I grew up in the era of great radio. No, not the classic radio programs of the 30s and 40s before television changed America’s living room habits. Bill Drake’s boss radio from Larry Lujack, Charlie Van Dyke, Rick Dees were the jocks that rode around in my head back in the day. Radio has struggled for a few decades to remain relevant, and thanks to the internet, or, more specifically, internet radio, radio lives.
Through the years I’ve tried a number of internet radio apps for the Mac but have yet to settle on a keeper. The latest is called Radio for Mac. It doesn’t cost much, doesn’t do much, but what it does might be all you need. Internet radio begins with a click to the Mac’s Menubar. What you’ll get is a drop down window with tools and options– play button, volume control, a list of favorites, and recent recordings.
Click the All Stations menu option and you’ll see how to find stations, and how to set up recording. The hundreds of stations listed on the app come from all over the world (country, city, description, and name).
Click to play a station, click Delete to delete from the list, and click Add New Station for drop in your own radio station (from wherever).
The Favorites tab is self explanatory. Whichever station that gets marked as a Favorite shows up in the Menubar pop-down window. Radio stations can be recorded as an audio file on your Mac, too– just click the red Record button (works acceptably well as long as the streaming file format is MP3, AAC, WMA). Recorded programs can be shared by exporting an MP3 file.
Here’s the problem with Radio. When it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t, well, nothing happens when it does not work. On my main Mac Radio works perfectly and I could not complain. On my older MacBook, which I take with me when I travel, Radio is visible, but sometimes works and often not (both Macs running latest versions of OS X Yosemite).
Mac App Store reviewers have noted the Jekyll and Hyde personality, too. It’s five stars or one star. So, if Radio works for you, then you’ll love it. If not, well, caveat emptor. This is exactly why Mac App Store apps need a free or try-before-you-buy version.