« Home | Koonji Guides Help You Get Things Done » | 100 Free Legal Internet TV Channels » | Joost Invites Update » | Tab Scope: Firefox Thumbnail Preview and Tab Navig... » | Joost Invites for All » | World Without Oil Launches » | Playble: The Pirate Bay's Answer to Free Music » | Profiting from the Virginia Tech Shootings Online » | SHOUTcast TV: Using Winamp to Watch TV and Videos » | Rapidshare.de Premium Link Maker »

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How to Listen to Pandora From Outside the USA

Loyal listeners of Pandora's customized radio stations who live outside the US will be in for a shock evening today (May 3): the site will be blocking all access to its services for users whose IP address doesn't reside in the US. Previously, all you had to do to prove you lived in the US was to input a US zip code.

Pandora is working on obtaining proper international licenses and is close to securing deals in the UK and Canada. However, listeners in the other countries may need to use more exotic means to access Pandora like using proxies or VPNs. This development isn't so great for Pandora, either: more than 50% of their traffic is from outside the US, according to the notoriously inaccurate Alexa.

Longtime readers will know that we hate censorship of any sort so, of course, we have come up with a list of alternatives to Pandora as well as ways to bypass the IP filter. All of this even before the censorship begins.

If you live outside the US, for now, your options are:
  1. Musicovery: This European webradio service serves up music based on your mood. One drawback is low audio quality in the free mode.

  2. Blogmusik: Like a giant jukebox in the sky. All you have to do is search for a song, and it'll be played immediately. Unlike Pandora, they don't try to give you alternative songs that sound similar; they just give you the song you want.

  3. If you can't bear to part with Pandora, you can always use a proxy or VPN to access the service.
Luckily, audio streams are much less bandwidth intensive than video so the proxy and VPN solutions out there will be able to handle the strain with ease.

Proxies don't work too well with Flash, unfortunately. You can test the web proxies on this list by trying to access www.pandora.com and seeing if the Flash player loads. However, sometimes, you'll see this message pop up:

Using a VPN (virtual private network) is probably the most reliable way to access Pandora. VPNs are very general purpose solutions since they let you do anything on the Internet that you're able to do with your own net connection. You can look into SecureIX and Hotspot Shield for free, publicly accessible VPNs. We've written about them in conjunction with downloading BitTorrent files and accessing TV streams from outside the US.


Send to a Friend!       Subscribe!      

    Stumble Upon Toolbar    

Comment Archive

Reader Comments:

Here is a guide on how to
set up HotSpotShield VPN to watch Hulu.com outside the U.S
. The guide can be used for any other service with country restrictions as well, including Pandora.

The VPN solution sounded quite interesting to me especially since I use DD-WRT, which will alllow me to permanently configure my router to keep open a connection to one of these networks - but then it struck me that this maybe potentially very dangerous... Wouldn't I be bridging my otheriwse secure private network with what is essentially anonymous traffic.

I am trying to find a solution where I configure a permanent route for a specific IP & port combination through to an anonymizer to use Pandora on my Squeezebox3. I've investigated squid and a few other installable packages for DD-WRT but none seem to offer the routing of only one single address.

Seems like a simple requirement. Anyone know if I can do this with just a straight routing rule??


Hotspot Sheild works WONDERFULLY! After fighting with proxies and all manner of other malarky, something finally works!!


You can actually fire up a vpn, open pandora, then close it again once the flash has loaded, and pandora will continue to download and play the tracks fine - clearly it only checks on your ip when you first load up the page.

...which means that in theory you don't need a vpn at all. You only have to intercept the one request and give the appropriate 'thumbs up' response.

...i'm on it ;)

sorry, disregard my previous comment. i'm an idiot... forgot to actually disconnect from vpn :S

Previous Posts

« Home