Pandora’s box is opened

We’ve been banging on about the magnificence of Pandora for a few months now – it’s a fantastic browser-based web radio service that uses the Music Ge

We’ve been banging on about the magnificence of Pandora for a few months now – it’s a fantastic browser-based web radio service that uses the Music Genome Project data to recommend songs based on bands that you like. It’s an amazing way to discover new bands – and, best of all, it’s free.

Of course, in order to be free, Pandora has to appease the record industry by creating a Javascript shell that stops listeners from copying its files for keeps. Or at least, it used to stop them…

Now one mystery hacker has come up with a Firefox plug-in called Pandora’s Jar to strip away the copy protection that stops you from saving the songs to your hard drive.  The program will even pull artist and album information from the CDDB, taking all the pain out of copying the music to your favourite MP3 player.

Like many hacks, this little app is ethically dubious to say the least. We love free music, sure, but we’d hate to see Pandora’s box closed for good by the notoriously litigious Recording Industry Association of America (aka RIAA the Napster-killer).