RadioTime Review

RadioTime Review

Sep 8, 2010

In the world of smartphone apps, one area where innovation has resulted in immense consumer satisfaction is online streaming radio. You get tons of interesting, free content any time you want. The RadioTime app is one such innovation, which stands out due to its ability pull together a lot of content in an efficient manner with no settings or complicated options getting in the way.

On the surface, RadioTime is just another streaming radio app with a selection of genres and search. But beyond just getting a general list of stations, you get a local list and also a list of podcasts on the genre or subject. At the very end of the list you get the chance to “explore” what ever genre you are in. Here you can search by most popular or location. All in all, it gives you a concise and comprehensive look on the most popular online options for any style of music or type of talk radio you are looking for.

RadioTime’s search function is also surprisingly extensive. If you search for an artist you get all the stations that are currently playing said artist along with related podcasts. If you type in a news program like “All Things Considered,” you get local stations that are currently playing the show with how much time is remaining in the broadcast. It’s extremely handy for knowing which station to tune into to get the biggest chunk of the show. It’s much better than the official NPR news app for that matter. When you search for a specific station, you get their streaming channels and all the podcasts produced by it.

In RadioTime’s simplicity is also where power users might feel limited. In a search for the popular “This Week In” series of podcasts, I came up empty. There is no way to manually add podcasts or stations at all. Also, there is a very limited “preset” function for saving stations. You need to create an account on RadioTime’s website to do so. It would really be nice to be able to link recent episodes of a podcasts together. Many news shows put out individual stories as podcasts; I’d love for them to automatically flow together.

During normal use, streaming stations played quickly, but make sure you have a good 3G signal. When I drove through low signal areas, my streaming was interrupted. It did pick back up automatically, however most stations play an add every time the stream starts. This happens as well when you get a phone call. When the station picks back up, you get the same intro ad. Some stations have a low quality option, which could help alleviate poor 3G access.

Overall, RadioTime is a great way to access the content it has cataloged. It’s not going to be your be-all, end-all. The great thing about Android is that you don’t have to choose. At $1.99 it’s a great value, especially for news junkies and NPR fans. So for no-nonsense audio streaming, RadioTime is a super simple, yet very powerful option.

RadioTime Review Rundown

Presentation - Simple, straightforward, powerful.
Graphics - Looks fine, but won't win any design awards.
User Interface - Search feature helps you find things quickly, if it's there.
Lasting Appeal - Its features and simplicity make it worth the price. I'll be firing up this app frequently on long drives.
Overall - A great app that does what it does well, with zero clutter. It could use some customization though.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Ben Freed
Connect with Ben Freed // email

    Worst app Ive ever downloaded – frequently cuts out (>30 times over 60mins and occasionally completely freezes my phone AVOID!