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Old 25th February 2011, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default How to record Pandora

Due to the fact that I have more time on my hand recently to do things I like and the fact that my new Sachiko's come in nicely I have been wondering what can be done in order to record Pandora content. Pandora after you trained it delivers exactly the music you like, but as a flash application it's not exactly easy to get under the skin.

After a while of looking around on the innertubes I stumbled over the fact that my OS of choice has a client aailable for Pandora which is NOT based on flash and for which the source is available. After looking around I was able to download the (publicly available) source code and take a look-see. What do you know, it's even writen in my favorite programming language, so I sit down on my fat *** and put the thinking cap on.

After a few hours disecting the code I was finally able to change it so that it records the music as it pulls it down, and even attaches some basic mp3 id-tags. In case you are interested, that application is 'pianobar' and if you have a linux system feel free to hit me up for the source code and/or precompiled.

After that, in order to get full mp3-tags there is another application, this time one that is available on Windoze and Linux ("Musicbrainz Picard") which allows to fully tag the files (almost) fully automated.

So,,,, if you want to makes increase your music collection (if you are a Pandora One subscriber even in 192kb/sec) and are not afraid of a linux system, 'pianobar' and 'picard' are your friends.
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Old 25th February 2011, 04:16 AM   #2
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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OK, but why would you? I'm a long time interent radio user - but gave up recording it long ago. It's always there, so why record? For me, I just ended up with a bunch of files I never listen to. I have Pandora One, but don't record it.

Just my experience, so I'm curious as to why you would want to record what is always on tap.
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Old 25th February 2011, 02:42 PM   #3
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Why would I? Because I can. LOL. Why do some folks climb mountains? Because they are there. Some problems are just out there to be solved and sometimes it helps if someone else solved those problems as well.

Now on a different note: Sometimes I just want to listen to VERY specific files (like when testing speakers or other components) or sometimes I am in a very specific mood, and then I'd like to go into my collection and pull exactly that out instead of waiting.

In most cases on most days I agree with you, just listen to the stream.
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Old 4th March 2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Interesting approach. What I use is a Firefox addon called "DownloadHelper" which, with click, downloads whatever song is playing on Pandora, or whatever streaming service you're on including youtube or whatever, to whatever location you've specified, in it's entirety. It will also convert from .flv to mp3 if you want. I just keep it in flv because I don't use a dedicated mp3 player anyway, and I have a good flv player installed ( "flvPlayer"). Pandora streams audio in .flv, and any .flv video player will play just the audio. Just don't use GOM. It does flv horribly. Audio-only flv takes up much less space than with vid. I think there are other such addons, but this one works well for me.

Interesting that the free version of Pandora is 192 bitrate. I was curious about that.

Actually, I've lately been using MOG rather than Pandoa. It costs $5/month, but it allows you to play specific artists, songs, albums, etc for as long as you want and has a very large database. It's well worth the money, although if you want the portable app for smartphones, it's $10/mo. I believe it's mp3 at 320, but they are kind of secretive about that. The problem with MOG is that it uses a dedicated player which will not interface with DownloadHelper or presumably any other downloader. You would have to capture the audio stream from the PC in real time, like I used to do with the radio and a tape recorder in the "good" old days. Life is so tough sometimes...
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Old 4th March 2011, 09:35 PM   #5
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There is a new service called "Spotify" which is all over Europe. Spotify will let you listen to absolutely any song you want, build a library of any number of songs and let you listen to it anytime you want. Wait, it gets better. It is fully legal. And completely free.

It stays legal by paying the recording authorities in each of the European countries in which it is active. There is no single recording authority/entity in the US and so, it may be a while before it gets here.
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Old 4th March 2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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There is a new service called "Spotify" which is all over Europe. Spotify will let you listen to absolutely any song you want, build a library of any number of songs and let you listen to it anytime you want. Wait, it gets better. It is fully legal. And completely free.

It stays legal by paying the recording authorities in each of the European countries in which it is active. There is no single recording authority/entity in the US and so, it may be a while before it gets here.
Yes, MOG and maybe one or two others are patterned after spotify as I understand it. They all work basically the same but have different levels of service, probably different databases, although they are all huge, and different UI's. These services have to contract with the content providers and some music distributors simply will not allow any streaming done with their stuff. Probably Sony although I don't really know, but they are notorious for being very proprietary. Anyway, there will always be some stuff you can't get this way. For example, I noticed you can't get anything by The Eagles on MOG because the distributors will not allow it. But you can get them on Pandora. So, there's still a place for both.
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Old 5th March 2011, 04:07 AM   #7
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But what about the playback levels? I find Pandora much too loud. Compared to a normal media player, I have to turn Pandora way down.

I don't remember it being so hot a few years back.
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Old 5th March 2011, 05:57 AM   #8
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But what about the playback levels? I find Pandora much too loud. Compared to a normal media player, I have to turn Pandora way down.

I don't remember it being so hot a few years back.
I just played the same song on both and you're right. Pandora is louder, I don't know why, but that's what volume controls are for. When I adjust volume, they sound pretty comparable. There's no obvious distortion. Come to think of it, it may be because they are each using different compression; mp3 and flv.

The reason I still like to record is that when you are offline or away from any internet connection, you still have stuff on the computer or your mp3 player. If you're always at home and online it wouldn't matter much.
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Old 6th March 2011, 04:19 AM   #9
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Interesting. Do you still have a copy of the Pandora version?

These days i find that I have to keep the Pandora volume almost all the way down to match other players. Do you?
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Old 6th March 2011, 05:00 AM   #10
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Interesting. Do you still have a copy of the Pandora version?

These days i find that I have to keep the Pandora volume almost all the way down to match other players. Do you?
I just compared the two and I do find that to approximately match the volume on Pandora with that on MOG, the website's volume control has to be considerably down, maybe 3/4 down. It just never struck me as a problem until you mentioned it. I always keep the websites' volume controls fully up and adjust the PC control.

I'm not familiar enough with the mechanics of web streaming techniques to know why that may be.
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