Radioplayer for iPhone, iPad review
Founded by various broadcasting heavyweights, including the BBC, Global Radio, Guardian Media Group, Absolute Radio and RadioCentre, Radioplayer bills itself as a not for profit company with a single purpose. That purpose is to 'serve radio and its audiences by making listening easy,' which this iPhone, iPad and iPod touch app aptly demonstrates. Listed alphabetically, Radioplayer features dozens of national and local channels from mainstream broadcasters, including digital only channels along with smaller regional services. Each comes with a small channel ident and a brief summary of what the station broadcasts, with the option to select any station for further details, either from the broadcaster itself or supplied by the station’s Facebook feed.
Logging into Facebook helps define 'Recommended' stations, which potentially helps you discover new content and anything you like the sound of can be easily shared on Facebook and Tweeted from within the app. We also liked the ability to save those stations to a 'Favourites' list, while the 'Now playing' option is a useful way to quickly find what you are actually listening to. For those stations that offer catch-up services you can listen again on demand using the Radioplayer Catchup service, which highlights a small selection of recent broadcasts along with more varied content listed under categories such as Rock/Indie and Comedy/Drama/Kids.
Radioplayer supports community and student based stations, although these appear too few in number, something we'd like to see rectified. That said, the only real niggles here are related to broadcasters and not Radioplayer, including the odd dead, rather temporarily dead stream, content that isn't available outside the UK and some less than attractive station related graphics, which rather make a mess of the interface. It's also worth noting that Radioplayer lists regional variations of commercial stations, which when we have listened-in appear to be the same with the exception of localised ad breaks, so choice isn't as varied as you might hope.
If your musical map doesn't extend beyond the UK, then Radioplayer really is an excellent choice, with plenty of favourite channels available despite the geographical limitations. Its 'Recommended' option, much improved by logging into Facebook, also helps discover new channels and broadcasters for when you want to broaden your horizons a little.