Well it’s been a week and I’ve been playing with nearly every iphone radio application I can get my hands on. I thought I’d take a moment and write down a few thoughts on what is out there.
This is one of the top free downloads for the iPhone nearly every week. It allows access to AOL’s in-house radio network along with access to CBS’s national radio network, with stations pretty much in every state. The display also pulls up album and song tracks from the meta-data of the stream. It, by far, has the best looking user interface.
My only rub is a) it’s not available internationally last I checked and b) some of the stations are not amongst my favorites. I never used the AOL Radio application as my main player (though I liked some of the stations) so it is going to take me a bit to get used to them and start listening regularly.
Tuner is probably my top choice for an Internet radio application. It pulls directly from the Shoutcast.com directory of stations, which gives you access to about 15,000+ stations or so I’d imagine. I’ve been able to find some of my Shoutcast favorites utilizing the SEARCH function they have on the site. You can bookmark and browse by genre or popularity (but not by location).
On the down side, the listings that come up are not separated by your bandwidth capabilities. For example, you can be on an EDGE connection and pull up page after page of 128k or above streams, which are probably a bit too much for EDGE. It would be nice if we could start to see a limiting capability, showing us just the stations we could use given the bandwidth we have.
Very similar to the Tuner application, with one major and glaring exception–no search. This is something I hope they sort out quickly or they’ll lose market share to Tuner. One nice feature about this application is the ability to see radio stations by location, such as ‘International–UK’. I’d hope this capability gets enhanced as they get better information about the regional locations of the stations.
I’ve had a Pandora account since I first heard of them, and never ever used them. That changed dramatically once I got the iPhone. First, the sound quality, even on EDGE is pretty good. Comparable to FM easily. Second the algorithm they have definitely pulls in content I like from the assorted mass of songs (I have about 6 preset stations right now).
Mac v. Windows, Canon vs. Nikon, and Last.fm v. Pandora. There are so many battles like this. To be honest, I haven’t give Last.fm enough use to comment on it at this point. My database there isn’t as built up so I’m not sure what I’d be hearing.
Several individual stations have small applications so you can listen to their stations. Nice feature, especially when we start to see them for the stations we really like. I suspect we’ll see hundreds of these as the app store grows bigger.]]>