Wrapper Application For Pandora Running In Task Tray

Pandoras Box released as freeware. Pandoras Box is a wrapper application for Pandora.com

2006-08-09 22:35:00.0

Wrapper Application For Pandora Running In Task Tray

I love listening to music while programming, sometimes I'm in the mood for Faithless, then some Prodigy and lately a bit of Johnny Cash. The problem is I have exhausted my supply of tracks so rely on Pandora - Genome Music Project to find me similar music I may never pick up in the shops!

The problem I found with Pandora is that even with a minimal window, it meant there was another Internet Explorer / Firefox window open cluttering up my screen and I accidently either close the browser or refresh the window! I always thought it would be cool to have it run in the tasktray like Winamp and so took an hour off this evening to develop what I am calling Pandoras Box

The basics are a WebBrowser Control hosted in an application with the ability to minimise to the system tray. You can double click the tray icon to bring the app back up. Additional features include an always-on-top option, sub-classing of the main app so only one instance launches, and the removal of junk around the player window.




Anyway, as this is not endorsed by Pandora but may be useful to people and may attract more people to support Pandora, I better put some little disclaimer, so here goes :

Pandoras box is NOT endorsed, developed, supported etc by Pandora Genome Music Project. They probably wont even know about it or want to. I will answer suggestions and bug reports and will fix them in my own time but I do not claim responsibility for misuse of this application etc etc

This will run on most Windows machines and was explicitly tested and developed on WindowsXP with IE6.

You can find out all about the latest updates to Pandora's Box here :

Pandoras Box Updates - September 19th 2006

Thank you to everyone who contributed comments, suggestions and encouragement. As always donated beer money goes along way to encourage development so if you like and use Pandoras Box, please consider clicking the donate button :-)

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Comments [67] - Leave a comment


Josh said:
Now that they're showing advertising within the player's HTML wrapper I'd assume they would probably have a problem with a standalone system that circumvents that. I love pandora though, maybe this will inspire them to make a modified version of their player for desktop usage.
Keith said:
Yeah... that's not the only reason you're calling it "Pandora's Box". I know how your mind works... ;-P
razorfish said:
Thanks for telling us about Pandoras. I've included your screenshot of this into our Intratnet Best Practices (online) report. Thanks again.
Drew said:
Thanks a lot Dan! This is exactly the kind of container I was looking for.
profbru said:
Thanks for creating this. I use Pandora all the time. I noticed that the window minimizes to the systray but the program still takes up room on the bottom of the screen listing what programs are open. In that sense it still takes up as much space as if I just minimized the Pandora window.
Dan said:
Hi Profbru, I should have mentioned that you can click the X on the window to move it to the tasktray so it doesnt take up room! It goes down to the systray. Double click to bring it back up again!
xxdesmus said:
Great idea, I love listening to Pandora as well...thank you :)
condor said:
Fantastic - great initiative Dan. If you could add keyboard shortcuts, you'd make Pandora so much more usable.
Mike said:
This is very cool, I'd like to do something similar for a different application would it be possible to get source for this or a technical explanation of how its done?
Ari said:
I'd be so grateful if you open-sourced this app. I've always wanted to be able to do something like this.
Mike J said:
Looks nice - I'm going to check this out when I get home. Out of curiosity, what browser control are you using? I would assume IE, which was the main thing that stopped me from developing one of these myself (I murder IE's ability to function on my systems and update manually).

And I wouldn't assume that Pandora would shun the idea - they seem very supportive of the community that uses their service. Hopefully their official API will be released soon, so that we can make our own versions of the player!
David Podolsky said:
Not to burst your "bubble". But this application already exists and its called Bubbles. I use it often and lets you put any web site into your tasktray.


Sorry, don't mean to obsolete all your work.
Triton said:
Thanks for this awesome app! :)
Shawn said:
Very nice app!!

This is quite a bit cleaner then just using one of those other programs that hides the window to your taskbar.

I wonder if it would be possible to add commands to the tray icon for doing a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down". I know that is quite a bit more complicated, maybe version 7 or 8. :)
RSB said:
Dude this is awesome, it was an hour well spent, many thanks!
Jing Wang said:
Thanks a lot Dan! Do you think you're gonna release the source for this? I'd like to try to add some functionality to the tray icon.
Fork said:
Dude, this app rocks! You rule!
Bill said:
Thank you so much!!!!!!!
kyle said:
Excellent app. Thanks for your work.
Tom said:
I just recently discovered Pandora and was blown away. I also encountered the same difficulties with accidently closing the browser etc. I'm thrilled with Pandora's Box - it works perfectly in Windows 2000. Great job!!
would be cooler if I could use it using pandora /last.fm mashup
Stew said:
What a great little app - thanks for taking the time to write it, and more importantly, releasing it so that the rest of us can enjoy it.

Tim said:
Discover more music with Pandora here...


vote for stations and post one of your own!

Thanks. Tim
Cool. We've had this on OSX for a while.

But.. the guy that did the OSX version was kind enough to the Pandora folks to NOT remove the advertising. Quite rude to strip that out..
Winson said:
This is an awesome tool for an awesome player
Rogie said:
Thanks for this app. It works great and just what I've been looking for! I'll be listening to alot more of pandora now. You'll be bound to see alot more pandora apps soon, that keyboard shortcut idea somone mentioned is great by the way
Great idea. So do you use LastFM.com as well, ?
Jordan said:
It would be nice if you could add some commands that could be used by right clicking on the icon in the system tray, such as play, pause, skip, and the rating system. Those 4 features would be the most important, though if you could implement station changing that would be cool, too. I'm thinking of something similar to how itunes works when you right-click on it in the system tray. If we don't have to open it every time we want to change something or rate a song, that would be really cool. Otherwise, great work! This is definitely a help to me.

