Again, my apologies for a late review posting. I’m sure many of you are aware that I am trying very hard to keep up with the weekday posts plus going to work early weekdays, working the weekends and taking evening classes. Obviously today is an extremely busy day with working late, plus taking the evening class so I’m doing this now. I hope you all will understand. The site is very important to me, as do you, the readers and I am trying very hard to post, albeit, a bit late. “Better late than never” as the saying goes.
It’s time for another installment of Palm Discovery’s wReview Wednesday!
With fall in full swing since the 23rd, most of us are getting in the groove of things, whether it be work (like me), or school. And for many of us, fall brings a chill in the air or fall showers, making it not so pleasant to be outside or do things outside. With not so nice fall weather, for some of us, that could mean curling up with a nice blanket watching movies, TV, or in my case, listening to music or radio.
Although I’d like to consider myself someone who likes a variety of different music and genres, I think that my favorite type of music is jazz, especially older bebop jazz. So, today, I’ll be reviewing an app that offers me jazz music, in the form of a jazz radio station. For those in the UK, you may already be familiar with the Jazz FM radio station available on Sky Digital 0202 and Freesat 729 plus DAB Digital Radio across the country. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Jazz FM radio app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
The app, is mainly a radio station app that features the UK based jazz radio station, Jazz FM. It is not a multi-station radio app that offers a variety of radio stations but simply, just Jazz FM. However, that shouldn’t deter you from trying it out as it is available to listeners in other countries outside of the UK, like Canada, for instance. I’m sure that the US is also supported as Canada is practically the last country that anything supports. Okay, just kidding, but you know what I mean.
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For those who want to skip over all the detailed review and just want a summary, you can jump to the review summary
Jazz FM is an exclusive one station radio app for, you guessed it, Jazz FM, developed by spodtronic who has created a huge list of other radio apps covering many different stations of all genres. If you like jazz music, you will enjoy the Jazz FM app as it offers you a live streaming of the online radio station, offering, you guessed it, a variety of different jazz music. What you get is a live stream of the radio, along with the different programs according to their schedule, just like your typical AM/FM radio station. The main difference is that you’re listening with your iPhone via the internet and not via your AM/FM radio. Who wants to listen to music via those old school methods?
When you launch the app, you’re provided with the main playback screen. As the app is free, there is an ad bar at the top. There’s the main Jazz FM logo with the multicolored chameleon and Jazz FM. Underneath that is the reception bar that changes from red to light lime green color. When you first tune in to the station, you’ll notice the reception bar will start from red and eventually move to the right until the lime green is on. At any time, you can stop/pause the live radio stream by tapping on the STOP button. There’s also the volume slider (I like) offering the listener the control over the volume. To the right of the volume slider is the “i” button. Tapping on that will show up the About screen offering a contact number and an email link. If you tap on either the phone number or email link, it will launch either the phone or email.
There’s a bottom bar of buttons/tabs that offer more options. By default, the playback/speaker icon is selected. Beside it to the right is another “i” button. Tapping on the button will offer a Jazz FM info screen that provides info on where else to tune in to Jazz FM. The third button will display a feedback screen with an email address. Unfortunately, there is no direct link and you’ll need to open and compose an email and type in the email address manually. The last button is the familiar Twitter “t” button. Tapping on this will load the jazzfm Twitter page. If you sign into Twitter, you can follow the jazzfm account to stay on top of the station’s tweets. And that is pretty much what the app offers. It’s a very simple app and mainly offers a stream of the station in real time.
In the playback screen, the currently playing song with the artist name and the song title will scroll from right to left so you’ll always know what is currently playing. Unfortunately, there is no display of what’s coming up or a list of what’s previously played. Plus, there is no way to tap on the currently playing song to be taken to a music store like Amazon mp3 or others for purchase. Also, there is no way to be able to record songs or programs. And there’s no sleep feature or an alarm feature. However, the app is FREE so I really can’t complain. And, I am able to listen to the station from outside the UK as many of us know that sometimes we can’t listen to stations outside the UK or other countries.
More details of Jazz FM (taken from iTunes website)
Jazz FM is a digital radio station from the UK that broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio, Sky Digital 0202, Freesat 729, online atwww.jazzfm.com and now on the iPhone and iPod Touch through the Jazz FM app.
Tune in to Jazz FM and hear The Jazz Breakfast with Nigel Williams, The Mid Morning Show with Anthony Davis, Steve Quirk’s Fusion Flavours, The Jazz Drive Home with Gary King, Dinner Jazz with Helen Mayhew and Sarah Ward and The Late Lounge with Claire Anderson. Plus there are great specialist jazz, soul and blues shows from David Freeman, Bob Sinfield, Peter Young, Mike Vitti, Mike Chadwick, Fierce Angel, Robbie Vincent, Leo Green and Ralph Tee.
