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Move over Pandora? TuneIn radio introduces song search

I am enjoying the heck out of RadioTime’s TuneIn radio, which is just about the best online radio station aggregator I’ve ever used. It lets you search for local radio stations, national radio stations, international radio stations.  You can even use to it pick up police and fire signals across the country. I’m currently listening to San Diego, CA’s police dispatch as I write this post.

And today TuneIn introduced Song Search, which allows you to scan the broadcasting universe for your favorite song or artist, and hook up with a radio station that plays that sort of fare.

“Song Search is the first technology that allows users to search for historical and real-time radio—both terrestrial and Internet-only stations,” Bill Moore, CEO of RadioTime says in the press release we were sent. “Beyond simply searching by broad genres of music, finding specific songs also gives users the ability to discover music, artists and stations that fit their tastes.  It’s a whole new way of discovering the unique programs and personalities only radio can offer — as opposed to using streamed, sterilized playlists.”

The Youtube.com demo we’ve posted shows you how it works on an optimal level. My experience with TuneIn’s song/artist search app is that it’s a work-in-progress. I tried searching for three of my favorite pop songs, Cake’s “Short Skirt / Long Jacket,” The Cars’ “Shake It Up,” and The The’s “This is the Day.” The app just couldn’t handle the last band’s name at all, and sent me to some kind of default category page. It also couldn’t locate “Shake It Up.” But it definitely did a bingo on Short Skirt, getting me to DC101 FM in our nation’s capitol in a jiffy.

But what TuneIn’s really good for is picking up radio stations everywhere on your desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. I’ve got it on my DroidX. The interface available on the Google TV spotlight page is really fast and easy to use. It will deliver radio stations to you via genre or locality. You can also pick up podcasts. You can create presets and do lots more.

“Streamed, sterilized playlists,” eh? Ouch! Take that, you know who . . .

But seriously folks, is this competition for Pandora? I’m not sure. Pandora is a music service. TuneIn is more of a radio station service. But the amazing ease with which it allows you to navigate the broadcast radio landscape makes that world accessible on a new scale. And that’s got to be hugely significant down the line.


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One Response to Move over Pandora? TuneIn radio introduces song search

  1. Bruce V. Bracken November 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    I remember, when I was a teenager, surfing the AM band in Oklahoma, and being fascinated at the idea of listening to stations from Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, etc. Now, it’s like every station is a 50,000-watt superstation! It’s fantastic to be able to listen to a British or Australian station on the phone, while walking down the street in Seattle, and Tunein Radio is the best app for that!

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