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radio controlled

Two weeks ago we mentioned how Pandora altered their APIs resulting in all the unofficial Pandora apps for Windows Phone not working. At the time we mentioned that devs should be able to fix the issue with an update to their apps.

Although it's taking a little longer than expected, we're streaming Pandora just fine on Radio Controlled (beta) and we expect the same for the other apps eventually too. The developer of Radio Controlled, Greg Wenograd, let us know about this latest fix:

"This one was a difficult and involved update.  I have a feeling this update will be less impacted by Pandora changes.  If they change anything it will be sooner rather than later and I should be able to get any kinks worked out....If all goes well I will be submitting the final version tomorrow"

So stand by Pandora users as your fix should be coming soon. You can grab Radio Controlled here in the Marketplace and wait for the new, working update to appear in the next few days.

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Pandora have unceremoniously altered their undocumented APi (written up for Windows Phone users by Justin Angel) allowing outside access to their service, rendering unofficial 3rd party apps like MetroRadio, Radio Controlled and WPFandora temporarily useless.

The developer of MetroRadio, Mustafa Taleb, notified us of the situation noting:

"The user can no longer login using the 3rd party applications. Message from Pandora's servers:"org.apache.xmlrpc.XmlRpcException:|0|INCOMPATIBLE_VERSION|Pandora does not support your client version."

Possible reason: They changed their encryption keys.

I am currently working on a fix and it should take me no longer than 2 days to update the app, and 5 to publish it."

That's certainly a bummer especially for us who have the MetroRadio Pro app. The good news is devs should be able to once again fix this issue and push out an update. Needless to say, it's a pain and would be easier if (a) Pandora just let 3rd party apps use their service or (b) they had an official app for Windows Phone.

There's no evidence that Pandora are changing these APIs on purpose to block apps but whatever their motivation that is the effect.

We'll keep you posted but in the meantime, you may want to try iHeartRadio which has similar Pandora functions.

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We reported a few days ago that Pandora once again changed their undocumented APIs thereby breaking Radio Controlled and MetroRadio. Luckily the "fix" was easy and both apps are back, fully working again as far as we can tell. In addition, both have some other fixes and new features on board:

  • Radio Controlled - Hitting version 2.0, this app has received many new features and changes including being more Metro-themed, Last.FM login for "scrobbling" and Driving mode. Driving Mode is perhaps the most exciting as it gives a large, finger-friendly UI for when using the app on the road. It allows you to like/dislike a song, play/stop or to skip. We found this part truly ingenious and tremendously useful. In addition, the new "more Metro" look to the app, artists-as-background and other options make this an awesome update. You can grab Radio Controlled here for free in the Marketplace.
  • MetroRadio - Now on v3.3, this update is mostly bug fixes and to address the API change from Pandora. Those fixes include getting songs, Live Tiles and MetroMP3 search service. That app you can also pick up for free in the Marketplace right here.

It's great to know that so long as Pandora remains obstinate, we have independent developers willing to give us what we want. QR codes after the break...

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We're not here to choose which is the best 3rd party Pandora app, we're just here to tell what's new and what's coming.

MetroRadio v3.2 - MetroRadio has been pushing out many updates lately and 3.2 brings some nice changes. First off is the new feature called MetroMP3, a built in search engine that allows you to look for individual songs and stream 'em. It basically augments the Pandora funciton and is useful if you want to listen to a specific tune at the moment.

The Live Tiles also now update with each song and you can pin "Now Playing" to your start screen for quick and easy access, that's in addition to fixes for all known bugs. You can grab v3.2 now in the Marketplace for free here.

Radio Controlled v1.1 - The second Pandora app in the Marketplace, Radio Controlled continues to be refined and v1.1 goes a long way to making this app even better. We detailed this version a few days ago and it's not live. It includes new features including enable/disable auto play, artist song info in volume controls, Music Hub integration, History (view, rate, buy song), Stop command and bug and playback stability fixes. In other words, a pretty huge update.

What's more, we're playing with v1.2 right now and it has one massive new feature besides some UI changes: Last.FM support. Yup, with the next update you'll be able to login to your Last.FM account and do some 'scrobbling' on the go all within this app. Look for that in the coming weeks. You can pick up Radio Controlled v1.1 here in the Marketplace for free.

QR codes after the break...

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The third-party Pandora app Radio Controlled has been met with high praise since its launch last week. It now sits with 4.5 stars out of 55 reviews, making a it quite a hit with you folks who need your music DJ on the go.

Still, a version 1.0 is only an initial attempt and the developer, Bushwood Studios is hard at work with v1.1 which adds a bunch of fixes, tweaks and a few new features as well. We've been running it for the last 24 hours and really like the changes, some of which you can see above in our screenshots:

  • History - View up to the past 10 songs that have played, with options to rate and buy from Zune or Amazon.
  • Station Details - From the Stations page you can drill into a station to Rename, Delete or Pin to the home screen
  • Stop - Some reviews asked for the ability to stop playback.  This will stop playback and remove the song from the volume controls.
  • Muic & Video integration - Radio Controlled now shows up under apps in the Music Hub
  • Bug Fixes including changing stations reverts to old station issue and some pause/resume stability fixes.

The update should be submitted very soon to the Marketplace, meaning we can expect this either this weekend or early next week--we'll keep you posted. If you want more features, contact that dev via the app and he'll start adding things for version 1.2.

For now, you can grav version 1.0 for free in the Marketplace right here or click-to-enlarge the QR code below.

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We showed you Radio Controlled last week--the new third party Pandora app from Bushwood Studios. The app itself has quite a nice design to it with a large "Live Tile" in the center, auto login and song-preview featuring the album art.

We're happy to report now that the app is live in the Marketplace, ready for you to take it for a spin. The app is of course free with ads and we think a lot of you will really dig the app's layout. Just as you expect from a Pandora player you can log in to your account, pick stations, create stations and stream in the background. You can also get more artist info via Zune, Pandora and Amazon, which is a nice touch not to mention the Live Tile for your start screen.

The app isn't yet listed in the Marketplace, but we have you covered. Head here to the Marketplace to get it now, click-to-enlarge the QR code below and check our video-sneak peek after the break.

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There are a few Pandora apps in the works by 3rd parties and we have our hands on one of them that's just wrapping up beta testing: Radio Controlled by Bushwood Studios.

Based off of the MetroPandora SDK by Justin Angel, which was recently updated to fix the broken APIs, the app has some very nice polish to it--great graphics, fast loading and a unique use of a giant Live Tile within the app for artist/song info. With the updated SDK,  you no longer have to re-enter your login information every time you start the app and station selection works much better now.

Radio Controlled features a Live Tile which displays the latest song/album art right on your Start screen and over all gets the job done. The app will be free (ad-supported) and should be in the Marketplace sometime next week--don't worry, we'll let you know when it's live. Overall though you can see devs starting to do some real creative things with the Pandora SDK, resulting in a better selection for everyone. We're pretty excited to have this all going down.

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