With internet speeds steadily increasing, the big thing these days is on-line content streaming. There are a good number of HTML5 based websites and audio streaming apps out there that you can use to play content on your iPhone and iPod touch. At this juncture I thought it would be good to let you know what I’ve come across on my cyber travels and maybe we can all compare notes in the discussion thread to see if there’s any more hot apps or great sites out there that anyone knows about.
Hit the jump to read more and/or leave a comment to discuss.
Unfortunately, despite the explosive force of globalisation, streaming content providers are ham-stringed by antiquated copyright laws and country specific legislation. This means that a lot of the streaming content available out there is country specific and, while in specific cases there is sometimes a simple way of getting around this limitation, the only really effective way to get access to many international streams is to set up or pay for subscription to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in the country where the content you want is being broadcast.
Anyway, without further ado here’s my list of sites and apps I have come across that you may or may not know of . N.b. for facilitated access to the internet sites listed below you may want to put an icon on your Springboard using the ‘Add to Home Screen’ option within.
Streaming TV & Video:
BBC iPlayer (Web, free) [Stu's Pick] – incorporating a hand picked selection of BBC TV programs from the last 7 days with a channel guide and BBC radio. UK only.
TVCatchUp (Web, free) [Stu's Pick] – Provides real time streaming of UK TV channels, though quality and speed can be an issue if you don’t have a great connection. UK only and requires free registration.
ABC.com (Web, free) – watch ABC’s selection of prime US content including serials such as Lost, Private Practics, Scrubs and a bunch of other less interesting content. US only.
NBC.com (Web, free) – NBC shows including Heroes, Jay Leno, The Office (US), Saturday Night Live etc. and a bunch of their classic shows from the past (e.g. Buck Rogers Miami Vice, Magnum P.I.). US only.
On Demand Music
Spotify (App Store, free) – The UK’s preeminent music streaming site. Available only in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France & Spain due to licensing subscriptions. A premium subscription (€9.99 pcm) is required for the App Store app to work.
Rhapsody (App Store, free) – Access over 9 million full length songs. Requires an active Rhapsody Go subscription ($14.99 pcm) or trial to work. US only.
Grooveshark (Cydia, free) [Stu's Pick] – As Apple have repeatedly rejected their app from the App Store, Grooveshark went underground and released on Cydia for use by the jailbroken masses. You’ll need a Grooveshark subscription to get it to work but it’s very reasonable at $3 pcm or $30 pa. The more canny jailbreakers will probably be delving in the /var/tmp folder early on and one presumes this may cause Grooveshark some issues going forward. Available globally w/o restriction.
Pandora (App Store, free) [Stu's Pick] – The number one free content music streaming app in the US that learns from your music preferences to provide a stream of tracks that you may not know and may actually enjoy. Ad supported and US only due to restrictions.
Slacker Radio (App Store, Free) – Very similar set up to Pandora but the algorithms to choose music based on preferences don’t appear to be as ‘intelligent’, though Slacker’s interface is definitely more appealing. Visual and audio ad supported unless you purchase subscription ($19.88 for 4 months, $47.99 for 12 months). Free use requires free subscription. Restricted to US only.
WunderRadio (App Store; $6.99) [Stu's Pick]- If you enjoy radio then this app needs to be on your springboard. It provides a wide band of global radio streams with multiple bit rates, great functionality and it allows you to surf the web in-app while you are listening. Unrestricted global access.
Public Radio (App Store, Free) – Streaming internet public radio stations & a selection of on-demand programs. All US based stations but the app works globally.
Internet Radio Box (App Store, on sale $0.99)[Stu's pick] – At the current sale price of $0.99 it’s a must have. If you feel you can’t stump up seven bucks for WunderRadio then this is your next best bet – it may even be better value for moneyat the full price of $2.99 to be honest though I haven’t yet spent enough hours with it to fully vouch this fact. Global streaming radio that works in most countries with lots of functionality and a web browser to boot.