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AppSnap: TuneIn Radio a useful smartphone option

By Ryan Johnson

Goodbye, standalone MP3 players – no one needs to have an iPod when every iPhone, Galaxy or other smartphone has an easy-to-use music player built right in.

Still, I get bored with my digital music library from time to time, and I find myself longing for the days when I could scan the radio dial to listen to someone else’s playlist to find new tunes or rediscover old favorites.

That’s why one of the first apps I downloaded years ago was TuneIn Radio, which lets me return to enjoying radio in a modern, convenient way.

The idea is simple: This app, which connects users to TuneIn’s online radio offerings that first were launched in 2002, makes it easier than ever to stream live broadcasts from around the world.

But the app’s actual impact is huge, at least for people like me who love a radio station well out of broadcast range from my current location. While most stations now offer live streaming through their own websites, that’s not always an option on mobile devices, and TuneIn Radio solves that problem.

I’ve used the app most often to stream The Current, an FM music station available to Twin Cities listeners through Minnesota Public Radio. Even a couple hundred miles away, I can start my mornings with this station.

The app, available on the iOS and Google Play stores for free, as well as several of the other major smartphone systems, gives users a variety of options for accessing its current collection of more than 100,000 radio stations.

A quick tap of the “browse” tab lets the user find a list of available local stations, or they can bring up the most recent stations they’ve streamed through the app. There are options to look at the top trending stations or sort by genre, such as music, sports, news and talk.

TuneIn Radio also offers more than 4 million on-demand podcasts and programs, making it even more useful.

It’s not perfect – the app’s updates have a tendency to be unnecessarily drastic, sometimes making it a little confusing to navigate the first couple times.

But it’s a useful option for radio lovers around the world who don’t want to miss the best of the airwaves.

Four out of 5 stars

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.

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