Download Pandora Radio To Your PC - gHacks Tech News

Download Pandora Radio To Your PC

I have not looked at Pandora Radio ever since the service closed down its international access. Before that, I published two guides on saving Pandora music. That was back in 2006; Five years later and the situation has not changed a lot. Pandora is still only available for US Internet users and those who use virtual private networks (vpns) or web proxies to bypass the country IP limitation.

The two guides published in 2006 are obsolete now. They are both about software programs that are no longer available. This guide takes a look at a new and at the time of writing working method of downloading Pandora Radio to the PC. Even better, it uses a freeware application for that.

Head over to the Nirsoft website and download Video Cache View. Don't let the name irritate you, it supports audio as well. The program basically scans web browser caches for media files and displays all files it finds in its interface.

The portable software scans for all media file formats in all browser caches. That may be a bit much and the first thing that we need to do after starting Video Cache View is to restrict the listing to audio. Click on Options in the menu and remove the checkmark next to show video files.

Now head over to the Pandora website and tune into a radio station there. I suggest you pick one of the top streams that are listed on the start page while testing. Make sure the radio streams music to your computer. When it does, switch back to Video Cache View and either wait until the program refreshes the listing automatically, or click on the refresh button manually to see the song that is now playing in the listing.

download pandora radio

Chance is, you see multiple audio files in the listing. Use the following indicators to locate the correct one that Pandora sent to your computer. You can first sort by browser to limit the display. The file size should be more than 1 Megabyte and less than 5 Megabytes. The Pandora Radio music files usually show up as .tmp files without content type and download url. A right-click on a file and the selection of Play opens the file in the default media player on the system.

play pandora music

Once you have identified the song that is playing right now right-click it again and select the Copy selected files to option from the context menu.

Please note that cached music files are removed from the cache automatically when the song stops. This means that you need to save the Pandora song while it is playing. You will always download the full song though no matter when you start the downloading.

Is there an easier way to download Pandora Radio music to the computer? Probably. It would for instance be nice if the identification and download could be automated, or if the cached files would not be deleted right away after the music stops playing.

Know of a different way to rip Pandora streams? Let me know in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Chris said on November 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm
    Reply

    What kind of bit-rate does this yield?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm
      Reply

      64-bit as far as I can tell.

  2. Jeffrey Barry said on November 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm
    Reply

    What about TubeMaster (http://www.tubemaster.net/)? I used it on XP and it worked great. Took a while for 7 64 bit support but now that they have it, I will start using it again.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm
      Reply

      Jeffrey, I have not tried it. It does support flv so there is a possibility that it can save Pandora music.

  3. Robert Palmar said on November 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm
    Reply

    Your suggestion for the versatile Video Cache View
    looks like a great way to access Pandora radio files.

    Excellent point that cached music files are removed
    from cache after the song ends for anyone frustrated
    over why they cannot find a song that has just played.

    I just tried downloading a song on Pandora
    using the CacheViewer extension in Firefox.
    The file playing easily found (it’s the top entry).

    The extension has to be changed from .htm
    to the media type described in CacheViewer.

  4. Ross Presser said on November 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm
    Reply

    A year or two ago I investigated this. Some one had bundled a modded version of Fiddler2 (a local proxy) with some Java software. The result could intercept the communication to Pandora, thus getting the song identification. I wasn’t able to get it running though, and I no longer have the link.

    1. Ross Presser said on November 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm
      Reply

      Never mind my previous comment; I just reread Martin’s article and realized I probably got the link from one of his 2006 articles.

  5. Mike J said on November 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    The Ff add-on DownloadHelper does the job OK, but the tune name is not labeled;it is just generic.You can of course name it manually when you save the file.I have only tried it a couple times, to email examples of music to folks. I do not even own an MP3 player. (These are MP4’s.)

    1. Todd said on December 11, 2011 at 7:14 am
      Reply

      If you want to rip songs from Pandora there is an absolutely phenomenal program called Saver2 that does it perfectly. It even converts the songs to different formats, automatically tags the mp3s with album artwork and ID3 tags, and sorts the mp3s into folders by artist and album. Besides Pandora it also works with
      Slacker.com
      Playlist.com
      Meemix.com
      play.it (AOLRadio)
      Rhapsody Radio
      Accuradio
      Grooveshark
      Last.FM
      Songza Radio
      Songza Beta
      YouTube

      It even has a turbo mode that downloads the songs in like 5 seconds, but you can’t listen and use turbo mode at the same time obviously.

      Anyway check it out, I’ve used this for years now and it is really amazing.

      http://zzj.itf-inc.com/s2/

      (Yes I know the link looks like a weird URL but it’s not spam or anything don’t worry. If you’re paranoid just do a Google search for Saver2 and you will find it too.)

  6. malan michel said on April 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm
    Reply

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