31 March, 2009

Pandora Only Partly Sucks

Well, you know we were all pumped up about Pandora and the fact that we could set up what is essentially a personalized radio station with songs/artists, etc., that meant something to us and our Belizean experience.

That's true. We did that - it's Winjama Radio, which you can find in the right-hand margin. What sucks is this next bit.

Richard forwarded me the following message:
Dear Pandora Visitor,

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We believe that you are in Belize (your IP address appears to be 200.32.xxx.xx). If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please contact us at pandora-support@pandora.com

If you are a paid subscriber, please contact us at pandora-support@pandora.com and we will issue a pro-rated refund to the credit card you used to sign up. If you have been using Pandora, we will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you.

We will be notifying listeners as licensing agreements are established in individual countries. If you would like to be notified by email when Pandora is available in your country, please enter your email address below. The pace of global licensing is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service everywhere.

We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

Sincerely,
Tim Westergen

Tim Westergren
Founder

P.S. For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions on the topic.
Now, that sucks... big time! I can't help but smell RIAA all over that. What possible difference could it make if someone listening to Pandora is in Belize or Kokomo, Indiana, or heaven forbid - Timbuktu?

If your ISP is in Belize, you have my apologies. You'll probably get a similar or the same letter. I probably will too - eventually.

At least Pandora is willing to refund money if someone paid for a subscription. That's something. Damn little, but something.

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