Review: iWire! Broadcast 1.3

More stations than you can imagine (June 1st, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: East Bay Technology

Price: MSRP: $24.00 US Download

The Good

  • Amazing number and variety of radio shows to choose. Easy to use.

The Bad

  • Streams offered in multiple data rates are listed separately. Buttons look amateurish. Can't choose preferred application for streaming in preferences. No simple link to upgrade product when an update is released, old product just quits.

With the growing popularity of broadband Internet, we're seeing a boom of streaming online content. Nation-wide stations to small town and college stations offer their broadcasts through their web sites and it is rather hard to keep track of all of them. Apple's iTunes offers a selection, but it's far from complete. East Bay Technology offers a more complete package of online streams with iWire! Broadcast.

Stream the Net with Ease

iWire! Broadcast is simply an audio browser that connects you with the world through radio shows, educational broadcasts and music. This downloadable product is simply dragged into the Application folder to install. No manual is provided, but there are instructions on the web site which you probably won't need. When launched, iWire! Broadcast scans the Net, then serves up a list with all available streams. You can tell it how often to search for programming in the Preferences. There are hundreds of streams to chose from, so everybody should be able to find their favorites. Those streams are subdivided by using the genre selector menu, which lists the number of stations found on top of the main window. There are settings for twenty-two kinds of radio, including classical, talk, sports, rock, and metal. A minor fly in the soup is the fact that some streams are offered in multiple data rates and it would make choosing easier if they could be nested as one listing instead of cluttering up the stations window. It would make the application so much easier to use.

Application Controls

The play controls are found in the application window, and they are similar to the standalone media applications that form the core of this application. Most people are familiar with RealPlayer, QuickTime and Media Player so the learning curve is negligible. Next to the play window are extra stop and play buttons together with a button to rescan and a very useful add to favorites button. Most streams initiate quickly and play smoothly without interruptions. Sometimes a stream won't load but, iWire! Broadcast can't really be blamed for that because it relies on the external media players for the actual tuning.

Listen to your Heart's Content

All in all iWire! Broadcast is a simple and very effective application that surely will please music and radio lovers all over the world. It offers a far bigger selection then iTunes and that justifies the price of this application. With a few extra features such as station nesting this could be a real gem.

by Maarten Delanghe and Ilene Hoffman


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