No Pandora Access? 4 International Radio Streaming Solutions

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By J. E. Hinners, MD MPH

harpYou may not realize–unless you’ve learned the hard way–that Pandora radio music streaming is currently not available outside of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and the respective territories of those countries.

This fact may pose a bit of a problem if you rely on this wonderful music venue to any extent, whether for workouts or for relaxation.

What is an international music lover to do?

Well. Fear not.

There are other radio streaming options available in other countries.

A quick definition:

Radio streaming allows you to just click on a song, artist, or music genre you like and then go about your business while the service creates custom playlists based on your user information and algorithms. So music choices are selected in response to your likes, dislikes, music selection history, etc.–you don’t have to sit down and select each song you want to hear.

This service is convenient when you’re short on time or don’t want to have to think too hard about what specific songs or artists you want to hear. One additional benefit of this type of music service is that you get to be exposed to new artists and songs you’ve never heard but may like, since the selection was based on your previous tastes.

Below are a few alternative radio streaming options:

1. Last.fm

Cost: Free

Reviews: PC Mag & user reviews

Available in these countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • U.S.

2. Spotify

Cost: Free (with ads) or $4.99-9.99/mo. (US); price differs by country.

Matias Singers created an interesting interactive world map showing how the price of Spotify differs by country. He made the comparison by converting various country costs to U.S. dollars.

Reviews: PC Mag & user reviews

Available in these countries:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia (Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island)
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark (Faroe Islands, Greenland)
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Finland (Åland Islands)
  • France (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia)
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands (Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius)
  • New Zealand (Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau)
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway (Svalbard and Jan Mayen)
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Spain (Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Autonomous cities in North Africa: Ceuta, Melilla)
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (Necker Island!), Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia / Cyprus, Turks and Caicos Islands, Crown Dependencies: Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey
  • Uruguay
  • US (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, United States Minor Outlying Island, United States Virgin Islands)

3. TuneIn Radio

Cost: Free; or $9.99/mo. (US) if you want the option of recording what you’re listening to

Reviews: CNET & user reviews. I would also add that I am currently using TuneIn Radio, myself, as I am currently in South Korea where I can’t use either of the other two options listed above. I can’t say that it tailors its playlists to your individualized taste as much as Pandora, but it does give access to a wide range of radio stations and music genres from around the world.

Available in these countries:

4. Pandora via ZenMate (for Google Chrome)

If all else fails, you’re in Timbuktu, and you simply must have Pandora, there are always extensions such as ZenMate for Google Chrome which let you hide your IP (your computer “address”) and instead choose a VPN (a new computer “address”).

You can choose a VPN–which is like having a fake computer address–that makes it appear as if you’re browsing from one of 5 international locations, including the U.S. This little go-around means that you should be able to access Pandora since you appear to be in the U.S., if you choose that VPN location.

I’d recommend reading the reviews for this option to ensure that you can accept possible security risks that might be involved, as I have read some mixed reviews.

Cost: ZenMate is currently free; Pandora is either free (with ads) or $4.99/mo. (US)

Reviews: User reviews. I’d like to also add here that I have tried this option, as it’s one of the few options I can do from my current location. While I like the concept, I am not sure I’m convinced of the security of this option. Only a couple days after connecting through ZenMate, my email was broken into from more than one location (other than my own).

It may be a coincidence, of course, but you do have to connect to ZenMate with your email and email password, so I found it a little strange to have been hacked so quickly after  signing up and using it. I personally am not comfortable using this option anymore, but I may have had a fluke experience here.

If anyone’s had similar or different experiences on this one, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Available in these countries:

  • In theory, all countries where you have Internet access!

Have you had any experiences using any of these international radio streaming options? Any good or bad experiences so far?


 Armband

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