BlackBerry App of the Week: Nobex Radio

By on November 28, 2011
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Great radio, anytime, anywhere.

Good: Huge variety of genres and channels to pick from; Doesn't require attached earphones as an antenna as with FM Radio
Bad: Needs 3G to work without skipping; Eats bandwidth and battery life
Price: AED Free
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

I use my MP3 player all the time, when I’m at the mall, at the gym and especially when driving. After a while I got bored of listening to the same songs over and over so I started listening to the radio. Sadly the variety of music and channels here is limited and the radio stations like to play mainstream music which is usually not my thing. That’s where the Nobex Radio app for Blackberry comes in.

Part of the slew of free apps RIM is giving away to its loyal customers, Nobex Radio is an app that streams radio stations from around the world onto your Blackberry. When you start the app you simply choose whether you want Music, Talk or Sports radio stations to listen to. I first tried the music stations where you can choose your desired genre from the 80s to R&B, Rock, Metal, Salsa, Easy listening, Bollywood and even Classical music. After choosing the genre you get a list of available radio stations from around the world. Most of the stations I found are from the US or UK, but that’s because of the genres I chose. Once you’ve chosen a station you have to wait for it to initialize and create a buffer and that depends on your reception and data speeds. You can also choose whether the audio output is automatic or specific such as from the speaker or the earphones. Once connected you can choose to stop the music at anytime, add the channel to your favorites or share it via text message, Facebook, Twitter, BBM and even email.

I found the variety of music channels quite reasonable and the sound quality was pretty good especially when connected to a decent pair of earphones or a speaker system. However, while on the move I found you need 3G in order to ensure the music doesn’t skip. At home 2G/Edge seemed adequate enough to stream from but not while in the car. The downside to all this is that constant usage drains your batteries real quick especially with 3G so I recommend investing in a car charger. The other caveat is that it uses your bandwidth so it may not be suited to users who have just opted for the Etisalat and Du social data plans. One other thing to note is that some radio stations just will not work, I could not get any stations from Boston to work but didn’t have any problem with stations in the UK.

The Nobex Radio app is an excellent app to use while in your car going from city to city or emirate to emirate where your normal radio station might be out of range. There are a large number of stations to choose from and the audio quality is pretty good however it will drain your battery and take its toll on your data plan. Overall its a useful app to have while on a trip or if you’re stuck at work or at home and don’t have a radio with you. The variety of choices means there’s bound to be a channel to suit everyone’s tastes and best of all it is free until the end of December, so grab it while you can!

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