Enter two free ways to enhance your internet radio listening habits. One already has tens of millions of users, the other adheres to the small is beautiful, less is more mantra of simplicity.
iTunes Radio vs. FStream
When it comes to internet radio we Mac users have plenty of choices. From Pandora to Spotify to Apple’s list of internet radio stations in iTunes, options are aplenty.
New on the world scene is Apple’s own iTunes Radio. It’s free, it streams, and probably has more music available than any internet radio service.
To start, iTunes Radio has hundreds of DJ-curated and genre-focsed radio stations, each of which can evolve based upon your listening habits.
It’s difficult to top iTunes Radio’s selection and platforms– Mac, Windows PCs, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, even Apple TV. You kinda sorta mostly can build your personal station around music you like, or artists, or genres.
Compared to iTunes Radio’s recent ubiquity and selection, what chance does an independent and free internet radio app like FStream have to gain a foothold. If small is beautiful, and less is more, and yet you want a little more control, this is the free app to have.
FStream is a small, easy-to-use internet radio app for the Mac which does a few things iTunes and friends cannot. Use it to stream and convert to OGG Vorbis, as well as AAC, MP3, AIFF, even WMA audio formats.
It comes with preselected lists for ShoutCast, IceCast and others, and is anything but the memory hog known as iTunes. You can even use the Apple Remote to control FStream on your Mac. Audio streams can be recorded as MP3, AAC, WAV, or AIFF files as you listen, thereby giving you options not available in Pandora, Spotify, or iTunes.
Obviously, FStream is a labor of love and not a commercial threat to iTunes Radio or any other internet radio service. Apple’s iTunes Radio and multi-platform ubiquity may make it difficult for lightweight, independently produced internet radio streaming apps to survive, let alone prosper.