AOL Radio for iPhone – Review

AOL has released an AOL Radio app for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Now, normally, I don’t really pay attention to anything with the letters “AOL” at the front of the title. I’ve never had a lot of use for AOL services, and came at this app with some preconceived notions about what it might be…I’m not sure why, I just did.

Still, when a Twitter buddy suggested that I review it for the site, I decided to download it and see what it was all about. What I found was an easy to use, very impressive, streaming radio application that really surprised me.

The interface is very simple and easy to use. With the press of a button the AOL Radio application will find your local stations and put them at the top of your list. You don’t have to listen to just those, however. You can listen to stations all over the country in a variety of genres. Music stations will even show you the album artwork of the song you’re listening to, and the app will remember you recent songs.

If you find one you really like, you can select it, and then grab the song in iTunes or on AOL Radio. Its simple additions like this that make the app so much more than some of the other offerings from major companies. The PayPal app, for example, gives your balance and lets you send money – that’s about it. This thing, though, is feature rich, and essentially gives you a satellite radio experience in your car…FOR FREE.

I’ve listened to the audio over 3G and it sounds pretty good. You’ll find that some stations are not available while streaming over 3G and EDGE, but a good number of them are there for use in the car. The sound isn’t the greatest audio you’ll ever hear in your life to be sure, but its very listenable (particularly for talk radio…which is about all I listen to anyway).

Overall, if you listen to the radio (CBS owned radio stations in particular) this application is a must have download…and it’s free.

You can get it here.

Comments

  1. Rick O'Neil says:

    I wonder why they don’t have a similar ap for the iTunes radio…

  2. Tuner is far better, for $5 you get to listen to any internet stream rather than CBS’ worthless lot of them and it comes with a massive database to browse through or the ability to simply plug in the address of your favorites.

  3. Michael says:

    @Grant

    The CBS offerings aren’t worthless. You may not like them, but that doesn’t make them worthless. They are some of the largest and most popular radio stations in the country.

  4. Goldndoodle says:

    Here’s hoping Sirius creates a similar APP that will allow me to listen to my Sirius Internet Radio on my iPhone. I used to do that very thing using a complicated ORB setup, but I’d prefer a Sirius designed and supported APP.

  5. Sounds great. Thanks for the tip. Have you tried 105 Classics? :)

  6. My only complaint is the volume level is very low and starts to crack when you turn it up to full volume which isn’t loud at all. I’m using an ipod touch.

  7. HUGE step, have been waiting for the iPhone to finally allow us to listen to streamed radio and also have been very, very disappointed that the Perfect Digital Device could not provide live radio streams.

    Only question on AOL radio, I listen to Major League Baseball games by subscribing/paying for this service, can AOL radio allow me to listen to my MLB radio package?

    I also listen to numerous college sports games streamed on the internet, can AOL and/or another APP do this for us.

    Thx Much, this is a great step forward for the iPhone streaming and hope that Apple will also upgrade the iPhone so we can listen to anything we want to.

  8. Hello Everyone,
    I’m the product lead for AOL’s Mac Team and we’re very happy with the new iPhone OS 2.0 and wanted to share a couple of items:

    1. iPhone 1.0 customers: when data is on (Safari, YouTube, AOL Radio, etc), the EDGE network will not allow phone calls to come in. They will go straight to voicemail. This has always been a limitation of the first generation iPhones.

    2. As of last night, all stations are now available over 3G and EDGE (higher bitrate for WiFi). This is the most requested feature update. You don’t even need to upgrade the app.

    3. Stop by the Mac@AOL Blog (http://macblog.aol.com) to find out more info on AOL Radio 2.0 beta, powered by CBS Radio coming out next week.

    thanks…
    Lee Givens
    AOL Mac Product Lead

  9. I am having issues where the station constantly buffers or drop connectivity. I am using a 1st Gen iphone right now. Is this still an issue with 3g? I am reluctant to upgrade because of the battery limitations of 3g. I would prefer to listen to AOL radio while working all day, but it seems the 3G battery can’t handle that. Any information would be appreciated.

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