The unlimited capacity of Internet Radio isÂ great for music lovers, which consider that a 160GB iPod Classic is disappointingly small. There were plenty of AM and FM radios who appeared and left the air. The news of the niche’s format death was exaggerated of course, and we can’t say that album-oriented rock, classical, bluegrass, surf rock, and punk didn’t die at all.
The possibility of Internet streaming for radio stations came as an extension for the classical streaming way and it brought into attention many old radio stations which were almost forgotten because of technology evolution. iPhone and Internet Radio make an interesting tech couple which bring you wherever you are your favorite radio station.
Assuming that Internet radio still survives, we can say that iPod and iPhone users have excellent options. Three free applications offer users a large selection of content, from mainstream commercial fare to general offerings. There are two types of Internet radio applications: user-generated and driven (Pandora& Last.fm) and programmed radio stations (aggregated with AOL Radio and Tuner Internet Radio).
Pandora Radio, with it’s simple interface, navigation without effort, and a thumbs up and down button, is a free application for iPhone Radio. Users can also bookmark a song, an artist, or purchase songs from the iTunes Music Store. It’s useless to argue matters of taste, so I can just say that Pandora offers users many surprises, selecting their streaming from a 500,000 songs library based on our preferences.
Last.fm’s virtue is the ability to create and share playlists easily. Unlike Pandora, Last.fm displays a song’s running time, not the following songs too, but users can buy music from iTunes. Last.fm is free also, and when they research users’ preferrences they require more labor from them, asking them to input their favorite artist. The application doesn’t seem to have a good stability, because of the extras added to the basic function. There were reported often lock ups on 3G phones because of users clicking on the buttons for similar artists and artist-related events. Buffering times are a drawback aslo for Last.fm. The transitions from a song to another seem to be virtually seamless on Pandora.
AOL Radio and Tuner have similar looks and they list stations by genre and they display the station and a sound meter. They feature more than 200 CBS stations, and several big city stations such as WFAM-AM in NY, WXRT in Chicago and KROQ in L.A. iPhone has a locating function which will find CBS stations around you.
Tuner, the only paid radio application for iPhone, is on the first place when it comes to range and diversity. Classical music lovers can choose from 40 channels on Tuner. AOL offers only 10, but that’s 10 times more than most cities feature on the FM dial nowadays. One downside of AOL is the sound quality, as in distortions, which appear even with a strong Wi-Fi signal, and at higher volumes.AOL and Tuner users can add songs to fav lists, but they cannot buy them from iTunes Music Store, like they can on Pandora or Last.fm.
All of the applications presented in this article are compatible with iPhone 2.0 software version and iPod touch also. There is huge variety of songs there on Internet radio to be discovered.