RadioBee Mobile Internet Radio Player is the newest app to the scene for radio, and it’s powered by SHOUTcast Radio. Brought to you by Smart Mobile Solutions Inc., it is available for download to BlackBerry smartphones for $9.95 from the BlackBerry Sync Store.
I downloaded the app with no problems to my Curve 8330. When downloaded, a small icon of a white square with a bee appears. Clicking on it brings up the screen with a white background and green boxes. This is the player of the radioBee. By default you have the following stations listed: Texas Country; Radio Show Net; The All Sports Network; ESPN WWNB; and you are able to add to this list. The green box to your top right shows the status of the player: Stopped, Buffering; or Playing.
I went through the different channels, and while there is a large selection to choose from, most of the stations would buffer and stop. Customer service is very prompt and fast however, and they gave me some tips such as to bypass genre and type in what I was looking for to search. Which leads me to the next section, how to add the channels. Clicking the options key gives the following options: Start player; Hot Picks; Search SHOUTcast(TM…); Search other stations; Favorites; Add Station by URL; Background; Last News; Setup; About; and Close. Hot Picks are the Picks of the Month, it always remained blank for me. Search for Stations Powered By SHOUTcast(TM) leads to a list of Search For: and several genres. Favorites lists all that are on the player and those you’ve added. Add by URL allows you to add a radio if you know the real broadcasting address of the Internet radio stations. The current supported servers are SHOUTcast and Icecast. Background allows you to leave the radio playing in the background as you do other things with the phone. This is one thing I really did like, that you could even back out of the radio player, and it will continue playing, like some other radios do. About displays the version and name of the app.
Now they were quick with tech support as I could not get very many stations to play, and whether it’s my location that is in the heart of the SouthWest, whether it’s my wireless carrier, or the fact my phone is CDMA and not GSM based, who knows. But I wasn’t able to get many stations past buffering and stopped. I looked up rock, classic rock, indie rock, punk rock, Beatles, and even 70′s and 80′s music. I found two that actually played.
I really do like the idea of the app, and hope that they can improve the reception or selection of radio stations, but for now for my phone and current carrier, it just didn’t work too well. I wanted it to work, I tried everything, including contacting them for suggestions and ideas, and they were very quick to answer. With apps like Pandora, Slacker, and even Nobex Radio Companion, there’s some competition at hand, so for a price I was looking for the same reception and reliability with radio service that I have received with these three, but for some reason it didn’t meet that. I really do hope that they can improve the app and work on it, it has potential.
Pros: Basic interface, easy usage, and a wide selection of stations and genres to choose from. Can be played in the background while you answer emails, texts, etc.
Cons: Not many radio stations work past buffering or stop, so while there’s a selection, there aren’t many that actually play. The app is $9.95 to purchase.
If you have tried the radioBee, or have purchased it, please share your experience with it or your thoughts and opinions, we’d really like to know what you think.
Compatible with OS: 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7
Compatible with devices: 82xx Pearl Flip series, 83xx Curve series, 85xx Curve series, 87xx series, 88xx World series, 8900 (Curve), 9000 (Bold), 9630 (Tour), Storm