Instead, both were reinvented and adapted to changes in society. Today, radio listeners have more choices, more variety, and more stations than ever, thanks to radio’s reinvention on the internet. Here’s the story of internet radio and how one Mac app tries to be all things to all listeners.
The Multi-network Radio Player
Internet radio may not be prospering, but it sure is proliferating around the world. Many stations stream their radio signal over the internet, and make it available worldwide.
Apple joined in the game with iTunes and provides Mac and Windows users with hundreds of internet streaming radio stations, all free, all a click away.
Streaming radio and music choices have never been greater for Mac users, despite a nominal number of apps which bring internet radio, Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, and friends to your screen and speakers.
One app that I particularly like is Radium, which offers more than the typical music and radio streaming apps.
Check the Mac App Store and search for ‘radio.’ A few dozen apps pop up– some are free, most cost a few dollars, and their feature set varies from mere streaming internet radio to full-featured apps that record online music, work with satellite services, and much more.
The most expensive among this crowded field is Radium. As with many of the Mac’s radio apps, Radium sits in the Menubar waiting for a click. The drop down menu lists popular stations, but gives you instant search options (dozens of countries, dozens of languages).
From the pop down two slider bars control sound to speakers and Airport Express. Songs you’ve listened to on Radium are also displayed in the Radium History and give you a one-click option to purchase the song in iTunes.
Preferences are nominal, including keyboard shortcuts, and an option to use the Apple Remote to control Radium from across the room.
There’s even a built-in 10-band equalizer with a controller for a preamp. Unlike most radio station apps, Radium is social and provides one click options to share on Twitter and Facebook.
Radium also supports subscriptions, including SiriusXM, DI Radio + SKY Radio, and many other premium channels.
What’s missing from an app with a holier-than-thou price tag are options to record streaming radio at specific times, export station streams or music into iTunes, and setup configuration to sync via iCloud or Dropbox (to have Radium run on a desktop Mac, and a Mac notebook).
Radium is available on the Mac App Store where there’s no trial-before-you buy option, but the developer has kindly provided an optional trial download link. What’s also missing from Radium’s web site is any information about the app (too many developers rely only on the App Store to disseminate information), no screen shots, no video demonstration, no feature bullet points– just the coolest icon and the highest price tag.