November 28, 2009

New Roku Apps - Pandora

Fairly quietly, Roku has come out with a whole slew of new apps, or as they call them, channels.

I've been a big fan / user of the Roku box for Netflix for a while - although I have yet to buy content (via the Amazon.com connection). But now there is a Pandora channel. I've never quite got into Pandora; it's a neat application / service but I'm usually taxing my computers with engineering work and streaming is too unreliable unless I've got a light workload. And I've never had a good computer audio system.

But the Roku box was a patch cable away from being hooked up to the stereo (I did that in fact for the Comcast music channels) and the Pandora app works great. A little convoluted to update my Roku player (it will auto-update eventually, but I did it manually to get it now), subscribe to the channels, create and link to a Pandora account. But all done now. I started with Richard Shindell and the list has grown from there. Pretty on target in terms of taste, just 20 songs in or so and I've hit John Gorka, Dar Williams, Loudon Wainwright, Bill Morrissey, Pierce Pettis. I'm judiciously using the Like / Dislike buttons to stter things a bit, but for the most part it's meandering successfully on it's own. Where are you, Lucy Kaplansky?

Roku's new channel store includes some other gems - Facebook photos, Flickr photos are both things I subscribe to. And a bunch of video channels (mostly podcasts and web videos, vs. television) although the golden marriage of Hulu (Simpsons! Glee! 30Rock! House!) and Roku remains tantalizingly unfulfulled.

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