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Stitcher Radio - News and Talk keeps you tuned in

by Michael Ian

Android has a plethora of podcast radio apps so it can become overwhelming trying to find the perfect one. Even Google has dipped its toes in the Internet broadcasting phenomenon with their app, Listen. Unfortunately, the search giant’s offering has its own shortcomings. Featuring an intuitive layout, radio discovery app Stitcher provides a great alternative for your favorite podcasts and radio.

As with most apps, a sign-up is required. For social network eccentrics, Stitcher allows for Facebook sign-in and integration so you can easily notify (or annoy) your buddies with a stream of your latest tunes. For those wary of throwing their information to other companies, you can also log-in with a valid email account. While not totally innovative, Stitcher’s inclusion of a social connection can help you find like-minded listeners.

Upon startup, Stitcher attempts to discover your personal likes by offering you a wide array of genres. From tech to world news, I easily found myself adding stations to my favorites that piqued my interest. You can also browse by specific interest or straight from sources. The amount of talk shows on offer is huge, and there is something for any taste.

Discovering new stations is extremely easy. Aside from browsing the included channels, you can view what everyone else is listening to with the “Front Page” panel. From ‘headline news,’ ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s new’ it keeps listeners socially aware. Of course, you can always manually search for your favorite broadcasting show.

Just be aware, as Stitcher uses your wireless provider, the radio podcasts can be a bit of a data guzzler if left unchecked. Tiered data plans may feel the hurt, though music streaming isn’t as large as say, videos. Listening to a station is smooth and clear and I’ve yet to encounter any stutters.

The killer feature that keeps Google’s Listen a step above Stitcher is offline listening. While it’s nothing an update can’t fix, the omission of this can leave you stranded if you’re without a data connection. The addition of offline listening should have been a no-brainer, but Stitchers developers managed to drop the ball with this one.

Though not thoroughly intuitive, the app is semi-optimized for tablet. I say “semi” because only the “Front Page” layout has been used to take advantage of the larger screen. What originally was the home page for smartphones is easily laid to the left side of the screen and acts as a toolbar. With the larger space, more stations are shown on the screen. Unfortunately, everything else is left with the phone layout.

If you’re looking for a fresh podcast discovery app, tune in with Stitcher Radio. Though it has some missteps, the ability to discover new shows is incredibly easy.

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