Under The Microscope

Radioshift Touch Is Now Available!

Radioshift Touch IconLadies and gents, we’re very pleased to unveil our first new application in over a year, as well as our very first iPhone application. Today, we’ve released Radioshift Touch on the iPhone and iPod Touch platform.

Radioshift Touch puts the world of internet radio in the palm of your hand. With Radioshift Touch, you can listen to internet radio streams anywhere you like, over Wifi, EDGE, and 3G. We’ve got support for thousands of streams, and the built-in guide makes it easy to find old favorites and great new stations as well. Best of all, Radioshift Touch’s exclusive SmartStream feature automatically chooses the best quality stream for your network connection, giving you the smoothest audio quality possible.

We’ve focused exclusively on listening to live streams with Radioshift Touch. Users of Radioshift on the Mac will be familiar with the powerful radio listings found in Radioshift Touch, as both applications are powered by our friends and partners at RadioTime. However, while Radioshift and Radioshift Touch share a common name and ancestry, they’re fully independent of one another. We’ll be considering ideas to get the two working together in interesting ways, but they were developed, and will continue to grow, as two distinct products.

Radioshift Touch is aimed squarely at listening to great live content on the iPhone. So whether you’re at home or driving cross-country, Radioshift Touch will put thousands of internet radio streams at your fingertips. Check out Radioshift Touch by visiting the Radioshift Touch webpage and purchase it right through the iPhone App Store.

27 Responses to “Radioshift Touch Is Now Available!”

  1. Doc Searls says:

    Can you add streams of your own choosing, for example by entering an IP address somewhere?

  2. William Hamilton says:

    After checking out Radioshift I had great hopes for Radioshift touch. I’m hoping more streaming stations will be added. In particular I’m interested in CBC across Canada.
    Thanks for an interesting product.

  3. Mats Lindeberg says:

    Looks great. Now, please add CBC One 91.5 in Ottawa, Canada.

  4. Xavier says:

    There are radio app priced at 10% the price of this one that does a decent job. Sorry guys, I’m not giving away $10 to check if your app is 10 times better…

  5. Nick Night says:

    I’m hopeful that the Touch version will actually work, unlike the desktop version, which still can’t play Windows Media streams correctly.

  6. Craig Kuehne says:

    I was wondering if you could post on here what sets this app apart from the other radio streaming apps available? I imagine the price is justified, as it is with all of your desktop apps.

    Like, how does it compare to AOL Radio’s free app, or FStream, which is also free and also allows for the recording of radio streams?

    I’m not complaining about the price, I just want to know what features this one has that the others do not

    Thank you for your time.

  7. Patrick Henry says:

    But it doesn’t play in the background. Release it on Cydia to play in the background.

  8. Paul Kafasis says:

    Doc Searls: Right now, this isn’t possible, but it’s something we want to enable in the future.

    P.S. The Cluetrain Manifesto is fantastic.

    P.P.S. Your URL needs a .law in it, it seems

    William Hamilton, Mats Lindeberg: The issue with station availability is that Radioshift Touch supports only MP3 streams at this time. Please see this link for more details:


    Xavier: That’s really just fine. You may not be willing to pay a reasonable price for an application, but we’re hopeful others will be. $0.99 is simply not a sustainable price for an application of this magnitude.

    Nick Night: If you’re having problems with Windows Media playback on the Mac side, you should contact us for support. Using the Flip4Mac plugin, thousands of streams play just fine.

    But as noted above, Radioshift Touch supports only MP3 streams at this time.

    Craig Kuehne: That’s a perfectly fair question. I certainly haven’t used all the other radio apps out there, and this is precisely why we wish we had trials in the App Store – we want you to be able to decide if the software is worth your money, not us.

    I think the first thing I’d say is that we really focused on the design of Radioshift Touch. Some of the players are decent, but others really are sub-par. We wanted to put out a player that was both easy to use and nice to look at. I think we succeeded.

    The listings in Radioshift Touch are quite powerful. There are thousands of streams available, from all over the world. Radioshift Touch also works to use the best available stream for your bandwidth.

    Finally, reliability was a top priority. Of the radio apps I have used, most crashed frequently. There seems to be a bit of a lower standard for reliability and design on the iPhone, but we didn’t approach the app that way.

    Patrick Henry: Indeed it doesn’t. As you likely know, this is an Apple limitation. However, releasing on Cydia is not a particularly appealing option to us, as a business. We’re hoping background audio playback will be possible in the future.

  9. Mark Grimes says:

    Can you explain the mp3 streaming limitation you have proclaimed as an iphone limitation while WunderRadio supports mms, asx, m3d and pls?

