Hands-on with Pandora for Chumby
CNET's Donald Bell writes his account of using Pandora on the Chumby interactive media player.
For the past eight months, my
The sudden relocation was caused by invisible Chumby fairies silently Pandora Internet radio to an already impressive list of streaming music options. The Chumby is meant to be a very flexible, multipurpose gadget, so the fact that I've been using it a glorified alarm clock is a shame. Maybe I've just been in denial over the Chumby's suitability as an Internet radio receiver, but it took the addition of Pandora to finally motivate me to relocate it to my living room.my Chumby's firmware yesterday (Hooray for free upgrades!), adding
Aside from the
The Chumby version of Pandora doesn't deliver the exact same experience as Pandora on the Web, but the best parts are still here. After logging in to your Pandora account using the onscreen keyboard (for creating a new account) you can listen to any station you've already created, pause and skip through songs, adjust volume, rate tracks, bookmarks songs, view the artist and title information of the currently playing song (including album art), and even create new stations on the fly by typing in artist or song names. The only drawbacks are that you can't purchase songs directly or share songs with friends the way you can with the Web or.
To be fair, the majority of Pandora-compatible receivers lack these same features, and few of them offer niceties such as album art and touch-screen keyboards. With the way I have the Chumby set up currently, I'll probably just let Pandora run perpetually in the background, without much interaction, and leave the station creation and playlist grooming for those moments when I've got the Web version of Pandora running on my computer at work.
As free upgrades go, the addition of Pandora to the Chumby is pure gravy. The sound quality is good, the interface is slick, and the price is perfect. After eight months, I'm glad to finally see the Chumby take on more responsibilities around the house.