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Rock around the block with iHeartRadio

by Ian Black

For me, Internet radio and mobile phones go together like peanut butter and jelly. I've seen Internet-ready clock radios, but they never made much sense to me because a computer or laptop, also able to cruise tunes on the Web, was always nearby. But, when I'm out and about, there's nothing better than listening to music from a far-off station over your phone. iHeartRadio is a handy Android app that lets you take it on the road, so it's worth the download.

Launch iHeartRadio, and you see a list of categories of Internet radio stations – including a breakdown of stations based on American cities, music genres, on-air personalities and stations in your area. Drill down into the list, and you'll soon be listening to music of your choice. Most stations feature album art, and some offer lyrics for the currently playing song. In my testing on a Nexus One, the music played smoothly, with very few hiccups.

You can bookmark stations, and view and browse them later. And, you can tag specific songs, and view the list later – but you can't play individual songs on demand. A "randomizer" lets you shuffle to a new station and hopefully a new musical discovery.

What's not to love? Well, a couple of things. I saw some similarity in listings between cities – making me wonder how local they really were. The main menu offers featured videos, but I could never get them to play properly. Finally, I enjoy listening to international stations over my computer but IHeartRadio seems U.S.-centric. Did these faults ruin my experience? No way. I say check it out.