Internet radio on the iPhone is one of its most
applications. The iPhone doesn't have an FM tuner built in, however,
you can use your iPhone to listen to internet radio using two different
types of applications from the App Store. Each type uses the internet
differently to deliver radio, or music to the iPhone.
One type of applications use the internet to stream live
the iPhone while the other type uses recorded music streams provided by
music hosting websites.
People normally listen to the FM where ever they are
from an FM
tuner in a stereo or a Walkman. With internet radio apps on your iPhone
you will be able to listen to any FM radio stations any where in the
world without an FM tuner using wifi or 3G/EDGE or simply using the internet.
Advantages of internet radio on the iPhone:
you will be streaming radio or music on line, which
means you are
not using any of your iPhone storage to store the music. This basically
gives you unlimited storage.
You can listen to any station any where in the world
as you are connected to the internet. It is location independent.
You can listen to TV stations as well. The internet
could be radio or TV. Most internet radio apps allow you to enter a url
which could also be a TV stream url or internet address.
There are thousands of stations on the internet from
country in the world and covering all types of music and radio shows in
You don't need high speed connection to listen to
music online, as the audio doesn't use high band width. Even with EDGE
network you can get high quality sound stream.
You can reach FM stations over the internet when it is
difficult to reach those stations otherwise due to altitude, weather or
being in a basement.
Disadvantages of internet radio on the iPhone:
You have to have internet connection, so if you pay
for your data
plan, then this could be costly, as it will use your kilobites pretty
If the connection becomes weak or poor then you will notice
the music cutting or re-buffering more often during the stream, which
You can't rewind or pause your stream, but you can
skip with some types of music streams.
Internet radio Apps on the iPhone:
Recorded internet music applications:
last.fm and Pandora are the most popular
streaming apps on the iPhone. They allow you to listen to recorded
music of the style you like over the internet, and if you like a song
you can purchase it.
They give the user some control over the music stream.
For example, you can skip and pause a song, however, you can't rewind.
They require registration on their website in order to
service. Once you are registered, you can add any song you like to your
favorite list, which you can access anytime on their website.
When you go to the last.fm website for example, all the
history, and your play list will be there. You can simply listen to the
song on your desktop computer or buy the song thorough iTunes or
This type of music stream is random. When you select an
artist, the app finds many songs of similar style and plays them
Last.fm supports international music. I can enter
Arabic artist and it finds many artists with this Arabic music style.
Pandora however, doesn't support international music.
The purpose of those apps is to allow you to listen to
before you purchase. If you like a song, you can add it to your play
list which you can access from their website and then purchase.
Live internet radio applications:
With some applications on the
App Store, you can listen to live radio on the iPhone. This radio like
any other live radio is not controllable at all. You can't skip or
pause and can't add to a play list since the radio is live.
Some iPhone applications have many stations built in,
all you have
to do is search or brows for the stations you want. Some internet radio
apps allow you to search by country and city, and then it will list all
radio stations provided by that State or city. Therefore, you won't
miss your favorite FM stations when you travel.
iHeartradio or AOL Radio applications use
the built in GPS of the iPhone to stream local radio stations.
Tuner and StreamItAll applications allow
add your own stations if you know the internet URL address. This is
similar to entering a website address in your web browser.
Wunder Radio is my favorite radio app for the
is built in hundreds of stations from all over the world including
music, radio shows and news. It also has the ability to add any radio
or TV URLaddress.
There are many different radio players apps in the App
Therefore, it is best to experiment with those apps to select the best
ones based on the style and language you prefer.
The problem with most radio apps on the iPhone is that
hit the home button the app quits. This is how it is designed to be by
Apple. Apple allows only one app at a time, no multitasking.
This is a problem if you want to listen to your music
or internet radio on the background while browsing the internet with
safari for example, or if you are running your navigation system, or
say you want to check your email while listening to your radio.
unfortunately, this is not possible with the current SDK from Apple.
The solution to this problem is simply to jailbreak
iPhone and run a hack called Backgrounder. This little hack allows you to run any application in the back ground.
So you can listen to your internet radio and music streams while doing
other things on your iPhone.