On the Jazz FM app you can listen live to the radio station (3G and WiFi), read our Twitter feed, as well find out about great competitions and offers from the radio station too.
Jazz FM is powered by spodtronic, http://www.spodtronic.com
What’s New in Version 1.3
Updates to support more iOS 4 features, performance optimization
Slideshow of Jazz FM for the iPhone and iPod Touch
Video of Jazz FM for the iPhone and iPod Touch
Easy to use
The app is fairly easy to figure out and use. When you launch the app, you can easily figure out that tapping on buttons will create an action.
Listen to live jazz radio stream
This is a jazz radio app so the main feature of the app is the live stream of the radio station.
Supports listeners from outside UK
I like that this app is available to listeners from outside the UK as many times, like BBC, for example, the radio stream is not available to listeners outside the country.
Contact link available
The app offers a direct email link as well as a telephone link to contact the developers and that’s a big plus for me.
I always like apps that offer a volume slider and I am happy that this app offers this.
Artist and title scroll during playback
I find that it’s very helpful to be able to view the display of the currently playing track’s artist and song title. This app will display it in the typical marquee fashion, scrolling from right to left
Background music playback supported
I like being able to play the radio stream in the background. Like!
I like free and I’m sure that you do too, although it is ad supported.
No Tutorial page
Although the app is fairly easy to figure out how to use, I still feel that at least a quick How to screen could be helpful for those who aren’t familiar with the app.
No landscape mode support
I don’t understand why the app does not support landscape mode as it could actually render better in landscape in my view and it wouldn’t make any drastic change to the overall view of the app.
No radio schedule available
I think it would be very helpful for listeners to be able to view a schedule or programs so that they could easily figure out what time to launch or listen.
no bug submit feature
Although you can send an email to the developers from within the app, there doesn’t appear to be an attachment of a log file that could lead me to think that there is a bug submit feature. I may be wrong about this so please correct me if I am wrong.
No version number info
I am not exactly certain what version I am running for this review and compared to the screenshots from the iTunes app page, it looks like what I have is an older version. However, in the updates, I don’t have it show up so I don’t know if I have the latest version or not.
No other radio stations
The app is quite simply, the radio streaming app for the Jazz FM station and if you don’t like the radio station, then you won’t like this app. It is a one trick pony but it still does what it does well. However, it would be nice to be able to view a screen of all the other radio apps that spodtronic (Liquid Air) offers.
No direct email links on the Info and Feedback screen
Although the Info and Feedback screens offer an email link, the links aren’t hyperlinked, meaning that tapping on them won’t open up to compose an email automatically. You’ll need to manually type in the email. This can and should easily be fixed because, who really wants to try to remember and type out an email address?
No song purchase link
I am a bit shocked about this but I was expecting to be able to view an Amazon mp3 page of the current song and artist when tapping on the current song but nothing happened. Perhaps the developers may want to think about ad>ding this in?
No detailed artist or song info
I would like to be able to view a screen that provides a bit more details of the currently playing song’s artist or at least on the song. So rather than have the playback stop when tapping on the jazzfm chameleon, perhaps do the album flip and show a bit of info on the artist or the song.
No record feature
I would like to be able to record the live stream of the music so that I can listen to it later.
No Sleep feature
I’d like a sleep feature please because I tend to listen to music before I go to bed. This would really make the app much better.
No alarm feature
This could be very helpful if there’s an alarm feature where the app would launch and play at a certain time, like the start of a certain radio program? Or simply use this as a regular alarm and have the app play the current stream of music or program at the set time.
No offline support
As this is mainly a radio streaming app, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t offer offline support. However, if there is a record feature in conjunction with the alarm as mentioned previously, this could easily be a radio PVR allowing you to listen to the programs in your own time without the need for an internet connection. This is another suggestion.
The app may be free but it’s ad supported. However, the main ad shows up as an ad bar at the top and doesn’t change or move like other annoying attention grabbing ads do.
There are some privacy issues involved with the app. There is a display of a map of the current listeners of spodtronic created music apps available. Click on this link and you may find yourself there on the map. Well, that’s what happens when you use “free” stuff. If privacy is important to you, you might want to try other radio apps instead.
Jazz FM for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is a cool jazz radio streaming app that offers a live Jazz FM radio station stream. The current song’s artist and title is scrolled across the screen while it’s playing. You can connect with the jazzfm team by email or contact the developers via email or phone. There’s also a button for Twitter where you can keep up to date on the station’s latest tweets. Check out Jazz FM and give it a try.
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