Two weeks ago, I was thinking to myself "Man, it would be awesome if the Vita had an internet radio app". I browsed the PSN and PSM Store but there was not a single radio app. Feeling defeated, I searched the net. Lo and behold, as I opened the PS Blog, the first entry is about an internet radio app called TuneIn! The Vita Gods do listen!
So, now, on to the review. TuneIn is a free app released this week for the Vita and last week for the PS3. It allows you to stream from internet radio stations and even listen to podcasts (something I think was not present on the PSP Internet Radio app).
Does It Work?
The first thing that you notice as you open the app is that the interface is quite nice. The front page gives you a list of bands currently being featured by different stations grouped by genre. Tapping the band/station's tile will show the song's name and tapping it again will play it. This alone sold me on the app, but there are still other nice features.
You can also search for stations and podcasts/shows by name, artist, song and genre. It will then list the most popular and relevant results. It can also suggest stations to you based on your location. I was surprised to see that even our university radio station is listed. The listing is diverse and it'd probably be hard for you to be disappointed. I've seen anime podcasts/radio stations and video game podcasts (such as the Official Playstation Blogcast).
As seen above, it also provides a "Suggestions" page that lists trending and local radio stations. Everything's here from music, news, sports and others.
Also, tapping the thumbnail on the right brings you to the "Now Playing" tab where you can favorite a station, select stream quality and a list of recommendations.
So...DOES IT WORK? (You never answered the question)
The answer is a pleasantly surprised YES. Not only does it work but it's also highly recommended. I don't think anyone was expecting a faulty internet radio app but the polish and feature list seen here is quite nice for a free app. Creating a free account is recommended so you can sync your favorites and so that it can recommend stations based on your location (which is especially useful for news).
For convenience, here's a quick list of pros and cons:
+ Nice interface. Looks really polished.
+ Search works well.
+ Diverse listings
+ Virtually lag-free
+ Location based recommendations
+ Music will not pause if the system enters sleep mode on its own. It'll pause if you press the power button to enter sleep mode, though.
- Can't use as replacement for Music app since you can't use it while playing a game.
- No multitasking. Can't open other apps like browser or even go to the homepage without pausing the music.
Want to share a song, band or even just talk amongst yourselves? Head over to TAYClassic for your daily dose of casual conversations and headbanging!