  10. Josh says:

    I gotta get this – loved your apps from day one, started using Radioshift (desktop) again after the latest build which is brilliant.

    Hey I have a question – I’m in New Zealand if I timeshift KCRW Morning becomes Eclectic 6am-9am US time will it record using my macs clock which is NZ time or 6am – 9am ? because my recordings don’t seem to be MBE? should i make my computers time USA or can it stay NZ?

    hey seeya I’m off to the app store for RAdioshift, but if anyone can help re above thanks.

  11. rg says:

    As with nearly all the other radio apps, this one shafts UK users with the 1.0 release. There is almost no content at all for UK listeners, none of the BBC except the world service. Compare this to WunderRadio which has plenty. No doubt, like the other radio apps, it will be fixed in a subsequent release. But it’s terrible PR for those paying £5.99 for essentially nothing in the immediate term. If it is possible, I suggest you remove it from the UK store until it’s out of ‘UK-alpha’ stage.

  12. marc in pdx says:

    how about giving desktop radioshift owners a discount code for the touch/ipone version?

  13. ejp says:

    I have to agree with rg. Though as with all the other Rogue Amoeba Apps, I bought it anyway! but here in the UK it is currently pretty useless. Roll on BBC finally giving up on Real!

  14. ejp says:

    actually, having looked at Wunderadio, I see that it is capable of streaming BBC stuff so why doesnt radioshift?

  15. Aaron says:

    As a frequent NPR listener, I enjoy the free Public Radio Tuner, which allows me to listen to KCRW (world’s greatest station) for free. I also like the concepts and use of Pandora and Last.fm (also free.) Since I can only listen to one stream at a time, I don’t get the $9.99 price for this app. Perhaps if you’d considered a price point like $5.99 to be competitive with Tuner Internet Radio, I might have purchased. Keep in mind that iTunes itself also offers a lot of choices (for free.) So, check out your competitors and keep up the innovation!

  16. Ag says:

    Really nice app!! I’d like to see a tagging functionality for the songs like in HD radio. Do you plan such thing?

  17. Gary says:

    I second the motion for a registered Radioshift owner’s discount on the iPhone version. That would likely push me to try it…although I admit I’m thinking about trying it anyway! Been burned on several 9.99 apps, so that price point makes me wince a little nowadays. Be nice if Rogue would toss out a free, limited version to try.

  18. Paul Kafasis says:

    Mark Grimes: The iPhone, by default, doesn’t provide any way to play other audio formats. To get additional functionality requires having additional software (to handle the stream types), built in to each individual application.

    On the Mac, you can install a QuickTime plugin (like Flip4Mac) and get Windows Media playback in anything using QuickTime. That’s not possible on the iPhone.

    At this time, Radioshift Touch supports just MP3 streams. We’ll see what happens in the future, with supporting other formats. Unfortunately, neither Windows Media Audio nor RealAudio are open formats, making them more difficult to support.

    Josh: Thanks for the praise and support! All times shown in Radioshift for Mac are local – the time zone adjustments have been made for you. So if a program is broadcast from Point A at 10 PM (their local time) and you’re 5 hours behind, at Point B, it will start recording at 5 PM (your local time). Make sense? Basically, you shouldn’t even need to adjust anything at all.

    If you need more assistance, just contact support directly for more rapid help!

    rg: “Shafts” implies this is done intentionally, and that couldn’t be more wrong. We absolutely want to delight all our users, in the US and abroad. The issue here is that the BBC provides streams in only Real and Windows Media formats, and we can’t tune those currently. There’s nothing intentionally vindictive or even dismissive here – we simply support MP3 stream for now, and that’s all.

    Further, this is why we provide the station browser (and would love to provide a free trial as well), so you can see what’s up. As far as removing it from the UK store, however, I disagree with that idea fully. While the amount of UK specific content may not be what you’d like, there are still thousands of streams from around the world. Preventing UK listeners from being able to tune in to stations from America, South Africa, or anywhere else doesn’t accomplish anything.

    marc in pdx: I’d absolutely love to provide a discount for all our users, particularly those who own Radioshift for Mac. Unfortunately, Apple has no support for coupons or discounts. They control the exclusive distribution method, meaning we can’t sell the software to you any other way, and they don’t provide us with a mechanism for discounts. If this costs us some sales, it means everyone is losing, even Apple.

    ejp: Like I said above, the issue is simply one of stream formats. Wunder Radio appears to support Windows media streams, while we currently do not. We’ll see what happens in the future there, but it’s not something that can just be instantly enabled.

