Friday, April 4, 2014

Japanese Radio & Android part 2

Some time ago, I reviewed some internet radio apps for Android. In particular, I was keen to point out the ability of MediaU to run on my old HTC Tattoo.

In attempting to set something similar up with my Samsung Galaxy Fame, I was surprised by the poor quality of the TuneIn app, unlike my previous experience with this on my Nexus 7, I found it would cut- out- every- few- seconds.

Finding a replacement for TuneIn was (as before) a complete pain, probably because of my ridiculous necessity that my radio apps can play a selection of Japanese stations (this selection, to be precise). MediaU worked well; however, there are a number of stations from that do not make an appearance..

I found a couple of apps to bypass this problem. Firstly, VLC for Android beta, which handily adds file associations that allow you to click on the links from the site and automatically start streaming. However, VLC takes an eternity to actually start playback, during which time you're left guessing whether VLC has crashed, as there is no visual cue to tell you buffering is occurring (I assume that is what is happening anyway).

My current favorite app for listening to Japanese radio turned out to become FlowAudio, which (despite being almost invisible in the Play store [probably due to its low user base]) boasts very nice presentation, and the ability to search, find, and play all my favourite simulradio stations, as well as some stations such as FM Kushiro, which appear to stream in a format that leave most apps baffled (VLC is another exception here, so long as you're patient enough to wait for the playback to start).

Critically, the playback is very good (I don't recall any cutouts so far). However, some basic functions like saving a station to a list of favourites, appear to be missing. On the upside, FlowAudio will also play music stored on the device, keeping all my audio in one app, if I so wish.

I should also point out that the Fame, as imported from the UK, does have an FM radio, but this radio is locked onto the UK frequencies, and consequently the only station I can pick up sans wifi is NHK Okayama..

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