Earlier this week, Pandora announced that it would finally be dropping its longtime support for Flash in favor of HTML5. The move is one piece of a big redesign for the site, one which will begin rolling out to Pandora One (the $36 / year premium version) subscribers in pieces, as part of a limited testing period before being made available to the service’s entire massive user base.
The timing could have been more ideal, of course. A day after the announcement, Spotify quickly grabbed the attention of those following the online music industry by formally launching in the US. It’s important to note right off the bat, however, that these two services are not really direct competitors, in spite of how some might spin it. Spotify is an all-you-can eat subscription service, making it more akin to the likes of a Rhapsody and Napster. Pandora, on the other hand, is built largely around passive music discovery. You log-in, you enter an artist, and you let the music come to you. This redesign takes that ease of use to a whole new level. Check out our impressions below.
Gallery: Pandora redesign hands-on