The Best Mac Apps For Listening To Pandora

Justin Pot 23-05-2014

Love Pandora, but not in your browser? Here are the best Mac apps for the job – regardless of whether you’re a Pandora One subscriber.


Mac users tend to prefer native apps to web ones, and features like keyboard shortcuts and menubar integration just make sense when you’re talking about music. Pandora offers an official desktop app for paying users, but it’s not the only option out there. Whether you’d rather not pay for a subscription, or are wondering if there’s something better out there, here are the best Pandora apps for Mac.

None of these apps require a Pandora One account, and none are mere wrappers for Pandora’s web interface.

Note: Pandora only works in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

Hermes (free): Just The Music

Pandora’s simplicity is what makes it work. Open the website, pick a station, listen to music. Hermes brings this to the Mac.



The main window shows you album art and controls. A sidebar shows you your stations – and allows you to create new ones. You can also, optionally, use Hermes from the menubar. The controls for this couldn’t be simpler:


Hermes offers full support for your Mac’s media control keys (assuming you’ve stopped iTunes from holding those keys hostage How To Stop iTunes From Interfering With The Mac Media Keys Read More ), and also offers Growl integration for notifications. It’s the app I’d suggest trying first.

Bandito (free): Web Meets Menubar

Want something that looks more like the web version? Fair enough. Bandito is a menubar app for Pandora Bandito: Bringing Pandora Radio To Your Menubar [Mac] Read More :



You’ll find all your stations here, and a familiar look. You won’t find support for your Mac’s media keys – the Mac App Store sandboxing prevents that – but you can set whatever keyboard shortcuts you want.

Pandorita (free): Review Your Playlist

Pandorita is worth a look. It’s main advantage is a visible playlist, which you can use to review recent songs:



Your Mac’s media keys are supported, as are Growl notifications. Some of the interface elements could be improved and it won’t win any awards for its looks but overall it’s a nice app.

PandaBar ($5): Notifications & Last.FM [No Longer Available]

The only paid option on the list, PandaBar might be worth the five dollars if certain features matter to you.


This is the only app on this list to natively support the OS X Notification Center, without the need for Growl, as well as scrobbling. The app supports your Mac’s media keys, and even the Apple Remote. If any of these things are worth five dollars to you, PandaBar might be worth it.


Pianobar (free): Command Line Radio

Are you old school at heart? Go GUI-less. Pianobar is a command line tool you can use to listen to, and control, Pandora entirely from your Mac’s Terminal.


This program is actually what powers Hermes, but command line junkies will no doubt prefer the pure version. A variety of keyboard shortcuts (you can see a list by typing “?”) let you skip, like and read about why a given track is included in your playlist.

You can read more about Pianobar, if you want. The easiest way to install the app on your Mac is using homebrew, which isn’t nearly as hard to set up as it sounds.

Browser Extensions

Not sure about these desktop apps? There are a few browser extensions that might be worth checking out, that offer similar features. Unified Media Keys for Chrome, for example, lets you control Pandora using your Mac’s media keys Unity Media Keys: Control Web-Based Music Services With Your Media Keys [Chrome] Use your computer's media keys to control Pandora, Google Music, Grooveshark or any other major online music player in Chrome – regardless of whether you're using Chrome right now or not. Whether you're a Mac... Read More . We’ve outlined more Chrome and Firefox add-ons that improve Pandora Improve Pandora With These Chrome & Firefox Browser Add-Ons With over 35 million listeners, Pandora is easily one of the most popular Internet radio sites. Despite Pandora being awesome at linking similar songs together, there's always room for improvement. For instance, controlling it requires... Read More , so check those out as well.

Or, if you want, you could read the comments below – I’m sure readers will submit even more apps for the job.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Betty
    August 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Will it record music to iTunes like PandoraJam once did...when it actually sad I can't use PandoraJam anymore...

  2. Michael
    May 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks for posting about Hermes! I've just installed it, and it seems to be working perfectly. :)

  3. biyu
    January 18, 2016 at 4:00 am

    i had pandabar years ago most of these are bunk would link similar again

    • Justin Pot
      January 18, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      I wrote this article years ago! :)

      Anyway, Hermes is still working if you're looking for a client.

  4. Frank
    December 12, 2015 at 12:11 am

    What a BS post. Typed all of these in the app search under Launch Pad and NOTHING came up. What a waste of time.

    • Justin Pot
      December 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Seems like everything that does this has been removed from the Mac App Store, but Hermes still works -- you just can't find it in the App Store, you have to download it by following the link.

  5. Anonymous
    March 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    What about Muse? Awesome app.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      This looks pretty nice! One part browser, one part native app. Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. Guillermo Leon
    January 23, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Amazing post, Hermes is just i what i needed! Thanks.

    • Justin Pot
      January 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Happy to be helpful! Thanks for reading.

  7. Julia
    November 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks :) Now that my PandoraJam stopped working, I can replace it with something else.

    • Justin Pot
      November 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Glad I could help! :)

  8. Richard Lennox
    May 26, 2014 at 3:55 am

    The best way to listen to Pandora... has to include SOME speakers. The best speakers are Sonos, which also provides a great FREE app for OS & IOS.

  9. Ham H
    May 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm