I’m listening to Clear Channel’s new updated version of iHeartRadio, which allows you to create Pandora-like music channels. iHeart is pretty easy to access via your Facebook account. And if you overlook the annoyance that it requires you to ‘like’ it to get started, it’s a limited but reasonable application.
Once you’re logged in, you can create your own channels by picking artists, genres, or bands. I picked Doris Day (yes; I’m a Doris Day song fan). And the system kicked in with Day doing her great version of “My Secret Love.”
Excellent choice. Alas—I was hoping for a few more Doris Day tunes. Instead I next got Dean Martin crooning “Ain’t that a kick in the head,” followed by Andy Williams singing “Moon River.”
I like the Martin song. As for Williams, that was an actual kick in the head, as far as I was concerned. To add insult to injury, the Clear Channel database followed that with Bing Crosby warbling “I’ll be home for Christmas.” That was it for me. I went back to the home page to try again.
Next I tried the app’s new classical channel. I got a performance of Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances for violin and piano, which was a great opening choice. I should note that iHeart’s sound is truly excellent. Really fine tone for everything I listened to. And the classical channel was commercial free (let’s see how long that lasts). The Bartok was followed by Schumann’s Fourth Symphony. Another fine pick.
But I really wanted to hear another Doris Day piece, so I went back to that channel. A good selection came up: June Christy singing “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” followed by an Eartha Kitt tune: “Ushaka Dara—A Old Turkish Tale.” But no Doris.
Anyway, your iHeartRadio channels come with three parameters: “Familiar artists,” “More discovery,” or a combination of the two. You can make Facebook comments about the songs; like them; dislike them; do all the various things that Pandora lets you do. There are a variety of preset channels: 80s & 90s; Classic Rock; Reggae; no big shockers here.
Will the new iHeart take off? The critics will doubtless cry too little, too late. But it isn’t a bad app. Comes in iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry.
I’m wrapping up this review and still listening. In comes another Dean Martin tune: “Catch a falling star.” Nice, but couldn’t we get Day doing “Que Sera Sera”?
Nope. Instead it’s Rosemary Clooney singing “This ‘Ol House.” Ok. I’m outta here.
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