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Pandora once again alters their APIs, breaks unauthorized 3rd party Windows Phone apps

pandora

Do you use MetroRadio and/or RadioControlled for your Pandora interaction on Windows Phone? Then you may (or may not) have noticed that those apps have stopped working...again.

Reason? Simple, really. These apps use undocumented APIs to access the Pandora service. Pandora, for whatever reason, changes them on occasion breaking app functionality. Are they doing it on purpose to disrupt these apps? Who knows, maybe or maybe not. What we do know is that it means you'll have to wait till both developers update their apps to fix it and from what we've heard, both devs are hard at work on fixing it.

Until then, MetroRadio is "hidden" from the Marketplace and RadioControlled has submitted their fix (and "future proofed" it against this type of situation occurs again).  Stay tuned though, we'll give you a tour of the new working Radio Controlled soon enough.

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Reader comments

Pandora once again alters their APIs, breaks unauthorized 3rd party Windows Phone apps

11 Comments

Perhaps, but in this case it was a pretty dumb "break" which has a permanent work around.

Seems like a zero sum game for them if that is what their intent actually is here. The fix for it will be available in the next few days, so the yeah, I have a question:

What's the point?

I already have a fixed, sideloaded app on my phone.

It's funny, all of the things that people think are some how backed up by law. It may be against their TOS and company policy, thus giving them the right to kick you off, ban you, whatever, but it doesn't break any laws.
So, not illegal, but it's obvious they want their money and it's perfectly within their rights to kick non-official apps off.  If they would just release an official app both Pandora and it's users would be happy.

Although I rarely used Pandora, and have dropped it completely since using Zune Pass, I am furious that they have not come out with an app for Windows Phone. At least Google created a shitty YouTube app. Why couldn't Pandora?! There should be, literally, absolutely no reason for them not to, right?!
Android and iOS friends of mine used to ask about Pandora for Windows Phone, and I'd reassure them that it is coming. Now I will just tell them how unreasonably childish Pandora's attitude is, and that I'm essentially boycotting them!
[Rant over]

As much as I love Zune Pass, it is no replacement for Pandora.  Zune Pass picks a playlist based on one song using mostly my music with a few new songs thrown in sparcely.  Pandora doesn't even know my library and is objectively choosing songs based on how I responded to many songs.  Not to belittle Zune Pass.  I go straight to the Marketplace and download the entire album of a song that I like from Pandora when I strike a real gem.  Zune Pass lets me download entire albums without worrying over whether I'm spending too much money or if I will even like most of the songs each time I download.
Also, Pandora could simply ask for MS to take down these apps if it really bothered them.  I am really hoping that they changed the API for other reasons besides the WP apps.

I have already integrated Last.fm scrobbling into Radio Controlled, coming in the pending update.  I'm thinking about taking the integration further to allow you to play your stations from Last.fm in addition to Pandora.  Would you use that, or just not even bother and go directly to the Last.fm app? 

F... Pandora.  There are other alternatives just as good.  I pay for Zune Pass but I also use TuneIn radio, MixTapes, and Slacker Radio.  Slacker Radio app performs a lot better than when it originally launched.

I'd like to think that these API changes are not malicious, but I am biased :)
If you consider the time/money it takes their engineers to make this type of change as well as updating clients that use these APIs, it doesn't make sense.  The man hours alone in Dev and QA to make this change would cost WAY more than the revenue generated by theses apps.
I don't know what will happen in the future, but I will continue to work on Radio Controlled until it's clear their intent is to block it.  I'm a Pandora subscriber and found the lack of an App for Windows phone rediculous.
The fix was submitted last night, so 3-5 days hopefully.  Beta testers will get emails later today.  If you have a dev unlocked phone I can send a xap.