Best Radio Apps for your Insane Audio Device

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Best Radio Apps for your Insane Audio Device

Postby InsaneAudioSupport4 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:28 pm

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
- Bob Marley


While we all love the radio and its many forms, with a fully open Android platform and hotspot connection, your Insane Audio Android based head unit has the capability and the technology to stream internet radio. In the city, there is no shortage of options for internet radio, but not to worry, we tried and tested the best ones for our customers and you can download them with confidence from the Google Play Store and simply cruise. Many Internet radio options even allow you to download music directly to your device, so if you are out in the backcountry you can still access your favorite music via the SD card in the head unit. If ads aren’t your thing, most free radio apps have an upgrade option that usually costs less than10 bucks a month.

PANDORA
Nevermind that according to Greek mythology, Zeus gave the “all-giving” Pandora as a gift to the world with a jar full of evil and misery that she released and bestowed upon humanity. The pioneer of internet radio PANDORA is not evil at all! Instead it’s free and personalized radio with a mission to connect you to the music you love. 100 stations can be created that are tuned to your musical likes through genres, songs or artists. To get geeky, when PANDORA started in the year 2000, engineers analyzed melodies, instrumentation, lyrics and more to deliver a great flow of music based on your tastes. That means you can thumbs up or down songs and PANDORA will customize your interests, remember them and play more songs you like and less of what you don’t like. Nearly a century of popular recordings went into this massive project to help you find music that’s popular or discover new completely obscure tunes. There are tons of existing stations featuring popular artists you’d expect or choose a mood, activity, decade or create your very own customized station. Upgrade for $4.99 to hear and see no ads.

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iHeartRADIO
Do you absolutely love the radio? Then look no further because this is the end-all, be-all internet radio app. Not only can you do the Artist Radio thing that PANDORA does, there is a Live Radio option that taps into 1000’s of the country’s best radio stations. So if you are rolling down the hills of California and want to hear your favorite station from back home in Seattle, KEXP is there – like MAGIC – in your ear holes! Comedy, sports, news & talk stations are also options as are Podcasts that you can search by name or subject. Of course there are options to customize and save stations so you just load up the app and it’s like a best friend that knows exactly what you need to hear. This most complete, expansive and FREE app has it all! Upgrade $5.99/month for Plus or $9.99/month for All Access, both includes a free 30 day trial to check out with different freedom perks like listening offline or replaying songs.

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Spotify
Music for everyone! is the slogan here, although the controversial Taylor Swift licensing saga soured Spotify for a brief second, they still boast over 60 million users with an unbeatable 20 million licensed tracks. Search for exactly what you want to hear from millions of songs, browse the top charts, new releases or pre-made playlists and to discover new music or chill out with a radio station based on what you are feeling, even get your learn on with a Podcast. Although the radio doesn’t seem as refined as other radio apps, the Playlist option is a cool feature due to the team behind the curated lists, allowing you to hear stuff you never have, while not hearing constant repeats of songs. Your Library is the next best feature where everything you love can exist – tapping the three dots next to a track name lets you save a song, create a playlist from it, be your own DJ with the ‘add to up next’ option. Offline listening options exist if you want to Upgrade to Premium for $9.99/month, as well as the option to listen to specific songs, otherwise you have to shuffle your way through tracks which can be a buzz kill when you a jonesing to hear a specific song. Since your Android based head unit has SD card capabilities, downloading songs is easy to do while you are online and then when you hit the dirt roads, your songs are there on your SD card for seamless listening! They even offer student discounts and family plans. We did a more detailed write-up on this app a while back, you can check it out here http://insanejeepaudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=711

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TuneInRadio
Sports fans and audio book peeps, this is your radio app! But you gotta pay to play, a one-time fee of $69.99/year. This gets you commercial free, pop-up free content, otherwise this is a straight forward radio player with access to 100K stations from around the world as well as millions of Podcasts. Search for stations by location, like a moody music station out of Belize or by content searches like news, talk, music or sports. Local radio gets you the station without the static from a traditional radio connection. The player on the bottom takes up a lot of screen realestate with lots of pop-up banner ads and commercials and the Car Mode option gives a stream-lined interface that leaves much to the imagination. Stations did fade in and out and quit after listening for a while. Overall, not as impressed with this app as some others but variety is the spice of life, they say.

