How I Built PandoRdio

written in apps, lifehack

PandoRdio is a Google Chrome Extension that adds a song to your Rdio collection after you “thumbs up” a song in Pandora.

Easy, Right?

While the extension is actually a very simple Chrome Extension, there were a few things I had to put in place to get it to work. There were a couple roadblocks:

  • Pandora offers no API
  • The Rdio API has a same origin policy

No Pandora API

Pandora doesn’t offer an API. All I needed to know was when someone “thumbs ups” a song, and what the artist and track are. Because there’s no API, I decided to just use a Google Chrome content script and listen to the click event on the various “thumbs up” buttons scattered across www.pandora.com.

Rdio’s Same Origin Policy

Rdio’s API (http://api.rdio.com/1/) has a same origin policy. So I created a proxy in Node.js. This “proxy” does a little more than merely proxy requests to the Rdio API, though.

I have it hosted on Heroku, where it’s also serving as the public landing page for PandoRdio. You authorize PandoRdio’s access to your Rdio account through here, and a cookie is set to handle the OAuth requests to the Rdio API.

Rdio JavaScript Library

Now that I had a working proxy up, I just needed a small JavaScript library that used it and provided the handful of API methods I needed to use. It’s available on GitHub and provides the following API methods:

  • search
  • addToCollection
  • setAvailableOffline
  • getPlaylists
  • createPlaylist
  • addToPlaylist

All Together Now

Here’s all the apps involved:

Credits

Almost all of the Node.js code is based off monsur’s rdio-node.

The Google Chrome Extension

So, now I had all the ingredients necessary to write the extension that would add a song to my Rdio collection when I “thumbs up”ed a song in Pandora. The result is the PandoRdio extension available in the Google Chrome Webstore.


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