Pandora app, MetroRadio, gets a fresh start, becomes even more awesome on Windows Phone

While Pandora made a big splash when it came to Windows Phone 8 earlier this year, MetroRadio had been around for much longer offering access to the same service. Back then, it would occasionally break as it used non-standard APIs to access the Pandora library. That has now been fixed, amongst other things, with the latest must-have update.

There are currently two versions of MetroRadio—one free, one paid—and the free one was updated last night with the paid receiving the same update a few weeks ago. It’s not a minor update either, as the app has been completely re-written with a new, simpler UI.

Here is the Changelog, for both versions:

  • Rewritten the whole application from scratch
  • Added support for bookmarks (can be access from Application bars throughout the app)
  • Made the app virtually unbreakable
  • Added support for bigger Live Tiles for WP7.8 users
  • Brand new UI
  • Lyrics support
  • Artist images, biographies, and other good stuff is now supported
  • Better integration with Xbox Music
  • More audio formats are now supported
  • Alpha sorting of stations
  • Genre browsing is supported now
  • Added driving mode (App bar)
  • Audio commands (on Windows Phone 8)

Phew, that is one heck of a Changelog. One feature we really like about MetroRadio is the ability for Plus users (people who pay for a yearly Pandora pass) to nab that 192kbps stream (in addition to AAC or MP3 at 128kbps)—we’re not sure what the official Pandora app streams at, even for Plus users, so we’re down with having a visible choice.

Driving Mode is no joke either, as it presents giant buttons on your display that features Skip, Like, Hate and Pause, which is perfect for quick, no fuss access when in the car.

The other really unique feature is the ‘Screen Saver’, which for you Zune HD fans will bring back memories. Basically, it puts the dimmed artist photo on your display with the artist name/info scrolling across the screen. Yeah, we’re not sure either why Microsoft doesn’t bring this back, but hey, MetroRadio has it.

With a free version and the ad-free paid option, we have nothing but high praise for MetroRadio. Indeed with the ability to change the ‘seeds’ for artist stations and the myriad features, we prefer it over the official app--so take that as a vote of confidence, as we use Pandora every night at the gym.

Try MetroRadio (free) here or grab the paid version here. All Windows Phone supported. Highly recommended.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Paid version update isn't available to me yet
  • That version was updated/overhauled last month. Now the free one matches it.
  • Oh holy batman, I must've missed it in my update list then. Thanks
  • Wide tile? How??
  • Damn why even bother with the regular Pandora app...
  • I do like the HD graphics in the official app, but yeah, this has waaaay more features and is much more powerful for serious Pandora users.
  • I actually prefer this app compared to the official Pandora app. It goes to show that 3rd party developers can sometimes outperform big/known developers easily.
  • +920
  • Yup, see baconit, itsdagram, 4th and mayor, gleek, gmaps, metrotube, etc.
  • Does this one actually give you the option to kill the app?  Pandora likes to hang around even after backing out of it until I log out completely. 
  • Download Stop The Music
  • Yep. And if I have Bluetooth on, it starts auto playing every time it connects/disconnects from my head unit in my car.
  • So far only Xbox music and Nokia music stay paused during connect and disconnect from Bluetooth in my car but I do like metro mp3 in metro radio I was such a crab about no Pandora and metro radio is just as good more features
  • I know Podcast Lounge is not a music app but that is the only app I have (not made by Microsoft or Nokia) that has a work around built in for the Bluetooth play/pause disconnection problem on Windows Phone.
  • One of the great things about Metro Radio is it has a Stop button built-in that will prevent it from doing that. In the new version, it's located in the app bar menu of the now playing screen. Just tap "stop" and no longer have your phone blare to life when you walk five feet from your car!
  • Does metro have commercials or is it premium till 2014 as well
  • I may be wrong, but I believe it never has commercials since it's a 3rd party app. Plus it has unlimited skips.
  • It does
  • MetroRadio is the Itsdagram/Instance of Pandora
  • Agreed, this app is what Instance is to Instagram and Metrotube is to Youtube. Has been a mainstay in my app library since day one because the developer is incredible. Unlimited skips ftw.
  • Overall like the updates.  Do not like that the black and white "High Contrast" tile color is now blue no matter what.  I really like my home screen all black and white.
  • As long as I can still perform unlimited skips, MetroRadio & Radio Controlled will stay at the top of most used apps (use one when the other goes down). This update puts MR past RC in my opinion.
  • Really surprised you guys are just now reporting this. Love the update though as this is a nicely done app for us 7.8 folks.
  • Free version was just updated last how's it "just now"?
  • I was referring to the paid version. I don't remember seeing an article about it being updated but I could've been on break.
    Dat looks sexy !!!!!!
  • I can't wait for new Nokia I have 920, 925 ok 928 ok but that1030 looks sweet when that one comes l920 for sale!
  • Windows phone the best place for 3rd party devs.. Its neat. I like it
  • I have graffiti radio. How does this compare now? Also, keep getting an error when trying to download.
  • Does it support 512MB devices?
  • Can I use the app even if I'm not one the states??
  • It is a stunning update. Pandora sound is as rich as ever coming through MetroRadio. But as always, I have no patience for ads.  They gum the experience like finding out your girl is 2 months late. Without a doubt, I'll have the paid version tonight. Good job devs. This would be perfect if in your next update you include a button that works like "stop the music".
  • The weather tile, which app is that?
  • Downloaded MetroRadio, saw I had to register to Pandora, cancelled it ... Won't work outside of the U. S. I hope there was a European version of this, but I guess Europe is a licence nightmare when it comes to apps that have to do music. I don't even have lyrics on Nokia Music+ due to that reason. :-(
  • You might do better with Groove Shark. Html5 version. Its actually not too bad.
  • Cool, it works. Thanks for the great advice!
  • I think this kid is in high school or was when he first made MetroRadio.
  • what it the weather app in the photo?