Radio is the cat of mass media technology. It has at least nine lives. Television was supposed to kill radio. It didn’t. The internet was supposed to kill radio. Didn’t happen.
Even Lady Gaga can’t kill the radio cat. Internet radio has extended the lives of many stations. Mac users rejoice. There’s a simple, easy-to-use way to get yourself into radio on your Mac. Watch out crowded Menubar. Here comes Radium.
Click And Grab Free Radio
I’ve been digging into Mac radio apps since finding a similar radio app for my iPhone. Each time I upgrade to a new iPhone OS I spend money. My iPhone favorite is TuneInRadio.
For my Mac I bounce between half a dozen apps that do internet radio.
Radium may be the most elegant, therefore, the most useful of the bunch. It’s difficult to beat Click, Select, Listen.
Let me get a few quibbles out of the way first, because the rest is quite nice. First, Radium resides in the Menubar. Hello? Mac app developers? It’s crowded up there. Gimme options.
Second, setting up Radium takes some thinking and the web site is thin on thoughtfulness. What I want and need (and presumably, so will every other Mac user) is a gimongus list of radio stations all over the internet which I can select. You know, point and click, add to my list, then click and listen.
Radium gets you plenty of channels just by clicking the Get Channels selection in the drop down Menubar menu. That’s OK but it’s overloaded with a gazillion stations. Give me the option to select first, ask questions later.
Volume controls for selected radio stations can be controlled via the menu selection process or right from your Mac’s keyboard. In other words, Radium is a paragon of Mac simplicity and elegance. Once you’ve selected the stations you want, it’s click, select, listen.
Gimme Satellite Shelter Digitally
Not all Mac internet radio apps are created equal. Satellite radio is so 21st century and Radium makes it drop dead easy to get Sirius/XM. Click on XM in the list and a pop up window asks for your XM Radio account information.
Email address, password, country (US or Canada), and the various Sirius and XM channels.
Fear not. If you’ve not had the pleasure of digging into satellite radio, which, conveniently can be streamed over the internet, you’re in for a treat. Sign up for a free trial with a click from the Radium satellite menu.
With iOS 4 iPhone and iPod touch users can now listen to internet radio in the background while doing other tasks. Of course, Mac users have had superior multi-tasking since OS X was a baby. Radium works wonderfully in the background.
Radium also comes with a bunch of global keyboard shortcuts. Play and stop. Mute and unmute. Display the current song. And, among others, buy the current song on iTunes. Sweet. Except for those nitpicks above, Radium is a worthy player for Mac users who love internet radio.