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Internet Radio On iPhone

Internet radio on the iPhone is one of its most interesting 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 FM to 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:

  • internet radio on 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 long as you are connected to the internet. It is location independent.
  • You can listen to TV stations as well. The internet stream 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 any country in the world and covering all types of music and radio shows in different languages.
  • You don't need high speed connection to listen to radio or 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 quickly.
  • If the connection becomes weak or poor then you will notice the music cutting or re-buffering more often during the stream, which becomes annoying. 
  • 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:

internet radio iphone applicationslast.fm and Pandora are the most popular music 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 use the 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 music 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 Amazon.

This type of music stream is random. When you select an artist, the app finds many songs of similar style and plays them randomly.

internet radio iphoneLast.fm supports international music. I can enter an 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 songs 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:

internet radio on iphone 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 you to add your own stations if you know the internet URL address. This is similar to entering a website address in your web browser.

internet radio iphoneWunder Radio is my favorite radio app for the iPhone. It 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 Store. 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 once you 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 stream 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.


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