Yeah, you can stream content by opening it from Safari. However, this wouldn't be useful for Pandora since you would not have any control over the songs outside of the app. Until Apple provides a way to have a background app interface with the UI, I don't see it ever happening.3rd party iPhone apps can't run in the background unless Apple lifts this restriction. Period. Write to Apple. From what I understand, the ESPN app is actually opening streams in Safari, which does run in the background. Maybe the Pandora folks could figure out something similar, but seems unlikely.
ESPN is streaming. It just takes a single audio stream and plays it. Pandora is a custom radio station. It's constantly changing based on your preferences. So each person's pandora stream is different. While each ESPN stream is the same for each user. You're listening to one station? 100 others could be as well. So ESPN can stream a station just like a radio does. But Pandora being a unique station to you, can't.3rd party iPhone apps can't run in the background unless Apple lifts this restriction. Period. Write to Apple. From what I understand, the ESPN app is actually opening streams in Safari, which does run in the background. Maybe the Pandora folks could figure out something similar, but seems unlikely.
apps that are able to stream radio in the background legitimately do so by streaming in Safari, which isn't a great solution for backgrounding the app. Something like ESPN Radio (Pocket Tunes works like this too, I believe) uses Safari to grab the radio stream. And its able to just keep the stream going. Pandora is somewhat of a different situation as it is a personalized internet radio service. Testing out the ESPN Radio "backgrounding" in Safari now, all I get is a blank Quicktime scream. Pandora offers much more than that usually, album art, thumbs up/down, bookmarking songs, skipping songs, etc. So, I don't think it is really feasible for Pandora to offer this.So they're blaming Apple, but as you stated, ESPN Radio is able to do it, so I guess Apple isn't being too restrictive. Perhaps this feature is coming in a future version of Pandora. Of course, if you jailbreak, Backgrounder will let you run Pandora and anything else you want in the background.