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Wunder Radio review

5 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
3.99
inc VAT

We review Wunder Radio, a web radio app that gives you access to over 30,000 stations.

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Specifications

One of the great oversights of the iPhone's feature list up to this point has been an FM tuner, but don't worry because the handset can actually go one step further thanks to Wunder Radio.

The wonderfully named app does indeed come from Germany but it offers you a truly global array of music stations to listen to.

In simple terms Wunder Radio is a web radio client that supports virtually all streaming formats including ASX, M3U, PLS and RTSP. Consequently a near limitless array of stations is available (Wunder Radio lists 30,000+) including all BBC radio broadcasts - giving you access to live sports commentaries, international and local news, music and current affairs. More eclectically, the likes of Sirius radio and even some police scanners are just a search away.

Favourite stations can be neatly bookmarked while upgrades to the app since it was first launched have added GPS to generate lists of local stations and Safari web browser integration - so surfing can be done inside the app, and tweets can even be posted to your Twitter profile.

Shortfalls in Wunder Radio largely come down to limitations of the iPhone itself. Namely the lack of handset multitasking means when you exit the app the stream is forced to stop. This is also something that Apple's much promoted push notification system will do little to help. That said, Wunder Radio does its best and will continue to play when the screen is locked so it is easy to pocket your iPhone and continue to enjoy your broadcast.

Another caveat that comes from the iPhone itself is how Wunder Radio affects battery life. Surfing over Wi-Fi will dissipate a full charge in around 6 hours while 3G (some streams can be maintained over EDGE since low quality settings are active) will typically cut this to less than 5 hours. So if web radio does appeal then you best keep a charger handy.

Finally, how well Wunder Radio performs depends largely on the quality of signal available to you. Most streams are fairly reliable but if you live or work in a poor signal area and have limited access to Wi-Fi you won't be getting the best from the service.

Despite all this Wunder Radio is a revelation. It has collected numerous awards since it first appeared and the latest version (1.7) is the best to date. One of the few apps which not only enhances your iPhone but adds an entirely new level of functionality, it comes heartily recommended.

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