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SiriusXM
SiriusXM is not automatically included in our head units for good reason that can be read about on our Forum. However, through either the app downloaded to your smart phone or unit or using an external receiver, you can access SiriusXM on your head unit. Probably one of the harder installs and with only a 30 day free trial to this subscription based app, justifying this download isn’t easy. But there is Howard Stern and about 150 satellite radio stations unique to SiriusXM. If you are going for straight up music, the mix feature is fun – allowing you to change the familiarity, speed and “doo wop” of a station. Unique to the app, you can search for an artist and the stations they play on will come up but the interface is clunky and not that easy to navigate, especially if you are driving on bumpy, dirt roads. If you have loyalties to your favorite stations/shows this app might be useful but with the better, intuitive and integrated options out there, SiriusXM left us wanting more. A subscription through the app is cheaper than a subscription through their satellite based transmission and has a higher bit rate, equally sound quality. For $19.99/month, an All Access subscription will get you add-free, unlimited streaming with NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB coverage and did we mention Howard Stern. Bottom line, with all the other cheaper, music friendly radio options out there, we would recommend other apps before SiriusXM.

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XiiaLive
Much like SiriusXM, the XiiaLive app is more of a straight up radio option with 50K stations from around the world. Of course you can create favorites, tag songs, search for an artist and equalize the sound but you can do that with just about any app. The scan feature is a bonus, just like a tradition station scan in a car you can browse through stations with the push of a button to discover new music. Go Pro for $3.99 to get an ad free experience with other advanced features. The bulkier app interface does work well with our unit interface and there is an ease to navigating, despite the banner ads and a slight lag when loading a new station.

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Insane Audio Radio APP
If you are looking for a basic player that’s already installed, than look no further than the home screen of your head unit. Our radio app has a top row of buttons to switch from 3 groups of FM stations and two groups of AM stations, with the specific presets listed at the bottom. Just long press a preset to save it. The ST button toggles between Stereo and Mono and LOC toggles between local and distant frequency handling. This feature only works for areas that broadcasts this type of information so don’t be surprised if this doesn’t work well on your unit. The AMS button on the front of your unit stands for Automatic Music Search and is great for remote areas. The caveat is that it will delete all your presets and set them with what it finds. Advanced digital radio technology is available too, so if you want just good old fashioned AM/FM radio, check out your Quick Start Guide page 30 http://www.insanejeepaudio.com/IA_ANDROID_Quick_Start_Guide_current.pdf

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8tracks
What does 8tracks, the mixtape startup of the internet, have that no other radio app has? Hard to say since they limit free streaming to 1 hour/week, unless of course, you upgrade for $3.99/month or $29.99/year. Upgrade reason being, streaming is expensive business and their price is lower than most upgrades. However, 8tracks works on your ‘likes’ as a playlist DJ – a more ‘social’, user crafted app. The more likes for your playlist, the more free listening you can enjoy. Torture right?! If you don’t want to subscribe and have an abundance of freetime to devote to playlist making then sign up for 8tracks. Otherwise it’s a lot of work to do when you can simply use another free radio app and not have to be liked by anyone in order to enjoy hearing music. This radio app might have been progressive in 2008, when it was launched but they seem to be stuck there, compared to other apps like PANDORA and IHeartRadio. Yes, most believe that music shouldn’t be free but this is a bit too much work for internet radio. In addition, the app is buggy and a bit slow and the interface design is too wide for navigating on our head units.

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NPR One
The darling of news & talk radio, NPR One can be streamed no matter what city you are in, so you can stay in the know. Search for a specific show name or topic and follow your favorite shows and elect to get notified when new shows are posted. The Explore tab can introduce you to feature or recommended shows and tap into your followed shows. Create an account so the app can remember you and hand-pick stories based on what you like. Skip what you don't want, or tap the lightbulb to say a story is interesting to turn NPR One into your own personal radio station. Save a program for later to create a cache of programs that will be waiting for you when you are ready. The interface is clean and easy to use and even looks good in our head unit interface, though it is tricky to get around in the app without a working back button. If you want to hear your local NPR station search for it by zipcode and save the station as your home station.

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Depending on what you are looking for in a radio app, there is no shortage of options out there. Start with these apps to see what you like and get listening to some sweet jams while you cruise. Don’t see your favorite radio app in our list? Please share what you like and don’t like in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and we'll see 'ya on the trail!

iNSaNe AuDio Support Staff
InsaneAudioSupport4
 
Posts: 1
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Re: Best Radio Apps for your Insane Audio Device

Postby scoho83 » Wed May 17, 2017 6:59 pm

I have been playing allot with various music apps. FYI, my house has PC's Mac's, IOS and Android devices, and its a challenge to get them all to share the same library.

First I tried where we ended up, Amazon Music Player. Did this because that's where we buy most of our songs. SPLAT... Amazon Music would not allow me to point the local music to the SD card. (Greyed out). Amazon willing to trouble shoot, but I just don't have the time.

Next tried many, PlayerPro, Spotify, etc, etc. Thus far I have found Music Monkey to be the best. I can sync with a MMServer inside my house, and interface looks pretty neat. But I have to remember to pause the music before closing the app or it will just continue to play with no controls (Reopening app, and pausing works).

Others I have tried: Spotify, PowerAmp, Blackplayer, Doubletwist, n7player, Stellio (not good with SD/Kitkat issue), a few more.
scoho83
 
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