How to Get Pandora in Your Car

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In the span of a few years, Pandora.com has gone from an unwieldy, unprofitable start-up to one of the most beloved sites of the internet and on mobile devices. CES featured so many devices that can stream music from Pandora, it was like the music service took over the show. The automotive world got a lot of attention for how Pandora plans to integrate the service, scaring the crud out of terrestrial and satellite radio folks, we imagine. Here are a few ways Pandora will be coming to your car:

  • Mini announced a partnership that will allow drivers to stream Pandora in all of its 2011 model year vehicles. The third-party app will not cost anything extra, and drivers will be able to control it through Mini’s existing system, called Mini Connected.
  • Ford’s Sync system will get Pandora, with the added bonus that drivers will be able to control their music through voice commands.
  • Automotive supplier Visteon revealed a concept system that can stream Pandora through a standard 4G connection. Users will even be able to give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down like on the computer (though perhaps this duty should be left to the passenger).
  • Sony became the first company to offer head units that can control Pandora from Android and BlackBerry phones. The company says PandoraLink will come embedded in “multiple” units this year, and it uses Bluetooth to stream the music. The company is quick to point out that combined Android and Blackberry users outnumber those who own iPhones.
  • Alpine introduced the iDA-X305S stereo, which uses a 3G connection. However, this model requires an iPhone 3G or 3GS to work, leaving out Android and BlackBerry users — not to mention the 11 of us left in America without a smartphone.
  • A similar unit from Pioneer, the AVIC-X920BT, will also require an iPhone to stream the internet radio station. Some will see these connection issues as a limitation, but some of us still remember a time when there was no music on the internet, let alone having the internet in cars.
By Stephen Markley | January 14, 2011 | Comments (9)

Comments 

Aaron Tindall

I use Pandora in the car today through Ford Sync. Just have the smartphone connected to Pandora and the phone connected to Sync. The cars audio system commands the phone which commands Pandora. I did not even have to do anything special to set it up. It just worked.

Hector

I use my android phone as well. Plug straight into Aux port. Works great if your not into changing stations all the time.

Glenn

Sounds like nails are being hammered around the Sirius coffin.

Eaglevew

Don't count out Sirius yet for some of us. Until Pandora figures out licensing agreements this is not available for those of us in Canada.

CJG

Did anyone read the other article today about cellphone companies limiting the amount of data we use? How is that going to effect a data hog like Pandora?

Lalita

Do I have to use my smartphone to access a Pandora accessible radio device? Is there anyway that I can purchase just a Pandora radio device system?

Seems like you would have to buy all of this fancy stuff for your car.

All of these receivers are redundant. Only an imbecile would think that what Sony and pioneer are doing is extraordinary. ANYONE WITH A SMARTPHONE AND A 1/8 jack CAN HAVE PANDORA IN THEIR CAR. The jack input comes standard on every car made now. so it's ridiculous to spotlight this as innovative. IT ONLY COST A DOLLAR FOR A JACK. When they come out with a unit that has pandora stream with NO NEED FOR A SMARTPHONE, that would be something to talk about. Other than that its a wasted topic. Advertising to the dumb.

Sandyjean

I would like to be able to use Pandora in my car like Sirius. I don't want to use it through my smartphone. I don't like the way it sounds through my auxillary and I like to skip songs. That is the best part! Does anyone know if this is going to be possible in the future?

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