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Review: FlyCast Mobile

September 20, 2008
Overview This powerful radio app lets you search for stations with an artist name or keyword, or find podcasts on demand from an extensive list of providers that includes the BBC, CNN, ESPN and PBS. It’s no Pandora, but it does bring you internet radio in a flexible, effective and free package that can even play music in the background while you use other phone functions.


While internet radio stations and podcasts can be found using a web search, the free FlyCast Mobile app offers a very user-friendly interface for easily locating good content and then buffering extended amounts of a stream to decrease interruptions and conserve battery life. Users can search for stations that play specific artists, look up streams by keyword, or by searching Shoutcast stations, so if you want a break from western music and feel like getting your groove on to some Bollywood hits, change is only a search away.

Browsing for music is flexible and easy with extensive lists of radio stations and genres that are organized by type and includes lists for local area stations, on-demand radio, or broadcasts more suitable for 3G or Edge connections.

While finding music is easy with FlyCast, playback is also made convenient as users can opt to turn off the battery-conserving, extended-buffering “quick play” option, instead prompting the app to launch the desired audio stream through the Safari web browser and allowing for the simultaneous use of other phone options. If you feel like checking your calendar, writing an SMS, taking a photo or reading your email while you listen to a NerdTV podcast, this option makes it possible. Any Apple application can be launched, although apps from the App Store will not allow the FlyCast background music (the only alternate music option for these apps is from your phone’s iPod). FlyCast will also link you to a song’s iTunes store page, so you can easily locate it and make a purchase. The app also has a built-in web browser, in case you decide to leave “quick play” on, but still want to read up on the latest celebrity gossip or Huffington Post rant while you listen to an on-demand stream from The O’Reilly Factor (quite a combo, if you ask me) although the browser is very basic and unstable. Lastly, phone call interruptions aren’t a problem for the app, or for streams running through Safari.


While Pandora is probably the best choice for streaming music, this app is an excellent alternative for radio, especially on-demand podcasts from your favorite providers. It did crash a few times and I experienced some connectivity problems over a 3G connection, but overall FlyCast Mobile was a very effective app that is free and definitely worthy of attention. A couple criticisms: while the integration of a built-in web browser was a decent idea, it was probably the weakest component of the app and was virtually useless; for some reason the volume control bar in the app did not coordinate with the iPhone's volume control, as is the case in other apps (this means the volumes can be controlled separately through the system and through the app). The search option worked well and the lists of streams to browse and choose from were extensive. Overall, this is a good app that has some minor problems, but should improve with updates.


FlyCast Mobile is a great option for streaming a variety of audio options to your iPhone. It’s free, functional and worth a spot on your SpringBoard.

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