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iheartradio: Great concept, needs better execution.

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by ray985, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. ray985

    ray985 Lurker
    Thread Starter
    Jun 8, 2010

    Jun 8, 2010
    Marketing Manager
    The iheartradio app is an provided by Clear Channel entertainment that allows you to access their huge amount of content right on your Android device. The player, which first debuted on the iPhone a few years ago, is being heavily promoted on most Clear Channel owned radio stations across the nation.

    The best thing about this app is that there really is something for everyone. The app has the standard "sort by genre" categories that most music apps do, but a nice feature is the "Personalities" list that contains channels of music about a personality (for example, Christina Aguilera or the Eagles). Another great feature of iheartradio is being able to listen to your favorite local stations anywhere in the country. It's perfect for people who recently moved to a new area and miss their old local stations or for those who own an Android phone without an FM tuner. I use it when I walk my dogs in the morning, so I can listed to my favorite radio station in the morning. The app allows you to save favorites to a special list and even start playing your favorite upon opening the app. Another nice feature for those in major metropolitan areas is live traffic reports.

    While it seems like a great app in concept, it starts to falter in execution. The user interface is relatively drab with controls a little too small to comfortably select with your finger. In general, the app doesn't feel like it was built for Android, but rather just ported over from the iPhone.

    In terms of sound quality, even with 3-4 bars of 3G signal, it takes a long time for your selected music channel to load. Once it does finally load, there are often problems with buffering and stuttering. Even when using wi-fi these problems persist. The iheartradio app just doesn't seem to make the best use of the bandwidth; in places where Pandora or Slacker radio have no problem streaming music, iheartradio struggles to even connect.

    Unfortunately, this issue might not get better any time soon. Since it's release in December, the app has received only one update to improve overall stability. On the website, when inquiring about quality problems, you're only directed to make sure you close any other problems with a data connection like Facebook.

    In summary, iheartradio has some great features but it really needs more polish and attention to the app itself. It is pretty stable though and rarely freezes, so there's no harm in trying it out. Personally, I love it, although some days I'm increasingly frustrated by the poor sound quality.


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