Creative option for listening to streaming radio – anywhere.
My family and I just got home from a long road trip. We took a drive that was over 14 hours – one way. We’ve made that trip before and have become bored with our auditory entertainment. We’ve run into ‘dead’ spots when it comes to over-the-air radio stations and that leads to a very boring drive. I have other streaming music apps, but they tend to provide a repetitive rotation. Fortunately, for this trip, I also had Eter Radio, an app that provides the user access to Internet radio streams directly from your macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS along with Carplay devices.
Eter Radio uses the publicly available radio-brower.info database to access radio streams. This database contains a collection of free and publicly available Internet radio stations. The app gives users a list of recommended stations and allows them to search for their own favorites. There are more than 20,000 streams available to choose from all over the world. Eter Radio is currently available in English, French, German, and Polish. The app uses the freemium model and for a one-time fee of $2.99 (USD) the full functionality is unlocked. The favorite list of stations does sync between devices via iCloud and users have the ability to edit their favorite stations by changing the name, URL, or artwork of the station. The iOS version of Eter Radio supports CarPlay and the iOS and macOS versions also support AirPlay.
Some of the countries included in the recommended list include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland-Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. Listings for additional countries are added periodically.
Installation of the app is pretty standard. The app is free to download with a premium in-app purchase option available. You can use the app without having to purchase the premium version, but you miss out on some really useful functionality such as saving favorite stations to the “My Stations” list and hiding the recommendations. The download is only 8.3MB so it won’t be a burden on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. The interface is very clean and easy to use. The first screen you see is the “Recommended” list. This is a list of curated stations that are available for streaming. The second tab in the app is the “My Stations” list. This is a list that the user creates themselves. You add stations to it by tapping on the star in the top right corner of a station’s player view. This ability is only unlocked after you pay the one-time $2.99 premium fee.
Finally, there is a search tab that allows you to search using familiar terms – such as the radio station’s tuner frequency (i.e. 104.1) or location. In this tab, there is also an “Add Manually” option. This allows you to search for a station using the direct URL of the station. This is really helpful for lesser-known streaming radio stations. Using the search tab isn’t restricted by the free version – only the ability to save the stations. So, you do have the freedom to listen to stations you search for – you just can save them for later use.
We used the Eter Radio app for nearly the entire 14-hour+ road trip I mentioned above. There were a few times that we ended up listening to a podcast, but for the most part, all music was piped through the Eter Radio app. We had very few interruptions in service although after so long, the music will pause for a moment and then restart. I assumed this was because the app needed to refresh in the background and buffer the station again. The music quality was very good and it was great to be able to listen to local stations for news purposes when we were three states away from home.
The only criticism I really have about this app is that the advertisements sometimes occur in strange intervals. I am assuming that the ads play at pre-programmed times and that is why they sometimes interrupt songs in progress. I don’t know if there is a good solution for that interruption, but one thing that could probably be resolved is the fact that the music continues playing behind the ad. So, when the ad is over, the station comes back on and the song is either mostly over or completely over. This happened more than once with songs that I really liked and that’s why it was so apparent to me. Aside from this – which I do believe could be alleviated, this app is really pretty great.
All in all, the Eter Radio app is definitely worth the download. It’s not resource-intensive and it works really great. It gives users the opportunity to experience music from all around the world and while you can unlock some great functionality with the premium purchase, you don’t have to in order to enjoy the app.