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ClickOnRadio beats Shazam at identifying songs

For a mere $1.99, this clever app streams more than a thousand local radio stations and provides the recent playlists for over 2,600 of them. It's a must-have for music fans.

Forget real-time song scanning; ClickOnRadio shows you every song that played for the last 2 hours.

How many times have you whipped out your iPhone and fired up Shazam, only to have the song end too soon to get a reading?

There's a fallback app for that: ClickOnRadio Pro, which not only streams radio in real time, but also shows real-time playlists for over 2,600 stations.

In other words, if you know the name or frequency of the station, you can easily find the song you wanted to identify. For any given station, ClickOnRadio ($1.99) shows every song that played for the past 2 hours.

(Interestingly, it lists the ads as well, which could come in handy if you missed, say, the phone number for an interesting product or service.)

Tap any listed song and you can listen to a preview (just to make sure it's the one you heard), buy it from iTunes, view the lyrics, share it with a friend, and even look up and watch relevant YouTube videos.

The app also lets you search for songs, stations, locations, and ads. If you find something you like, a tap is all it takes to add a song or station to your Favorites lists.

To use ClickOnRadio, you need to set up an account with the eponymous Web service. It's free and easy, and you can do it from within the app.

Streaming didn't work for every station, and even with a strong Wi-Fi signal, I encountered occasional hiccups. (The app cleverly uses icons to show you if a given station supports Wi-Fi, 3G, and/or EDGE).

Even so, I'm delighted with ClickOnRadio, as it lets me listen to just about every local station--unlike my previous go-to radio app, AOL Radio, which offers only a select few. And if you just want the station playlists without the streaming, ClickOnRadio Lite offers that capability free of charge.