    Aaron: As I noted above, Free or $0.99 is just not sustainable. We believe $9.99 is a very fair price, though it may be higher than what some competitors charge. We’d prefer to have a sustainable price that can lead to many future updates than to leave you stuck with a piece of software that never gets updated.

    As we add more functionality over time, perhaps that price point will seem worth it to you as well.

    Ag: Thanks for the praise! I’m not quite sure I follow – what exactly are you looking for? My experience with HD Radio is fairly limited.

    Gary: Believe me, we really do want to offer this, but our hands are tied by Apple (see above).

    As for a free trial version, this too is quite difficult (though not impossible) under Apple’s rules. We’ll see what happens there.

  19. Gary says:

    Paul – Understandable. Bought RST this morning anyway! :-)

  20. roadster says:

    I have come across a number of stations that emanate from Live365 which tell me that I need register at the site to receive them. I am already a user of the site but I cannot seem to reconcile that fact between radioshift and Live365. Who is playing the devil here? After all, I’ve paid them as a VIP and I’ve paid for your app (which a do enjoy). I should be able to listen those stations, preferably without any commercial interruption.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Like roadster, I came across some “registration-only” channels, though I didn’t pursue the matter. That’s kind of a drag, I’d rather not see those listed, though I’ve come across the same problem (and a few dead links in general) in other apps, including (IIRC) iTune’s radio station presets.

    It’s a real bummer you can’t run in the background, but obviously, that’s on apple.

    I appreciate that you’re sticking to the rules for MP3 feeds only, there’s plenty to choose from and that’s a good open format, Real and WMA are a pain and not technically supported and people should be complaining to the stations to broadcast in an open format, not to you guys, how is Real even still in business? I’d rather have an app that works reliably than one that sorta-maybe plays other formats sometimes, or maybe crashes instead.

    My only real complaint is that the description on the App Store claims it works on the Edge network, and in my experience, it really doesn’t at all. It’s understandable that Edge can’t handle the data, but the app store description implies that it does. Maybe it works better for others, but even with full bars on Edge, I get nothing.

    Otherwise, it’s really a great product, great, simple interface, good sound, and it works great on 3G and WiFi. Nice job.

  22. Paul Kafasis says:

    roadster: Can you provide a specific stream or two you’re seeing this with? We’d love to get you listening to any and all stations you like, but when Live365 or anyone adds something (like password-protection) onto a stream, it’s additional work for us to support it, provided they’ll allow it at all.

    Anonymous: Indeed, background running is something Apple needs to provide other audio apps, not just iPod. I’m not holding my breath, however.

    RealAudio is pretty rare to find, especially on its own. WMA is far more common, which is unfortunate. A whole lot of public radio streams around the US just added MP3 streams for iPhone compatibility, and we may see more of this over time.

    As for EDGE, I’ve tested the application extensively with my first generation iPhone, and it’s worked quite well. It’s worth noting that full bars are an indication of signal on the voice network, not the data network. As well, EDGE can vary in speed greatly, depending on location. EDGE is certainly capable of handling 64 kbps or lower streams, if not higher, and many, many stations offer streams at those levels.

  23. roadster says:

    The first that come to mind are Imagination Avenue Radio, Max Broadway Radio, and Rolling Stones Radio are three that I know I ran into this with but there were others.

  24. roadster says:

    Oh, and if the question should arise, yes, I did try logging off the site from my computer just to see if I was being blocked from attempting a dual stream from a single user name.

  25. Mark Grimes says:

    Noticed a big difference in like streams from different apps. KROQ sounds like it’s playing out of a tincan on RadioShift (almost like it is getting low bitrate even while on wifi) compared to the comparable stream on Wunder Radio. I’m sure there are other examples, but this one is repeatable and seems as if only a single stream is available. Pretty easy to successively demonstrate KROQ between the two apps and note a huge difference in sound quality.

  26. Paul Kafasis says:

    roadster: I’ve reported these, and a couple others, to RadioTime (the providers of the Guide). You can always do the same, and we encourage it.

    Mark Grimes: Most likely, each app is using a different stream. Radioshift Touch is using the MP3 stream (or one of them) for any and all stations, while WunderRadio may be using another streaming format. Audio playback of the same stream in the same format will always sound identical.

  27. roadster says:

    I’ve yet to get Imagine Ave and now I can’t get Cinemix, House of Blues, and a couple of others I was getting. I get the same message regardless of the network or the time of day….”There was a problem contacting the radio server.” The only stations I can get pretty much without fail are AOL originated. There are others but I am disturbed by the number of times I get this message, especially on stations set at favorites since I apparently got them before or I’d not have saved them. Did I miss any updates?

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