Who says you need an FM tuner anymore? By taking advantage of your iPhone’s 3G/EDGE connection you can stream online radio from all over the world, anywhere you can get a signal. The amount of online radio stations and apps to support them is astounding. From mainstream music to the most obscure underground artists you may be interested in, both foreign and domestic, there’s something for everyone. But don’t pay for an online radio app for your iPhone/iPod touch. Here’s eight of the best online radio apps for you to download, free of charge.
FlyCast Mobile Broadcast Network:
FlyCast Mobile Broadcast Network gives you access to over 1,000 digital channels in music, news, sports, weather and traffic. They’ve partnered with many different digital broadcasters such as SKY, Radio Paradise, 1.FM, and AccuRadio to bring you an astounding selection of streams. One of the best features of FlyCast is the ability to buffer stations so you can listen for an extended amount of time without a connection. You can also pause live broadcasts and pick up where you left off and certain streams allow you skip songs if you prefer.
Pandora is one of the best ways to get exposed to new music. All you have to do is enter in an artist, song, or composer you like and Pandora will create a customized stream with their music and other similar artists. If you’re already a Pandora user, just sign in and your existing streams will be imported into the Pandora app.
Public Radio Tuner:
For all the NPR addicts out there, Public Radio Tuner is for you. If you are into NPR, you know that the NPR podcasts aren’t the same as the broadcasts – they are missing certain programs such as Morning Edition. Public Radio Tuner gets around this by tuning you into NPR streams from hundreds of public radio stations across the US. Listen to your local station or another from across the country.
Clear Channel’s iHeart Radio lets you listen to all of their syndicated stations without needing the FM Tuner. Featured streams include Z100, KIIS FM, AT40 with Ryan Seacrest, Smooth Jazz, Syndicated Talk Radio, and Pride Radio. If you’re into mainstream radio, this is the app for you.
AOL Radio is powered by the CBS Radio Network and gives you online access to 25 different genres of music. The best feature of AOL Radio is access to over 150 broadcast stations in the CBS Radio Network such as WFAN, 1010 WINS, KROQ and tons more. Great for when you are away and want to hear what’s going on back home.
Note: There’s another CBS Radio app in the iTunes Store, however it is for a Korean Christian Broadcasting Service.
One of the best ways to discover new music is through Slacker Radio. Features include streams created by leading radio programmers, artist bios, album reviews, and creating custom stations. If you want to be exposed to new and upcoming artists, Slacker Radio is the app for you.
SHOUTcast Radio has been around for years in the online broadcasting scene. With a directory of over 25,000 professional and community stations, there’s something for everyone in this network. With the release of their iPhone/iPod Touch app, you can now listen to SHOUTcast streams from anywhere you go. A bonus feature is the accelerometer controlled randomizer. All you have to do is shake your iPhone and you’ll get tuned into a random station.
Social networking and music selection gets teamed up withLast.fm. Create your own stations, tag your favorite music and share them with friends via your Last.fm profile. The more you listen, Last.fm will learn your tastes and begin recommending different artists based on your preferences. While other new music discovery services rely on either a “sounds like” recommendation or a “leading experts” playlist, Last.fm works by customizing recommendations based on what you like and on how often you play those songs.
There’s so much more:
This list just barely scratches the surface of the free online radio apps available on the iTunes Store. Most of them are narrowly focused on specific genres, stations or geographic locations such as Canadian radio, Persian hits or WMMR in Philadelphia. I wholly encourage you to visit the iTunes Store and explore through them if you are interested in something more specific.