Apple is getting into the mix with iTunes Radio, a hybrid app with features from Pandora and Spotify, but with an option to buy a song with a click. If you’d rather not wait for iTunes Radio, but you’d like to have access to a few thousand internet radio stations (without the option to buy a song), there’s the new Radio app for the Mac.
Why no one else came up with the name radio is remarkable in and of itself, but Radio blends just a few of the best features in internet radio apps.
For example, you can play nearly any streaming radio station that uses MP3, AAC, WMA, or even VBR. Radio comes with a library of a few thousand stations but you can add your own.
Also cool is that Radio records internet radio shows so you can play them back at your leisure, export them as MP3 files, and do it all right from controls in the Menubar.
You won’t be tempted by a Buy button to buy a song you hear, so you’re likely to save money by using Radio rather than iTunes Radio. Oh, one more thing. Radio also drops the song title into the Notification Center.
What’s missing? A few things.
While recording is useful, there’s nothing that resembles Album Art in iTunes. It’s just whatever station you’ve selected. Audio volume is controlled from the Menubar drop down, as are Preferences. That’s it. Radio is simple and it works and it’s exactly the kind of internet radio that Apple doesn’t want you to have.