PandoraJam is, at first glance, an application that allows a user to listen to her Pandora radio stations without using a browser window. Delve a little deeper, however, and one will find a well designed, impeccably implemented, and easy to use application chock full of useful features.
PandoraJam provides a wrapper to the Pandora.com Flash radio player. The main window displays the Pandora interface, complete with controls and the station picker. Below the radio are a master volume slider, a drop down menu for streaming audio to an Airport Express, a pause button, a skip button, and a record button. Next to the record button is a magnifying glass that locates the currently recording track in Finder, a nice little touch that helps avoid digging through directories to find your audio files. The application exudes Mac-ness, if only because of the juicy play control buttons.
Recording + iTunes Integration
PandoraJam really shines when it comes to grabbing Pandora’s stream. Recording can be set to begin on launch of the application, or a user can manually begin recording at any time. After a recording has completed, PandoraJam can automatically add the files to iTunes. PandoraJam creates its own playlist folder group, and adds each song to a separate playlist according to the Pandora station from which the song was recorded. This is a nice touch, especially when one wants to listen to a time-shifted Pandora station on his iPod.
It seems as if every audio-related application has Last.fm support these days, and I love it. Last.fm keeps tracks of your music-listening habits and makes recommendations based upon your most-listened-to artists. Simply enter your Last.fm username and password and start scrobbling!
Growl support for almost every conceivable action (do I need an alert to let me know I just thumbed-up a song?!) can come in useful if PandoraJam is in the background. I personally love Growl’s music video style to let me know the title and artist of a song as it starts playing.
PandoraJam can also update the status of chat clients Adium, iChat, and Skype. This cross-application status update is a neat feature that all the kids seem to be playing with.
One of the most surprising features of PandoraJam is its ability to transmit audio to an Airport Express. I am not sure why, but there seem to be very few applications that have Airport Express support built in. This is really the feature that sold me on PandoraJam; listening to Pandora radio anywhere in the house is something for which I have longed for quite some time.