Well, believe it or not, I’ve made it back for a second post in three days. With the recent oversaturation of so called “Microsoft News” (I’m not a fan of Microsoft mobile news starting with Windows Mobile 7), I thought we could definitely use some updates from the Google Mobile front. Today we’re going to be looking at my experience with radio on Android after the break.

5MinutePostsFor those of you just tuning in, I’m Albert Bun, one of the newer writers here, but I haven’t posted in a while. Infact, it’s been such a long time since I posted, that someone in the comments forgot all about me (don’t worry, I would’ve forgot too). Back in 2011, I mostly wrote about Windows Mobile 6, but after that fizzled out, I kinda “forgot”. But then I saw that MobilityDigest needed some more good writings, so now I’m documenting my thoughts on mobiles as they come to me from the perspective of a student on a tight budget. I thought I’d start with a problem that I’ve noticed has plagued the mobile community ever since the departure of the beloved Windows Mobile 6, and that is radio.

For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of owning one, the original Samsung Epic is a great piece of hardware and a welcome upgrade from the HTC Diamond. It really made me from a skeptic to a believer in SuperAMOLED screens and hardware QWERTY keyboards, but it does lack the all important FM Radio (at very least, the software to make it happen). Back when I got the device, I figured this wouldn’t be a big deal because I could probably just use the internet radio, but I was quite wrong. It turns out that it’s not as straightforward as it was on Windows Mobile 6, where all you had to do was click the playlist file and open it with TCPMP (For those of you new to the world of smartphones in general, TCPMP was an amazing mediaplayer for Windows Mobile 6 (and earlier) that could play just about anything you threw at it from videos to music playlists to internet radio). TCPMP is not available on Android, nor are any even remotely similar programs, which means that all those .PLS, .ASX, .M3U, or other stream file formats aren’t very useful. This creates a huge problem for people who want to just listen to the radio on a device without the FMRadio feature or for stations that don’t broadcast on FM near the device.

Luckily, two potential solutions have finally started to rise here only within the last couple months. The first is VLC Mobile. VLC is a great mediaplayer software for the desktop which plays a wide variety of formats very well, similar to MediaPlayer Classic for the desktop or even TCPMP back on WM6. Not long ago, adridu59 from XDA DEVELOPERS started pumping out unofficial releases of a VLC for Android. I haven’t had a chance to test the newer ones, but as of last month, it was able to play streaming radio, but with some strings attached. First off, you first have to open the file with a text editor, copy the URL, then paste it into VLC just to play it in the first place. It also currently has a bug which requires you to restart the player inbetween streams. From what I’ve used of it, it works, but it’s not a really polished solution. Then again, it is only an early prerelease and time will tell if it pans out or not.

There is a second solution to the “quest” though, and that is TuneIn Radio. TuneIn doesn’t play streaming files, and it can’t actually play files of any kind from your device, but it does have an amazing library of local online radio playlists that truly impressed even me for being a “boxed player”. It chooses the correct stream from its list and then begins playing the file. If it isn’t available or doesn’t work, TuneIn will automatically choose an alternative station of a similar genre. Even though it can’t play the playlist files, its selection alone makes it worth looking into.

Anyway, if you have a comment or suggestion, please feel free to leave some feedback and let me know what you thought. Remember, my writings may seem “cruel and unusual” to the loyal Microsoft fans, but no that no hatred is intended toward that audience, there’s just a “sore” deep displeasure toward Microsoft, so don’t take any of it personally ☺.

Thanks for reading.

.:AB

9 COMMENTS

  1. I use my Sony Ericcson MW650 stereo bluetooth receiver, also has FM radio. I highly recommend it.
    But I have a question. There is MobilityDigest and there is MobilitySite (Kinda gone quiet, and no comments)
    Was it MD that used to be TiltSite and FuzeSite…etc that all merged together? to become this “Site”? I’ve lost track.
    And what was the Site before TiltSite for my HTC Wizard?
    All of you together got me through the learning curves making it a worthwhile experience, I may not remember every name, but I THANK YOU ALL
    Peace

  2. “I’m not a fan of Microsoft mobile news starting with Windows Mobile 7”

    I’m not sure if you are aware, but one of the biggest ways to passively piss off a Windows Phone 7 user is by referring to their operating system as Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile 7 does not exist, it was never released. I know maybe you may have loved Windows Mobile, but most people hated it, Windows Mobile has a negative connotation to most people. It would be similar to calling Windows 7, Windows Vista 7.

    Anyway, I think the real question is, why is this post in the Windows Phone section? This just seems to be about Windows Mobile and Android, two things most Windows Phone users don’t associate themselves with.

  3. @Jrdemaskus – That sounds very interesting and useful, but a quick internet search for the product yielded nothing. You’re saying that it tunes FM radio and connects to the device over bluetooth?
    To answer your other questions on the “Mobility” front, I’m not 100% sure, but I think “FuzeMobility” eventually became MobilityDigest.

    @Alex – As for you, the “phone” and “mobile” are interchangeable and don’t really matter. Nobody gives a crap about Microsoft’s 3% marketshare anyway, they may as well never have even made their latest IPhone clone. As always, we appreciate your concerns though and will be happy to answer any other inquiries you may have.

    .:AB

  4. @Albert Bunn

    I’m sorry, I don’t remember anyone referring to the iPhone as the iMobile, or Android as “Robot”. It’s a product name, you’re informed of its name, so why not use it? It’s not a big deal, but I figured that since your post shows up in the “Windows Phone” section of Mobility Digest, you would care about your readers, I guess not.

    “They may as well never have even made their latest IPhone clone.”

