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TuneIn Radio for iOS review: TuneIn isn't perfect, but it's pretty close

Despite some performance bugs,TuneIn Radio is near-perfect for streaming AM/FM and Internet radio stations.

Jason Parker Senior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Jason Parker
2 min read

Editors' note, July 8, 2015: See CNET's guide to Internet radio services for a more up-to-date evaluation of this service, along with an analysis of how it compares to competitors.

TuneIn Radio (iOS)

TuneIn Radio for iOS

The Good

<b>TuneIn Radio</b> lets you listen to more than 50,000 radio stations, both local and international. You can also just search by genre to get the exact type of music you like.

The Bad

Performance bugs sometimes affect track and station info.

The Bottom Line

TuneIn Radio is one of the best streaming-radio apps available for when you want to listen to local or national radio. Most will be able to get by with the free version, but for DVR-like recording capabilities in the Pro version, you'll need to decide just how much you use the app.

TuneIn Radio has an intuitive interface that makes it a snap to listen to streaming radio while you're on the move. It offers more than 50,000 stations and 120,000 shows from around the globe, plus, with the help of your iPhone's GPS, it can even serve up all of your local favorites.

Upon launch, TuneIn lets you drill down to exactly what you want to listen to. You can browse local radio, recommended stations, stations for different languages, and even podcasts. You can also choose from categories like sports or talk radio.

Like other radio-streaming apps, TuneIn gives you an enormous list of music genres to choose from, each with a long list of options from around the world, with local choices at the top.

Once you find a few stations you like, you can easily add them to your preset list, right from the station page. In addition, the station page gives you album art for the current song and the option to share via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. In some cases, you may also find a shopping cart icon that brings you to the MP3 or album listing on Amazon.com.

TuneIn Radio is a snap to navigate (pictures)

See all photos

If you want to listen in your car, TuneIn Radio has a Car Mode that gives you big buttons to quickly switch stations while on the go. The only curious feature here is the ability to search -- I'm not sure you want to be typing in search terms while driving.

For those who are a bit more serious about their streaming media, an upgrade to TuneIn Pro ($4.99) might be worthwhile. The Pro version adds some nifty DVR-like features, so you can pause, rewind, and even record live radio. TuneIn Radio keeps all your recordings in a special section so you can listen to recorded favorites later.

Finally, you may notice that some stations are marked "Restricted by Broadcasters," which means they're not available for streaming through TuneIn. What's nice is that if you happen to click on one of these, TuneIn will automatically find and connect you to a similar station, which is often just as good.

In my testing, I did notice occasional bugs with track and station info. I'm not sure if that's because certain stations stop transmitting or if it was just the app, but it's something to look out for.

Still, with an easy-to-use interface, a huge catalog of stations, and the ability to record live broadcasts (with the $4.99 upgrade to Pro), TuneIn Radio is definitely a solid streaming-radio app. If you want to listen to live local or national radio, this is one of the best free apps for the job.

TuneIn Radio (iOS)

TuneIn Radio for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 8Interface 9Performance 8