I hate to say it, but I was never a big fan of the selection of the radio station back in my home town. There was probably one station that I actually liked. Everybody has a favourite station, but I think it was the lack of variety that made me feel as though I had to choose. I used to see what I could listen to online, and found a station in Vancouver that I liked, the Beat 94.5. After moving across the country a few years ago to the West Coast, I could then access it much more easily. Now of course I want to have even greater access, but without carrying too many devices. I want to be able to go out for a walk or jog and only have to carry my BlackBerry. Of course we all know about the many radio applications that are available.
While listening to the Beat, I learned of another option, the CHUM Radio application. It’s an interesting twist, as you have access to a selection of CHUM Radio stations, rather than being presented with potentially thousands of stations from around the world. Let’s tune in shall we?
The CHUM Radio application was developed by StreamTheWorld. The company has designed similar applications for Corus Entertainment, Acadia Broadcasting Ltd, CBS Radio and Acir Radio (to name a few). CHUM is a division of CTVglobemedia; a Canadian media company. The application is currently in version 1.1, with a file size of just under 2 MB (hefty). BlackBerry App World has the following devices listed as compatible:
Curve Series (83xx, 85xx, 89xx)
Bold (9000 & 9700)
What I like about this application is its simplicity. The options and settings are quite limited, so users won’t be bogged down and can concentrate on the music. If someone wants quick access to a specific station, or a family of stations, this type of application may be the best bet over other ones. Upon opening the application, a list of CHUM radio stations are presented. You will see their logo, slogan, name, frequency, location and genre. This list can be sorted by name, by city, by genre, or by proximity to you (near me). The Near Me option didn’t work at all, as it displayed a Nova Scotia station first (maybe it thought I was Bla1ze), followed by Calgary, London, then Vancouver. You do have the option to set a specific station as your default.
Most of the stations have a stylized page in the application, other simply share the apps wallpaper. Listening to music is as simple as hitting Play from the menu. From there, you only had to wait 5 to 10 seconds for the music to play. I estimated that streaming through the CHUM Radio app was about 20 seconds behind the actual station. The CHUM Radio app makes use of AAC + format to deliver an impressive sound that is continuous.
Available options vary by each station. Some offer a list of the last 10 played songs right from the menu. If you click on the Links option, you will see a selection of the stations pages you can visit via browser. Again, some stations may offer different links. You may see links to Shows, Events and Schedule for one station and Top 20, Gallery and Podcasts for another.
Sometimes all you need is to be able to listen to your favourite tunes. Keep it simple and keep it accessible. The CHUM Radio app would be perfect… if the Near Me option would work. It provides quick access to its various stations and their respective links. If you don’t see your station listed, you should check out StreamTheWorld to see if it’s supported. The CHUM Radio app is free and is available from BlackBerry App World.