    The iPhone and Metro are completely opposite in terms of its design language. One is Skeumorphic, and the other is Anti-Skeumorphic, if you want to read up on that, see here: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669879/can-we-please-move-past-apples-silly-faux-real-uis

    “Nobody gives a crap about Microsoft’s 3% marketshare anyway”

    Since you are a writer for Mobility Digest, can I assume that your views and comments represent the whole of Mobility Digest (I don’t see any disclaimers)? If so, then you’ve lost another reader. I thought this site had a Windows Phone section on the site because they cared about gaining readers interested in Windows Phone, I guess not though.

    Just to be clear, I’m not angry because you called Windows Phone, Windows Mobile 7, it’s the fact that my constructive criticism is met with “Nobody cares about you, you’re using an iPhone clone”. How on earth do you expect to gain support by acting this way?

    “As always, we appreciate your concerns though”

    You clearly just showed that you do not.

  5. @Alex – Hey man, let’s just calm down here, you’re reading a lot into my writings, so let me help you out. I’ve actually been criticized once before for talking about “Windows Mobile/Phone 7 Series” before, but never quite like this. The “7” is there to both tie into MS’s Windows 7 line and to say that “it’s the one after version 6”. My point is that it’s not a big deal. It just makes you wonder, “where’s “Windows Phone 6 and 5 and below?””. Didn’t mean to get you worked up over the name.

    In reply to the “skeumorphic” thing, that’s all fine and dandy, but my point is that they’re both closed OSes with limited functionality outta the box and a very similar minimalist UI.

    In reply to, “represent the whole of Mobility Digest”, like I said in my post, I only represent a “student on a tight budget” (Infact, you can find that in a text search). And if you assume that everything written on a site is from the perspective of the administrator, well, you’re about to learn quite a lot; this is the reason we have multiple authors. Everyone brings a little bit something different to the table as far as views and writing styles go. Back in the day, some people who like Windows Mobile 6 were deadset against Android, and they wrote accordingly, and I can identify with what they were thinking, but we have to move forward. Android is the future, and I don’t mean to discriminate against those 3%, but it’s 2012 and we must move forward. This isn’t meant to be mean, and while it may seem that way, think of time as a river flowing too quickly in one direction to go back. There are better things “down the river”, but not everything is how me or you might prefer them, it’s just the way it is. Time brings good things and disappointing things for everyone and also depending on your perspective, but it’s important that you keep an open mind about those types of things. It wasn’t meant to be read as a “nobody cares about you”, I rather meant to say (and frankly did say) that based on those numbers, Microsoft doesn’t carry a lot of importance in the future of mobile computing. We’ll still carry it here as a legacy thing and still write about it, but it’s just not where the future is calling us.

    So, while you may think we don’t appreciate you because of an unfortunate turn in the market, we really don’t value you higher or lower than the next “spectator” (member), that part is all in your head. We’re glad you read MobilityDigest, and we hope you continue to come back for more great news.

    Have a nice day.

    .:AB

  6. @JRDEMASKUS – Oh, I see. Those are pretty cool, and they would solve the FM radio problem too; how do they sound?. Back when I was looking for replacement earbuds a few months ago, I looked around for bluetooth buds that didn’t have a cable. I didn’t find any, but I have the feeling that if I did, they would’ve either been too low of quality or too pricey. The second problem was that they don’t make as many standard earbud design buds anymore, they’re mostly the inear ones, which I just don’t like as much. I eventually settled on some wired Sony Piiq earbuds from eBay for $8. They do sound a lot better than the price though, I’m pretty happy with them.

    Thanks for the tip.

    .:AB

  7. The quality is good for the receiver and included buds. I am not an audiophile.
    Advertised at 9 1/2 hours battery (at 1 yr old I got 8 1/2 hrs one day last week at full volume)
    The best part, you can use any 3.5mm jack headset.
    I built a holder for my modified earmuffs at work, and listen to tunes all shift. I Remove the device and bring it home to charge. I removed the speaker system from a Howard Leight Sync earmuff, and built it into a HL L3 earmuff to match what is provided at work so as not to attract attention.
    The FM radio works, but I am tired of the talk. I don’t stream over mobile data. So I rely on my own library stored on my 32G SD card.
    Never bothered trying to setup FM radio on my phone.
    Hope this helps.
    Peace

  8. Alex, I totally cringed when I saw Albert’s reply to you. Probably not the best way to respond.
    However, one of the reasons I visit this site is for this “friendly” fighting these guys do, mostly against each other and some very regular posters (XDA Regulars?)
    I don’t bother much with XDA anymore, too many personal attacks on simple stuff. There are a few serious people there that really advance us, they keep it worthwhile.
    Sorry, you were offended, but hang in there, this is one of the few honest helpful sites I have come accross. I expect they are not just out to sell me something and I get lots of opinions and view points.
    Here is mine. It was “Windows Mobile News” before “Windows Phone” was released. The news was, “No more WinMo. Love it or Hate it, here is WP7.” Albert said he used to be a WinMo writer. So the continuing news on the WinMo front is, “WinMo is not coming back. Stay tuned for WP8.” Until they abandon that too.
    I am waiting, and some of these writers will be the first to tell me all about it. Hell, they warned me off WP7. While I am still hopeful for a WinMo feeling, 5″+ device, I know I can get that in an Android. And though IOS turns me off I still love the look of the Iphone4 with that cool metal band around it. And I had device Lust for the Nokia Lumina900, and every single other flagship device released in the last 5 years…
    My point being, these freestyle opinions keep me informed and better off in the long run. Not just jumping on the next best, just because. I run 27 months on my devices and they allways Rock!
    Sorry that all got to be a bit long winded.
    Peace

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