When it comes to combining the iPhone and Internet radio, it can be a daunting task, considering how many apps there are to choose from. We’ve put together a list for you, that might make the choice a bit easier, depending on what kind of listener you are.
iPhone and Internet Radio – Want Variety?
If you’re looking for a big variety of radio stations to choose from, then CBS Radio will meet your needs. Almost identical to the Yahoo! Music App, the CBS Radio app features the widest variety of genres and radio stations, from both AOL Radio, Yahoo! Music as well as local stations from almost 30 cities across the US.
The CBS Radio app allows you to add stations to favourites as you are listening to them, by clicking on the star icon. When a song is playing, the title, singer, and album artwork are displayed. You can skip up to 6 songs per hour while listening to any given radio station.
Other features include sharing the radio station you are listening to by sending your friends form emails with a link to the radio station, or buying the currently playing song on iTunes.
Your listening is interrupted every now and then by several audio adverts in a row.
Want To Discover New Music?
If you want to discover new music based on your taste, or listen to user-generated playlists, you should download FineTune.
The app requires registration on FineTune‘s website, but that certainly has its advantages. You can create your own playlists on the FineTune website, clunky as it may be, and then easily access them from your iPhone.
You can also use FineTune to discover new music by listening to Artist Radio stations. Choose one specific singer or band, and FineTune will play similar music for you. You can add artists to your favourites on the FineTune website but that feature is lacking on the iPhone app. The variety of pre-set radio stations on FineTune is limited to the standard genres, but they are listed under some pretty cheesy names.
If you’re not sure what to listen to, FineTune has a list of Featured Artists, from mainstream to obscure, from the 50s to present day, along with a list of the popular artists on FineTune.
The Now Playing window displays the names of the song and singer, the album title and album artwork. While listening to any given radio station you can skip up to 5 songs per hour.
Want A Specific Station?
Do you have a specific radio station that you want to listen to? Then use FStream.
As long as you have the URL used to access the online radio station using an external desktop app like Winamp or iTunes, FStream can play that station for you on your iPhone. Adding radio stations can be done directly through the app, but is easier done using their web management tool.
No registration is required, as the app makes use of your iPhone’s IP address. Web management can be accessed by clicking on the ‘More’ tab, where FStream will give you the the link to go to for managing your favourite stations, and the choice to use password protection.
When adding a station to your favourites, there is a space to fill in the format and bitrate, but it is not necessary to fill that information in. The now playing tab displays the song title and singer.
A unique feature that sets FStream apart from the rest is the ability to record the audio in either WAV or AIFF format. You can play recordings on your iPhone or download them through your FStream web management page.
Want to listen to podcasts on the fly? Use Stitcher Radio.
Stitcher allows you to tune into the latest podcasts from around the web, from news and business to science and technology, as well as live public radio stations from around the US. You can add podcast episodes to your favourites or bookmark podcast episodes while they are playing.
The latter seems to be a little bit redundant taking into consideration the favourites feature. Using the favourites feature is more beneficial, as you can receive email alerts once a new episode has been added.
Each category consists of a playlist of the latest episodes from various popular podcasts. Once a podcast episode has finished, Stitcher will automatically start playing the next episode on the list, which means, for example, you can listen to the latest news podcasts from NPR, CNN, Fox, and Slate, to name a few, all in one playlist.
You can also pause podcasts or skip to the next episode in the playlist, as well as rewind and fast forward within a podcast, but you have to use the seeker, so it’s not entirely accurate. If you close Stitcher while listening to a podcast, opening it up again will take you back to the exact spot where you left off in the episode.
You can also sync your mobile listening with your desktop experience, listening to podcasts both on the go, or at your computer on their website. Stitcher also features social integration, where you can share the name and link to the podcast episode you are listening to on Twitter, Facebook or by email, and users don’t need to be registered members to tune in.
A good way to familiarise yourself with the many features that Stitcher has to offer is to listen to their very own Tips podcast, which can be found under the Featured Podcasts.
Stitcher requires registration, and has unobtrusive ads at the bottom of the screen.
Want To Multi-Task?
Want to multitask on your phone while listening to the radio? Download iRadioSuite
iRadioSuite has many features you wouldn’t expect to find in a free app. The list of genres consists of 80s music, Alternative, Rock, Country, Christmas tunes, Soft Rock and office friendly music, and Top 40 songs.
While a song is playing, iRadioSuite allows you to pause the music, and rewind up to 10 minutes on any station. While a song is playing, you can add the station to your favourites, visit the station’s website in an integrated browser, and buy the song on iTunes, tag it, or send the track info by email. Emailing track information opens up the mail app, with the singer and song title filled into the body of the email.
The Now Playing window displays the song title, singer, and the station’s logo.
What makes iRadioSuite an exceptional app is its ability to play radio stations in the background. While listening to a station, click on the button marked ‘background play,’ and when prompted it will open a window in Safari. The music will fade out, and back in again, and once you’ve hit the home button, you can multitask on your iphone, while the music plays, to your hearts content.
If you want to stop the music, simply open up the app again.
For all of its features, iRadioSuite is surprisingly and blissfully ad-free.
Want To Create A Playlist?
Want to listen to a specific song on the go? Download Boombox.
Boombox’s interface is designed like, well a boombox, and is built on the framework of social music website, Blip.fm. Using the free version of Boombox allows you to search for and listen to songs on your iPhone, as well as, create playlists, unlike FineTune which only allows you to create playlists at your computer. You can create local playlists to listen to on your iPhone, but if you want direct integration with your Blip.fm account, you will have to purchase the paid app.
Searching for a song gives you the option to buy it on iTunes, add it to your playlist, or listen to it immediately. You can only create one playlist at a time. The playlist can be edited by clicking on the list icon in the top right hand corner of the screen.
Do you have a favourite iPhone radio app? If so, let us know about it in the comments.