Pandora radio in the terminal


If I had to pick my most used terminal app that would be Pianobar, a simple Pandora radio client for Linux.

? brings up Pianobar’s help screen

The no frills simplicity is a feature. With everything I’ve got running on my laptop at any given moment It’s not anywhere near the resource hog of a web browser.

Pianobar's resource usage displayed in htop
Far fewer resources than the web client

Setting it up is simple, create a folder named pianobar within your home directory’s .config folder and add a file named config. In my case that’s… “~/.config/pianobar/config”

This file will contain the audio quality, auto start station number from Pandora Radio’s URL, password and user’s email address

Pianobar Config file
Pianobar Config file example
audio_quality = high
autostart_station = 139945058418070847
password = PandoraRadioAccountPassword
user =

Once up and running you can perform almost every task within Pandora Radio’s station management feature. However, Pianobar doesn’t support album collections, at least not yet. It’s no exaggeration that the only reason I’ve maintained a paid Panodra account for the last 10 years is because of this lightweight unofficial terminal client.





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