Weekly Web App Review: Flytunes

flytuneslogo.gif Looking for Internet radio on your iPhone? Tired of not having built-in FM like Zune owners? Look no further than Flytunes (http://www.flytunes.fm/) for the iPhone! Flytunes is a web-based media player for iPhone and iPod touch that allows you to stream music and talk channels for free!

Flytunes offers some decent features. When you navigate from the top of the screen, you can access a wide variety of channels including: Presets, Alternative, Artists, Classical, Country, Dance, Decades, Easy Listening, Eclectic, Jazz, Kids and Family, Local, Pop, R&B, Rock, Sports, Talk, Urban, Weather, and finally World. Some of these categories have as little as one sub-category, others have as many as twelve sub-categories. Regardless of what you are looking for, Flytunes is likely to have a musical flavor to suit your tastes.

Selecting a Station

ftscreen.jpg After browsing the main categories such as Rock, you can pick a sub-category. In Rock’s case, you have some familiar choices including Today’s Rock hits, 80’s Hairbands, etc. After tapping on a sub-category, you are given a few options:

  • Play
  • Information
  • Email
  • Favorites (Presets)

Play: will stream the song directly on to your device. There are icons located in the top-right of the screen that will enable you to choose EDGE or Wi-Fi, depending on your location. Just like with other streaming audio/video on mobile Safari, just tap Done, when you are finished listening.

Information: simply changes the screen to show a pseudo album cover, and nothing else. My guess is that this will have more functionality in a later version of the site.

Email: probably the coolest feature. Flytunes will compose an email for you consisting of information about the station you are listening to an all you need to add are the recipients.

Favorites: this allows you to add a sub-category you like to your Presets.

Conclusion

That is it. There is not much to Flytunes. After signing up, you simply tab the category you want to listen to and you are done. Simple.

At times I felt the web app was a little on the buggy side (mobile Safari lost all touch response and the iPhone had to be reset, even after emptying the cache. This happened twice for me). I was soon back listening to The Beatles when the device reset.

To be honest, I have never really been a huge fan of portable devices using the Internet to stream audio. This process can really drain the battery fast. If you are prepared and using an EDGE connection and a portable battery charger, I think that there is value in what Flytunes offers if you are tired of the humdrum of music in your iTunes library. However, I believe you should be warned that this will substantially drain your batter faster than just listening on the iPod app on your iPhone. If you are on a shorter trip or just want something new, you can't go wrong with Flytunes.

If you want to know even more about Flytunes, you can check out there blog here.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Look and Feel: 4
  • Navigation: 5
  • Features: 3
  • Reliability: 3
  • Overall: 3.75

Pros:

  • EDGE and Wi-Fi compatible
  • Decent selection of music and talk channels
  • Intuitive
  • Favorites (Presets)
  • Email favorite stations with Mail.app
  • Can be streamed from computer with emulator

Cons:

  • The quality on many channels was “scratchy”, even on Wi-Fi
  • Sometimes music takes a while to load
  • A little buggy
Here is the developer showing off Flytunes. To be fair, this video is from an earlier version of Flytunes. The web app now looks more refined and there is a much broader selection of music. enjoy:

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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