Pandora shows how to do a Sidebar gadget

Over the past few months, I’ve looked at a lot of Vista Sidebar gadgets. I listed some of my favorites here in April, and published an updated list of favorite gadgets last month at ZDNet.

During the past year, I’ve looked at several third-party gadgets that tried to put a front end on the excellent (and free) Pandora music service. Every one of them had at least one crippling flaw.

So I was delighted to see last week that Pandora has designed its own Vista Sidebar gadget. Here it is in operation on this notebook:

Pandora Vista Sidebar gadget

It’s the very model of a good citizen: clean, efficient, fun to have around. It doesn’t use much in the way of resources (roughly 30MB of memory on this 3GB system).

Update: As Jim King points out in the comments, the gadget is Flash based, as is Pandora’s web-based interface. And of course, Adobe still hasn’t released a 64-bit version of Flash. That’s not a killer, though. If you want to use this gadget in Vista x64, you’ll need to run the x86 Sidebar.exe. Shut down the x64 Sidebar.exe application and start the version located in the Program Files (x86) folder. Voila!

If you’re a Pandora user, I highly recommend it.

10 thoughts on “Pandora shows how to do a Sidebar gadget

  1. The Pandora gadget is based on Flash. There’s no 64-bit Flash (damn you Adobe!). On 64-bit Vista you have to switch to the 32-bit sidebar or do without. I’ll stick with the browser-based Pandora .

    Now if Pandora would get off their butts and get out a Windows Mobile client I’d be delighted.

  2. You’re right, Ed, I checked it out and that is a very cool and useful gadget.

    FYI, at least some of the player functions are accessed differently in the gadget v. the web player. You need to click the “menu” tab for some functions, and further, click “About this station…” within the menu to edit your station characteristics, such as adding adding songs or artists.

  3. Thank you Ed, this is an excellent gadget and music service. I had heard a little about Pandora, but have never tried it until now. Since you are a music lover, would you consider doing a blog post on ZDNet about your favorite music sites and services? I was you who turned me on to the Zune software and Zune Pass service. (Which incidentally lead me to purchase a Zune over a iPod a few weeks ago.) A review of all the music services you have used with a rating system would be helpful in empowering other music lovers to discover something new.

  4. Why do they put the Vista logo at the bottom of this thing? I already know what OS I’m running.

  5. Oh, it appears to be an ad, its linked to Still, seems like a bad ad placement, I, and anybody with the sidebar, has Vista.

  6. “I, and anybody with the sidebar, has Vista.”

    Maybe this ad is for people with Mojave computers. 😉

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