Does Pandora Work With Kindle?

by John Lister

The Pandora Internet streaming-music service acts as a personalized radio station. Although Pandora is not compatible with Amazon's dedicated Kindle e-readers, the service does work on the Kindle Fire tablet, subject to some technical and legal limitations.

Concept

Pandora's music personalization lets you create a virtual radio station based on the particular artists or songs you select. The service then plays other songs of a similar style, which it selects based on its Music Genome Project database. You can give the songs it chooses a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to refine future tracks that play on your station. Unlike Spotify and other rival streaming-music services, you cannot choose specific tracks to play.

Kindle e-Readers

Although Kindle e-readers can play audio and access the web, the devices cannot use Pandora because their music playback works only on songs you have downloaded and transferred to the device. Pandora is strictly a streaming service; it does not allow downloads. The Kindle web browser is limited (and marked as experimental) and cannot play multimedia content such as the streaming audio used on the Pandora site.

Kindle Fire Tablets

Kindle Fire tablets, including the original Fire and the HD range, can access Pandora in two ways: either visit the Pandora site and use the service as you would on a computer; or use a dedicated Android application, which you can download via the application store built into the Fire devices. Although the app initially lacked such online features as access to song lyrics and artist biographies, these features were added in a 2012 update. The app displays advertisements, but you can remove the ads by signing up for the Pandora One subscription service.

Limitations

Pandora prohibits use of the service in commercial settings, such as a store or other public place. This is because playing music to an audience requires different licensing than playing purely for personal listening. Pandora offers commercial licensing for such uses in partnership with DMX, although the licenses don't cover using the music for dance classes and similar services. Pandora requires a continuous Internet connection. If you use it via a 3G or 4G cellular connection rather than Wi-Fi, performance may be restricted if you lose cellular service or have a slow connection. Your use of Pandora over a cellular connection will count towards any data-plan limits on your cell account.

Versions

The information in this article applies to all Kindle e-readers (including the Kindle Keyboard) as well as to the Kindle Fire and Fire HD tablets sold as of October 2012. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products

About the Author

A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.

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