tried to get my hands on a 16 Gig this morning and now in addition to AT&T stores,all Apple stores (both) in KC are sold out of both 8 and 16 gig phones. Crazy since there were two tractor trailer loads of them in front of one of the stores yesterday – I saw them with my own eyes.

    So even with the initial activation issues it looks like this launch was even more successful than the last one because I don’t recall at any time since the original launch at which you could not walk into an Apple store and pick up an iPhone. An informal poll of people in line (three lines over two days) revealed that 3 out of four people were there to get their first iPhone most of them switching from another carrier. Unbelievable.

  10. I’m still waiting for .mac… Oops, I mean… .Me, “UGH!”, to be online.

    I have been an Apple user, supporter since 1990. Why no voice recognition? Why no GPS voice guidance? Why no real internet radio? Why no multiple photo choice for emails? Why no cut and paste, crappier phones have this stuff? They [crappier phones] may not have a better screen or web or looks but I’ve always been proud of how far ahead Apple always seemed to be, seems they have slipped. But, as with my ’04 MCS I will stick with all the ups and downs as I do love them both.

  11. I guess it will all get worked out. A very savvy Apple user and programer I know suggested to me that since Apples rise in computer sales there might be these glitches in the future. I guess he’s right.

  12. Got one of the 3G on the lauch day, a 8Gig and so far for an iPhone rookie, it is great!! Anyone try a 3G in the R56 ipod connector?

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