While we’re all expecting good things from the radio side of Apple Music, it’s going to be a curated experience, meaning we’ll get the radio stations Apple chooses to offer. If it doesn’t cover all of our favorite stations, we’re going to need another radio app to plug the gap.
For listening on the move, the free SwipeRadio iOS app is a delightfully minimalist way to do it. Developer Dataphase has now taken the same approach on the Mac, with Home Radio. The philosophy is the same: no bells, no whistles, just the radio stations you want to listen to in an extremely lightweight app.
I’ve been trying it out, and if you want to do the same, developer Noam Gordon is kindly making it free for today only (22 June) especially for 9to5Mac readers …
Home Radio does one thing, and one thing only: stream Internet radio stations to your Mac. There are no visuals, no discovery features – nothing to tell you what’s trending, no suggested stations, no social features. Type the name of the radio station you want into the search box and then click the station to play it.
There’s exactly one extra function: you can, of course, favorite stations once you find them. Those stations then appear at the top of the app. And that’s it: preferences are limited to whether or not you want the app in your menu bar, for easy pause/play.
I said there are no discovery features. You could in principle search for keywords like genres, but there you hit the one downside of the app: not all of the streams work. Every station I specifically searched for did, but not ones found by genre searches – suggesting that the database has a reasonable amount of outdated entries. So view this as an app designed solely to listen to your existing preferred stations.
I’m on a fast net connection, but did test it on a slow one, and stations still started playing within 1-2 seconds, with no mid-play buffering.
There’s really nothing else to say about an app this basic. It does what it says it does, and does it well. I’d consider it good value for a one-off $4.99, but if you grab it today, it won’t cost you a penny.
Home Radio is usually a $4.99 download from the Mac App Store. On Monday 22 June only, it is free.