Hope: Accessibility for Pandora

Unlock Pandora's box!

Pandora is a wildly-popular Internet radio service available in the United States that allows listeners to create their own radio stations based around the kinds of music they like to hear. As time goes by, Pandora learns which songs you like best and plays those more often while dropping songs you don't like at all.

Their collection of music contains millions of songs, so they have music for almost any taste. You'll find everything from rock and metal to country, bluegrass, jazz, and classical music.

Pandora users tell the service whether or not they like the songs it plays, and are able to customize the system to their preferences just by using it.

Sounds great so far, doesn't it? The problem for blind users is that the Pandora website is inaccessible if they're using a screen reader. The web-based client, previously written in Flash, and now written in HTML5, is virtually unusable for blind users. Most of the player controls and feedback buttons are invisible to screen readers, making interacting with the music impossible.

Pandora is aware of the accessibility issues, and they have labeled some buttons making the site marginally better. However, Pandora support representatives have told many blind people that they have no plans for fixing their service.

I felt frustrated, like I was locked out of something sighted people could have with just a click of the mouse. So I created Hope, a program meant to bring full accessibility to Pandora.

Hope allows a blind person to use the Pandora service in all the same ways that a sighted person would. It runs under Windows and works with all of the major screen readers. If a person can't see to use the Pandora website, they can still create their own radio stations, name them as they like, and using the accessible feedback controls, tell Pandora precisely what kind of music they'd like to hear.

Features You'll Love in Hope

  • Create, rename, and delete Pandora stations
  • Switch to another station with an easy list view
  • Easily give feedback about a song, either thumbs up or thumbs down
  • See information about the current song you're listening to and why it's been suggested for you
  • Control playback from the media buttons on a keyboard if the keyboard has them
  • Use a handy button to buy the current song on iTunes or Amazon Mp3
  • Edit the Pandora QuickMix quickly
  • Please note that you will need to create a Pandora account before you can use Hope. You can do this using Hope, via the Pandora website, or by using an iPhone or Android phone with the Pandora app.

    Take Hope for a test drive

    Want to see Hope in action? You can download it from our software downloads page.

    When you run Hope for the first time, it will ask you for your activation key. If you have not purchased Hope and want to use the demo of Hope, just tab over to the "demo" button and press enter.

    As a demo, Hope will only let you manipulate a single Pandora station at a time. You can still give feedback about songs you like, and you can see song info for each track that you hear.

    If you like what you see, you can purchase Hope to unlock its full functionality. Our payment system is secure and easy to use. You'll be enjoying everything in Pandora's box within minutes of your purchase.

    For full documentation on Hope, go ahead and check out its readme