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Pandora announces premium features and new desktop app

Since pundits started speculating last year that expensive royalty fees for streaming music would kill Pandora, it seems the company has consistently rolled out more creative, money-making features.

Now premium subscribers can get access to better stream quality, the new Pandora One desktop app, and an ad-free experience for $36/year. That fee will also get rid of one of the most annoying restraints on the free version of Pandora, the limit of 12 skips per day.

Pandora One looks like a pretty cool app, with a mini version of the player to save screen real estate, and 8 different skins to choose from. It also doesn't require you to interact with it as often as the free version does to keep the music going. Instead, you only have to click over once every five hours.

All of this sounds like a pretty good deal for what comes out to be about $3/mo, but it's not clear how far it will go toward keeping Pandora up and running.

Tags: freemium, music, pandora, pandora-one, streaming