Features & Use
Samsung Google Nexus S
Android version: 2.3.4
I’m a part time musician and like to keep my ears open and receptive to new melodies, so you can imagine that I pricked them up when I first heard about TuneIn Radio. 50 000 stations. Goodness gracious. I went for it, downloaded it and started exploring the possibilities.
First thing you see is a list of the different types of stations. There’s local radio, recommended stations, as well as sub-genres such as music, talk, sports, by location and by language.
I want to have a closer look at the general settings. I go to ‘Accounts’ where there’s an option for creating a personal account; it isn’t necessary to create a personal account in order to listen to music, BTW. General settings such as the shake motion can also be changed here. I’ll go into more detail in a bit.
The next thing I’m interested in is seeing what’s hiding behind the tabs.
There’s Local Radio: it goes without saying that a list of local stations (according to where you are currently located) is displayed. I pick one and after a few brief moments of loading time sweet music fills my ears. I have to admit the the quality is quite good for a stream. That being said, I was lying when I said the music buzzing in my ears was sweet – it’s actually pretty appalling, so I navigate back to the list of stations. Before I leave the unfortunate radio station playing the crappy song I take note of the fact that TuneIn tells me the name of the track I dislike so much.
Recommended: my jury’s out on who actually compiles this list of recommended stations, but it’s there and it seems to mainly feature very popular programmes.
Music: I’m personally most intersted in this tab. Currently there are 22 music categories to choose from, ranging from alternative rock to world music.
Talk: everything that revolves around the spoken word: news stories, talk programmes and much more.
Sports: sports enthusiasts rejoice, because you are sure to find something that will blow your skirts up here. There’s everything ranging from sports talk programmes to coverage of high school football.
By Location: lets you select stations according to their locations and, again, the choice is remarkable. This musical journey will take you from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Podcasts: podcasts galore, as you might expect. There are sooo many to choose from. Need. More. Time.
If you’re looking for a specific radio stations rest assured that you won’t have to fine comb through over 50 000 stations – there’s a convinient search field that will do the job for you.
I like that the names of the station and track that’s currently being listened to is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Click once and you are transported back to the station you listened to previously. Oh, and the music keeps playing even when you return to your device’s homescreen. It will only stop when you press stop within the app, or when there’s no internet connection.
Your favourite stations can be bookmarked using the heart symbol (and bookmarked stations can be removed at any point, should you ever grow tired of them). There’s also an envelope symbol which you can click in order to share a radio station on Facebook or Twitter. Well, so the theory goes, because I wasn’t able to share anything on Facebook. I can’t say whether this is down to the app itself or Facebook...
You like to be surprised? Use the shake motion function: every time you have a programme running and give your phone a shake a similar station will automatically be tuned into and streaming will commence.
More functions that I found impressive: programme information is available for each radio station; the quality of the streams is top notch; you can get more information on individual stations and even set an alarm for stations.
There’s a free version as well as a TuneIn Radio pro version which harbours the extra function of being able to record programmes. I am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by the app’s magnitude and decide that the free version will do just fine for now.
TuneIn Radio is a remarkable app in the sense that it has a lot to offer, and design-wise it’s pretty nifty, too. There are a lot of stations to choose from – this is the first time that I can safely say that I am willing to wager that anyone and everyone will find a station that caters to their preferences. Hook your smartphone up to your hifi, use it as a kitchen radio or simply to listen to new music when you’re out and about... TuneIn rocks!
Screen & Controls
TuneIn Radio scores when it comes to design. It’s neat, it’s intuitive and easy to use, though I found the screen to get too crowded whenever I wanted to make use of the sharing option with Facebook. I don’t care so much personally, but there are users who love to share stuff via social medias, so it’s worth mentioning.
Speed & Stability
TuneIn Radio runs really smoothly, save one exception: sharing via Facebook.
My internet connection died at some point, meaning the station had to be reloaded, but that didn’t come down to something that went wrong within the app itself.
Aside from these minor drawbacks TuneIn Radio runs superbly and I have been enjoying it for several hours now.
For once there’s really nothing to whinge about. TuneIn Radio can be downloaded for free and free of ad banners, you don’t have to sign up and are presented with a massive amount of music. I calculated it: even if I were to listen to a new station every single day I would have to live to be 136 years old in order to work my way through the entire selection.
If you want to go pro you can buy the app for 70 (EUR) Cents and record streamed music.