RadioLine: Internet Radio Right at Home on Your Mac

Despite the rise in popularity of TV on demand, Internet and Twitter, I still like listening to the radio. It offers such a wide variety of songs and different kinds of programs that, for example TV, doesn’t offer. Call me a dinosaur if you will, but I would much rather listen to the radio for a couple of hours than wind it away in front of some lifeless, cheap TV program.

Believe it or not, I don’t actually own a radio – I tune in via the Internet. I am currently based in Germany, and from time to time, I need a good, solid dose of British culture to remind me of my roots. I can get all my British radio stations (such as BBC Radio 1) via the Internet, without having to pay any kind of license fees (unlike television).

When you look at the figures, the popularity of Internet radio is on the rise. In 2007, 11% of the U.S. population listened to the radio via the Internet; in 2008 this figure had crept up to 13% (and is presumably still on the rise). It’s certainly cheaper than buying an actual radio, and you can listen to stations from different parts of the country.


There are, of course, a number of ways to listen to Internet radio. You can do it “the old-fashioned way” and listen to it streaming via the radio station’s website. You can also listen to it on the move using, for example, a program like TuneIn Radio, one of the most popular choices. But what about on your Mac? It is a real pain having to search around the Net for that station you want to listen to.

Well, luckily there is a solution for us Mac users. Radioline is a lightweight, yet functional program which streams Internet radio for you right onto your desktop (conceptually very similar to Radium). Say goodbye to Google searches and Flash-based streamers which either crash or take 30 minutes to stream. With Radioline you can simply click on the radio station you want to listen to, sit back and immerse yourself.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Let’s take a closer peek…

Features

Radioline is a relatively new application to the App Store, so don’t be expecting loads of flashy features. The developer is, however, welcome to all feedback and comments regarding the program, so if you like it (or see some room for improvement), drop them a quick post on their forums.

On opening up Radioline, a list of stations that are near to you pops up based on your Mac’s location settings. You can, of course, scroll through these and to start playing a station, simply double-click or hit the play button in the toolbar.

Radioline

The main interface for Radioline

RadioLine has stations from over 100 countries in its database, so you’ll never be short of something to listen to. Searching for new stations is extremely simple – simply enter the station you want to listen to into the search bar and RadioLine will find any radio station that matches your search query. You can request any missing radio stations by clicking here and sending an e-mail to the developers.

Radioline Search

Searching for new radio stations is a breeze in Radioline

You can also star your favorite radio stations so you don’t lose track of them or have to search for them continuously!

Radioline favourites

Your favourite radio stations in Radioline

Icing on the Cake

Radioline has a couple of handy little features built in to make your Internet radio listening experience a far more enjoyable (and easier) one. The application integrates with Growl and you can set up a number of handy keyboard shortcuts, for example to notify you via Growl which station you are listening to. You can also set up keyboard shortcuts so that you can switch stations easily in the background, without disturbing what you are doing.

Radioline also supports album art and logos and can also notify you if something you like is playing on another favorite station, so you don’t miss your favorite song! If you don’t want the app intruding on your workflow, then you can turn on the mini-player view, which shrinks Radioline down into a tidy widget.

Radioline mini

The mini-player view of Radioline

Practicality

Radioline is a nice, simple Mac application and it does its job well. Unfortunately, this practicality comes at a slight price. For such a basic application, the standard price of $9.99 seems quite high. Other programs offer the same functionality for less or even for nothing, and unfortunately as of yet there is no trial version of Radioline available.

Having said that, is a lot more convenient than having to search around the Internet to find those stations that you want. It’s obviously up to you if this is worth ten of your hard-earned American dollars.

Conclusion

As I mentioned above, Radioline is a newcomer to the Mac App Store, and all applications start out small. I can see great potential in it, and since the developers are up for hearing new ideas (or improvements on existing ones), it’s worth letting them know what you think of the app.

Radioline has earned a decent score of 8 out of 10 and I hope that the developers carry on with its development as it is a very useful little program that can save you some serious leeway. But for an app that costs nearly $10, I was expecting a little more oomph. Here’s hoping for more features in future updates!


Summary

A small, lightweight internet radio streamer for Mac OS X 10.6 and above.

8
  • Jeremy

    Radio has a wide variety of music? Since when? When i listen to the radio [any station] i hear the same 5-6 songs.

    • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

      Yep. I work on radio. That’s how we roll these days. Blame the PPM for that. A new exiting (ironic tone) way to get ratings.

  • wathose

    “… without having to pay any kind of license fees (unlike television). ”

    This is simply not correct for Germany. If you own a computer you’ll have to pay the “radio fee” at GEZ: http://www.gez.de/, otherwise you’re listing to radio illegally.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/james.cull James Cull

      Yes I know that, but I wasn’t referring to Germany – I was referring to the UK.

  • Mats Christensson

    I also like to listen to internetradio. On my Mac i use the program Snowtape(made in Germany.) its a wonderlful program that allow you to record the music, with albumcovers, or several radiostations at once. Highly recomended. Think thats my most used and appreciated app.

    • maximilian

      does snowtape work on a macbook? i checked on snowtape after having read on what you wrote about it here … sounds like a really nice app, but when i search for download options it seems that its only compatible with iphone or ipad ..

      • Panah Neshati

        Yeah, it’s a Mac app.

  • Wvit

    I also like listen to the radio. At first, I thought of recommend World Radio, which use to be only 4.99 USD and has a lite version. However, it’s now 9.99 and has no lite version.

    Current I use iTune to listen the radio on my mac.

  • Jan Blazicek

    The real question is however, does it support Accuradio? I bought Radium, because I was told by the developers, that they’re working on it. More than a year ago.

    • http://catpigstudios.com/radium CatPig Team.

      Sorry about that =( It will be available in Radium 3.

  • http://www.tuxmed.com Fam

    i also like listen radio online
    streaming from radio station whole the world
    but for free version of app for my lion, im using world lite radio
    there’s several big radio station with a lot of channel option

  • Wolf

    I wonder whether Radioline supports Airplay (like Radium)?

  • http://twitter.com/mattfrog Matt Harwood

    Thought I’d quickly add the recently launched Radio Player site, which covers most UK stations:

    http://www.radioplayer.co.uk

  • Bart

    I like this app, but a pity it doesn’t support airplay, so I can stream it towards other destinations then my iMac. Or is there a way ?

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