Turn your iPhone into a radio

No matter how much storage space is available on your iPhone, it’s probably not enough to store every possible song you might ever want to hear. Rather than switch to another iPhone with more storage capacity, you can download and install free apps on your iPhone that let the iPhone act like a radio, which means you can listen to a lot more music and other audio.

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Although these apps won't let you access all your local radio stations on your iPhone, as a real radio would, they will let your iPhone access streaming audio broadcasts over the Internet, essentially giving you free music or information from around the world. The only costs you incur are any Wi-Fi Internet and cellular telephone network connection fees. (Unfortunately, if you cannot connect to your cellular telephone company’s network or a Wi-Fi connection, you can’t listen to streaming audio.)

Finding radio applications in the App Store

Your iPhone can't play streaming audio from radio stations until you download and install special radio apps from the App Store. Some of these apps cost money, but many are free, including:

AOL Radio Offers more than 200 radio stations, covering a wide variety of categories including comedy, classical, blues, rock, jazz, sports, pop, and talk radio

Pandora Radio Allows you to enter a song or artist, then automatically plays music similar in style to your selection

Stitcher Radio Lets you put together (stitch) your own radio channel from different stations offering news and talk radio content

Listening to AOL Radio

AOL Radio organizes its available stations into categories such as Blues, Country, and Oldies. Not only does AOL Radio offer access to established stations all over the world, but it offers access to many popular Internet-only stations. After installing AOL Radio on your iPhone, you can listen to a radio station by doing this:

1. From the Home screen, tap AOL Radio. The AOL Radio Stations screen appears, displaying various options.

2. Tap a genre category, such as Rock or Metal. A list of available stations appears.

3. (Optional) Tap Favorites at the bottom of the screen to view all stations you've identified as favorites. Tap Recents to see the last stations you listened to. Tap Locals to listen to local radio stations that are broadcasting over the Internet.

4. Tap the name of a station you want to hear. The station screen appears, displaying an image from the currently playing artist’s album, a volume slider, and a row of icons at the bottom of the screen.

5. (Optional) Slide your fingertip left or right on the volume slider to increase or decrease the volume.

6. (Optional) Tap Favorites to store the station in your list of favorites.

7. Press the Home button when you want to stop listening to AOL Radio, or tap the back button in the upper-left corner of the screen to view other stations.

NOTE: AOL Radio, Pandora Radio, and Stitcher Radio all continue playing even when your iPhone drifts into sleep mode.

Listening to Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio creates a custom radio station that plays music just for you, based on songs or artists that you choose. You simply type the name of an artist, band, or song that you like into a Create a New Station field, and Pandora Radio plays music that is similar in style and sound. Type Beatles, and Pandora Radio will not only play various Beatles songs, but music from other artists that are similar to the Beatles.

Before you can use Pandora Radio, you need to set up a free account either through the Pandora Radio website or through your iPhone. After you've created an account and installed the application on your iPhone, you can listen to Pandora Radio by doing this:

1. From the Home screen, tap Pandora Radio. The Welcome to Pandora screen asks if you already have a Pandora account.

2. (Optional) If you haven't created a Pandora account, you'll need to tap the I am new to Pandora button and then activate your account with the code that appears on the screen.

3. Tap I have a Pandora account. A Sign In screen appears.

4. Type your email address in the Email text box.

5. Type your password in the Password text box, and then tap the blue Go button.

6. Pandora displays the Stations screen. If you haven't created any stations yet, this screen will be blank. If you have created stations already, this screen shows all your Pandora stations.

7. (Optional) Tap the New Station icon at the bottom of the screen to create a new station. You'll need to choose a recording artist or song name to define the type of music this station will play for you.

8. Tap a station that you want to hear. Pandora displays a screen that shows the currently playing song along with a volume control slider. Pandora also displays thumbs up and thumbs down icons so you can approve or disapprove of the currently playing song. Tap the thumbs up icon to approve a song and keep it in your playlist; tap the thumbs down icon to disapprove a song and prevent that song from playing again. Each time you approve or disapprove of a song, Pandora remembers your preferences and gradually only plays those songs that you like best.

9. Press the Home button when you want to stop listening to Pandora Radio, or tap the back button in the upper-left corner of the screen to go back and view other stations.

Listening to Stitcher Radio

While Pandora Radio tries to play music that is similar to tunes or artists you like, Stitcher Radio tries to find news and talk radio show content that you might like. Stitcher Radio divides its stations into Topics and Sources. Topics list different types of information such as Health & Fitness, Sports, and Business & Finance. Sources lists specific content providers such as Associated Press, CNN, Fox, and Reuters.

After installing Stitcher Radio on your iPhone, you can listen to it by doing this:

1. From the Home screen, tap Stitcher Radio. The Stitcher Radio screen appears.

2. Tap Topics or Sources at the bottom of the screen to view a list of available topics or sources.

3. Tap a topic (such as American News & Politics) or a content source (such as Bloomberg). Your chosen station appears, displaying thumbs up and thumbs down icons. By tapping the thumbs up or down icons, you can customize Stitcher to play the talk stations you like best.

4. Press the Home button when you want to stop listening to Stitcher Radio, or tap the Back button in the upper-left corner of the screen to go back and view other stations.



Today's tip was adapted from "My New iPhone: 52 Simple Projects to Get You Started" by Wallace Wang, Published July 2009 by No Starch Press.

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