Native Mac Pandora app that sits on top of pianobar
Objective-C C
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Transistor is a native mac app that is currently just a GUI for the pianobar Pandora console client. I hate the Pandora flash web interface, and pianobar is a huge improvement, but I still prefer a native app. Transistor is a hacky way of achieving that, but works for now. Pianobar takes care of the all the hardwork of communicating with Pandora via a non-public API. When I have some more time, I'll most likely rewrite the pianobar Pandora API in Objective-C, or incorporate pianobar's C code directly into the app instead of launching a separate executable.


Warning, this is definitely buggy and not even an alpha yet, put together in a few hours. I haven't spent any time yet optimizing or looking for memory leaks. But I've been using it pretty much all day for the last week, so feel free to give it a go. You can get binary from the downloads. Open an issue for any bugs or feature requests.


First, you need to have pianobar installed. Easiest way is via homebrew, just

brew install pianobar

In this first version, it assumes the pianobar binary is at /usr/local/bin/pianobar, in the final version, it'll prompt for the path if it can't find it. Next, you need to have a pianobar config in ~/.config/pianobar/config that includes your pandora username, password, and an event_command entry for the TransistorHelper. Here's an example config:

username = yourpandorausername
password = yourpandorapassword
event_command = /Applications/


Transistor consists of two binaries, the Transistor app and a TransistorHelper app. The main app launches and manages the pianobar process, connecting pianobar's stdin and stdout to a Objective-C pipe. In addition to stdin and stdout, pianobar has an external events system that sends events to the TransistorHelper command line app which then sends a distributed notification to the main Transistor app. I could do it all by parsing stdout, but this is simpler for now.


  • Prompt for username and password, store in keychain
  • Better UI for choosing/changing stations
  • Support for other Pandora commands (thumbs up, thumbs down, bookmark, etc)
  • Growl integration
  • Global keyboard shortcuts for play/pause and next song (maybe intercept keyboard shortcuts iTunes uses if we can prevent them from also reaching iTunes)


Transistor 0.2 Screenshot