Feb 16, 2011

The Better Way to Listen to Radio

If you like to listen to the radio, whether talk or music, you are typically limited to what stations you can get locally or you have to pay to subscribe to satellite radio.  If you have an iPhone or an iPad (or an iPod Touch with access to wifi) there is another option and it's actually a very good one.

Most radio stations in the U.S. and a large number of them around the world stream their broadcasts over the internet.  If you have an iOS device such as an iPhone, there are several good apps out there that give you a large catalog of radio stations that stream over the internet and that allow you to listen to those stations.  The one I use the most and really like is TuneIn Radio.  TuneIn Radio not only has a large catalog of radio stations, it has the ability to add favorites.  With it, you have the ability to record radio so you can treat it like a DVR for radio, pausing the stream and continuing where you left off.  If you have RadioTime account, it has the added benefit of syncing your favorites with your RadioTime preferences.  If you've read my Apps with Web Components post, you already know why that's important.

Wunder Radio is another good one that I've used but it doesn't do the things I've described that TuneIn Radio does and it costs a little over twice as much.  All of these apps have one shortcoming though that is not their fault.  If you like to listen to a station that is owned by ClearChannel, you won't be able to listen to that station with but one app.  ClearChannel doesn't allow the stations they own, like WERC here in Birmingham, to be streamed to apps other than their own.  Fortunately, their app, iHeartRadio is free.  The iHeartRadio app only plays ClearChannel stations though, which is why I have both TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio.
Even if you only listen to local radio, it's worth getting an app for that.  The broadcast, even over 3G and Edge, is generally clearer than FM radio and much clearer than AM.  If you enjoy radio, whether music or talk, this is the way to go.


  1. I was glad to find iHeartRadio for Android just for WERC, though it almost doesn't matter with the move to FM.

  2. You're right about the switch to FM. In the car, if I want to hear WERC, I listen to the radio. When driving beyond Birmingham, it's really helpful to listen using your phone. Also, when I miss the beginning hour of a syndicated show, it' helpful to be able to listen to a different station where that station started the show an hour later.


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