- Jordan
Mick said:
It's great
amr said:
i realy appreciate ur concern to do us all this treate :) for me its working perfectly,and as i see for others it is too...so thank u for ur time and RESPECT ;)
godie said:
check out http://dm2.sourceforge.net/ it can minimize any window to tray.
now you can save all songs you listen with pandomax.

Hi Dan,
Nice App. Great to see this from one of our own.
Dustin said:
Great App! Works great! Thanks!
Jay said:
TheAngryPenguin said:
First off -- thanks for sharing the love! Secondly, thanks for making this better than the OSX version by *not* including the ads ;) Here are a few observations/comments/recommendations:

* The Minimize Window button allows PB to remain in the taskbar. Obviously, some people are confused by this. Recommendation: Make this behaviour an option, and leave it disabled by default.

* I rarely use IE anymore, and I am fairly certain that this is the case with most everyone else who appreciates Pandora enough to appreciate what you've done. That being written, I am not against using IE, per se, but if you cannot make PB's HTML renderer user-definable, _please provide an option to disable IE's clicking sound!!!_

* WTF is eventd?!? And why would it be important enough to the end-user to include it in the View menu?

* When double-clicking the system tray icon, PB is not brought to the front (of other windows) unless it was the last window to be displayed.

* When right-clicking the system tray icon, and not selecting anything, and then moving focus elsewhere, the context menu remains visable until a new track is loaded.

Many thanks again. You're creativity alone will definitely increase Pandora's usage! Nice job!
Nice application. Thanks!
This is awesome! Any chance you could get it to accept commands like WMP? It would be to be able to control it via HoeKey or something like that.
Michael said:
Excellent app. But I was thinking today... Now that Google Talk allows you to show your music track as your status message, it would be amazing if it could also show what I am listening to on Pandora (I very rarely use iTunes for listening to music anymore). I echo the sentiments that you should open source this, as I would love to try and work out how to do this.
albert said:
excellent tool. i like it loads, but it would be nice if it could also minimize to a bar that goes at the top of the screen, much like winamp can do. that way you could keep an eye on the name of the song and artist.
works fine in firefox
Nice :-) two thumbs up for the initiative
and an extra one for the implementation...
Rob said:
I'm very interested in the source code for this. Are you still planning on releasing it soon?
Stephan said:
Cool program thanks a lot!
Would it be possible for you to integrate something so it works together with last.fm? There is a Firefox extension which does exactly that, but then Pandora has to run in a browser window again...
Dan said:
Thank you all for your comments and encouragement.

I am delighted to announce that I have finally cracked the control of Pandora from the TaskTray menu.

I need to iron out a few more issues, package up and delpoy. I might also take this opportunity to add Last.fm and IM features.
Anton said:
Alot like OpenPandora, but the lyrics and always on top options are a kickass touch. Any chance of a windowshade mode? Thanks
Steve1445 said:
Nicely done!
Giovanny said:
Estupendo, genial, ahora si puedo disfrutar al m?ximo esta estupenda aplicaci?n
t you!
Jesper said:
Aint it perfect when you counter a problem, google a little and some cool person has made a small piece of software to solve your problem. THANK YOU!!! Jesper Denmark
mike said:
Sweet exactly what i was looking for
javi said:
Congratulations for this application. I love it.

I think it would be a great idea to make a linux version...
joey said:
I hope you will eventually create an option which enables advertisements since they seem to get most of their money that way.

Great stuff, by the way. Thanks, man.
Jorgen Sim said:
Any chance of having a proxy option? I found that I can access the Pandora website through a proxy.
Dan said:

Hi Jorgen, unfortunately, a proxy will not suffice because although the proxy works for IE browsing the page, it does not work for the embedded flash plugin therefore no matter what you do, the music will not play. I have spent a considerable amount of time on this but to no avail. Dan.
Jorgen Sim said:
Hey Dan,
Thanks for the quick reply, thats to bad you couldn't get it to work. There must be some sort of work around with Pandora but its just finding it I guess.
Jakes said:
How is anyone using the application outside the US? Would love to use this program!!
Dan said:
Hi Jakes, have a look at my latest post : Pandora's Box Running In Ireland Again!
Melissa said:
This is the greatest thing since RJ45 connectors! I stumbled onto Pandora through Foxytunes... but like you I would either close the window or lose it behind the other applications I am using. Thanks!
Jerrad said:
What an amazing app! Small and lightweight... way better then bubbles. And the fact that it works globally with my computer's media keys ALONE makes this program worth downloading. I love listening to pandora while i'm at work, and this app makes it all that much better.

Dawson said:
I just wanted to say thank you for a great application, I have it now both at work, home and on my laptop! I absolutely love the way you can log your like its! Now, at the end of the week I take the list and go purchase them off itunes, so thumbs up to you mate.
3lite said:
Do you have any plans to include a proxy support (that configures a different proxy to the default) feature for this app?
Everyone outside the U.S. can't use this app.
Joel said:
This is an awesome little app, good idea.
Francesco said:
Awesome little app ;-) THANKS!
chris said:
I can't thank you enough for making this! I was so pissed I couldn't have pandora play outside of my browser. Now I can! It's so funny how some random dude at home can make an app that helps everyone like that.
Tre said:
Thank you so much! This is something I will use every day. I couldn't get that Winamp hack to work on my machine (even when I uninstalled and reinstalled with the older version you used). This works great! Thanks again!
Isaac said:
I love being able to get Pandora out of the browser. Simple application, but great idea. I noticed that it would be nice for the pause option in the context menu to read "Play/Pause" to avoid confusion when un-pausing music. Also, could hotkeys be assigned to certain menu options to allow for pausing, dislike/like song, or adjusting volume?
Scott said:
Thanks Dan! Some people just get it.