As we reported months ago, Pandora has finally come to Windows Phone 8. Even better, Windows Phone 8 users get free ad-free listening for the rest of the year, a feature that typically costs $3.99 per month, or $36 per year, known as Pandora One. A few weeks back, Pandora also announced a monthly 40-hour listening cap for free users, so this makes Pandora on Windows Phone 8 the best bang for your buck--provided you want to use a Windows Phone. One other cool feature is that Pandora integrates in with the Windows Phone Kid's Corner feature. When in Kid's Corner, Pandora doesn't show or play any explicit content. You can download it now.
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If you love listening to Pandora when you're on the go, you may have to start paying up. Pandora has announced that it will now be capping mobile users to 40 hours of listening per month. If you reach that cap, the music will stop, and you'll need to pay a fee of $.99 if you'd like to continue listening for the remainder of the month. The reason behind this is the rising costs of the per-track royalty rates that Pandora has to pay.
"Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption."
Pandora says this should only affect about 4% of its users, so it shouldn't be a huge deal. Subscribers to the Pandora One service, which eliminated the ads altogether for $36 per year, are not affected.
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Having a DVR has been my favorite upgrade since getting a high definition TV with HD programing to pair. Though I didn’t think the DVR could get any better, Dish Network decided to prove me wrong. As much as we love our DVR’s here at Gear Live, we love our music just as much (just check us out on Rdio.) That being said, Dish has now introduced Pandora Radio as an added bonus to its DVRs. You’ll now not only be able to watch any prerecorded show you saved to the DVR, but also enjoy your beats from any room in the house connected to the DVR. You can read the full press release below.
Apple’s iOS 4 is set to launch publicly today, and many app developers have been hard at work updating their apps to support the new iOS 4 functions. Today, one of the most popular apps that exists, Pandora, has been updated to allow for backgrounding on iOS 4. What does that mean exactly? Well, now you can fire up Pandora, pick a station, and the music will keep playing, even if you leave the app (similar to iPod.) A double-tap of the home button, and a swipe to the left, will give you widget controls to let you control the music without even going back into the Pandora app. You can get the update now, or if you don’t have it yet, you can download Pandora for free.
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