A major player in the streaming music business has been missing from both the Xbox 360 and PS3, but that changes today — sort of. According to a report from TechCrunch, Pandora has indeed arrived on both consoles, but not via a native application; instead, the company has chosen to implement its streaming music service using HTML 5.
This choice boils down to simple fragmentation. Pandora has been on a tear lately, building applications to work with a large amount of devices. With each new device the company supports with a custom application, there exists one more device that won’t get new Pandora features as quickly. Pandora hopes that smart TV manufacturers, at least, will take advantage of and build Pandora apps around the HTML 5 app so that Pandora can deploy newer features more quickly.
Since I happen to have an Xbox 360 sitting in front of me, I decided to check out the Pandora app for myself to see how it stacks up to the desktop/laptop Web app as well as the service’s popular mobile apps. In that regard, you won’t be too disappointed; you get access to all of your stations, the ability to thumbs up and thumbs down songs, and the power to add new stations and delete old ones. You can also bookmark the Pandora app in Internet Explorer and then pin it to your 360 start page for easy access.
There are a couple of actions you can’t take with this particular Pandora implementation — bookmarking songs, for example, as well as mixing new artists into a station to add variety. The Web-based Pandora app also suffers from the same limitation as native music apps on the Xbox 360; it can’t run in the background, so you won’t be listening to your favorite stations while you try to save Earth from the Reapers. I really hope this changes with the Xbox One.
You can fire up the Web browser on your Xbox 360 or PS3 right now and head over to tv.pandora.com to try out the new Web-based Pandora app for TVs. If you happen to give it a try for yourself, let us know what you think.