My job puts me on the road about three out of five days a week. All that travel means I’m away from home, family, friends and my favorite New York radio stations for days at a time. How do I keep up? Internet radio. I keep two apps on my shiny new MacBook Air that keep me plugged into radio stations at home, yet allow me to roam throughout the world for other stations. One free. One better.
iTunes Or A Radio Station Player
To be fair, iTunes isn’t bad. It’s free. The list of stations is almost acceptable, but heavily aimed at music, vs. what I really prefer. Loud, in-your-face New York talk radio.
That brings me to a feature that’s a must have if you’re a Mac road warrior and need a radio station fix. Recording and playback.
Using a dedicated internet radio app isn’t just the listening. I’m busy, usually in different time zones, fly way too much, and, therefore, I need to time shift my entertainment.
Radioshift records and plays back programs from internet radio stations. It has listings of tens of thousands of stations, digs up detailed station information, keeps favorites tucked into one-click bookmarks, records internet radio programs in the background, and wakes the Mac from sleep, or, will power on to record.
The interface isn’t really complex, but it’s busy. The options are many.
The Radio Guide is straightforward, but the most complicated feature for me is Subscriptions. Because I travel, Radioshift sometimes wants to record a program when I’m not connected to the internet, so I have to schedule recordings with that in mind.
The Guide has details on stations and programs. You’ll need it. There are tens of thousands of internet radio stations online at any one time, though service is sporadic and streaming formats are all over the map.
Some are MP3 or AAC, some RealAudio (I thought they went out of business), some are Windows Audio, and so on. I haven’t found a format yet that Radioshift couldn’t handle.
Even better, recorded radio shows can be automatically sent to iTunes, so they can be synchronized with my iPhone. Despite the background recording and scheduling, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to manage a complicated travel schedule, and I find that to be a bit painful to manage.
I get to listen to what I want, when I want, and mostly where I want, whether it’s live or recorded. Time shifting is a good thing. So is radio shifting.