Searching for a local SportsRadio to my area, I came across an iPad (and iPhone) app called Radio.com. While many radio app exists, Radio.com quickly became one of my go-to radio apps. Featuring Music, News, and Sports Radio’s – there is truly a taste of everything held inside this one. Read on for more details.
The Welcome Screen
Upon opening the app, a brief description is primed and waiting for you up top. Alongside exists 2 simple options; Sign Up and Play. Creating an account brings with it some added features like saving favorites, song history, and connecting to your last.fm account. As this is not a requirement, pressing play will bring up a stations list from the bottom.
Under all of this lie three rows of featured stations broken up by category. These, as mentioned above, are Music, News, and Sports. Each row has one or more swipes available to reveal additional featured stations. Remember – these are merely the featured stations – the bulk of the app’s stations can be accessed by pulling them up from the menu along the bottom.
What’s on the Menu?
Music, News, and Sports tabs exist first on the menu starting from the left. Each of these options will show a larger panel when pressed. The music panel includes a scrollable list broken up by categories such as Classics/Oldies, Hip-Hop/R&B, and Latino (to name a few). Also unique to the Music panel are those same categories along the right-hand side of the panel. These are clickable to immediately be taken to that place in the list. These anchors will help you quickly navigate the long list of stations to choose from. The News and Sports panels are much shorter lists, with categories being unnecessary.
Yahoo! Has gotten into the music game, and the Radio.com iPad app knows it. Continuing along the menu list items on the bottom, Yahoo! appears next. This panel is identical to the Music panel in design, with all stations now consisting of Y! Music stations. Categories break up this long list to help you quicker find your music style. Y! stations aren’t truly stations, but more like playlists like those found in Pandora or Songza. For this reason – songs can be skipped but only 6 at a time per station.
Next up us a map view. This view will allow you to select your station by location rather than category. While fun to look at – I have found listening to music by location is much less rewarding that choosing a genre and listening that way. If you are searching for a specific station in a specific city, this can be done from here.
A search option is probably a better bet for this task, and luckily Radio.com includes this on the bottom right side of the app. Searching by station number or name will get you to your station quickly – assuming it is part of the Radio.com library. Next to the search option is your listening history. History of stations listened to as well as songs is available here. Unfortunately – you cannot simply click a song to re-listen. Instead the app will bring you to the band’s information page.
Finally, a Favorite section is selectable from the bottom right. While listening to a station or song – a star is presented to be clicked. When you do this – the station is kept under the favorite section. This really helps you get to your favorite stations and music even faster than the methods listed above.
More than CoverArt
All of this above is great, but what’s on screen when playing music. I’ve found listening to music on the iPad can be enhanced greatly with some good information on screen. Pandora does a great job of this, but can you guess who does it better? Radio.com. There are multiple displays while music is playing – primarily being different between live radio station listening and Y! music listening. While listening to a live station – two selectable boxes appear on top.
One will display information about the band currently playing such as a biography, albums, tags, and some photos. The other belongs to the station and includes content selected by them. This content can include contests, videos, pop culture news, etc. The same two panels are selectable when listening to Y! music – though the station channel is the same format only changed for the type of music your listening to.
At the very low price of free, Radio.com can provide you with endless hours of Music, News, and Sports listening. Available for the iPhone as well (though as a separate app), radio.com has become my go to live radio app. I highly suggest it for anyone looking to get the best radio out of their iDevice.