TuneIn Radio: Local Radio on Your Smartphone

If you’re like me, you may not listen to local radio much anymore with all the online options available. But sometimes, listening to a favorite local radio station is just the ticket; perhaps when traveling you might be feeling a bit homesick. That’s where TuneIn Radio comes to the rescue. This free app turns any Android (s goog), iOS (s aapl) or BlackBerry (s rimm) phone into a music player that live-streams tens of thousands of “local” radio stations. This review is of the Android version of TuneIn Radio.

TuneIn Radio makes it easy to find and play local radio stations. The initial screen divides the thousands of stations into categories making it easy to find the type of station you want to hear. Selecting Local Radio uses the phone’s geolocation to return a list of all stations in the immediate area. If you want to listen to stations anywhere in the world, you can find any music genre, talk radio, sports stations, even radio stations in a particular language. There is an integrated search bar to help you get to the particular station by call sign or name. The ability to stream stations located anywhere globally makes TuneIn a great way to find new music. There’s even a Canadian station that plays nothing but Pink Floyd.

Playing a radio station is as simple as tapping the station name on the screen, which starts playing immediately. You see the station’s logo in place of album art, and the currently playing song/artist is displayed in the play screen. You can check the daily program schedule for most stations with a single tap. Sound quality of the music stream is quite good and when you find a station that appeals to you simply set a preset just like on the radio in your car.

The Android version takes advantage of multitasking and keeps playing when you leave the app. A simple player control appears in the Android notification bar for easy access from anywhere in the system. TuneIn Radio is one of my favorite apps for Android; it’s hard to believe it’s free.

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