I’ve previously enjoyed streaming audio from FlyTunes, but see that FlyCast Mobile is now available for free in the iTunes App Store. The company has recently changed their name from FlyTunes to FlyCast, but that’s not all they changed. It’s challenging for any music-based application or service to beat Pandora for me, but FlyCast Mobile offers something right now that Pandora can’t: the ability to browse the web while listening to music. Remember: third-party apps can’t run in the background on an iPhone or iPod Touch. FlyCast smartly overcomes that limitation by including a web browser within their application. The browser doesn’t auto-rotate into landscape mode, but you can still tap your way around the web with ease. Hopefully, the FlyCast folks integrate a landscape feature, along with bookmarks & auto-complete from history, into future clients.
To browse the web while listening to music, just click the Web button on the Now Playing screen. It’s that simple and it’s ingenious. Just as it did prior, FlyCast Mobile optimizes the audio stream for either EDGE or 3G/WiFi. On WiFi, I see that the app is buffering three-and-a-half minutes of music. Shutting down my WiFi radio and going with EDGE still provides a good listening experience and it didn’t take that long to buffer a minute-and-a-half of music thanks to the lower bit-rate used. I’ll be keeping Pandora on my iPhone for sure but AOL Radio just got dumped in favor of FlyCast for me. In fact, I used Pandora over EDGE on my last 5k jog earlier this week. The next workout will have me trying FlyCast to see if it eliminates the dropped audio I experienced a few times with Pandora.