Review: Nobex Radio Companion

By Ryan Blundell on 19 Nov 2008 11:03 am EST
Nobex Radio Companion

Are you ready to rock?! I said...ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!?! Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve seen it all over the internet, you saw it at the BlackBerry Developer Conference (and win the BlackBerry Cool 15), you’ve probably even seen it on a fellow abuser’s BlackBerry. Now put your hands together and welcome to the stage…Nobex Radio Companion!

Music is my life. That being said, this also means that, like my life, music never rests. There’s always something different, good or bad, right around the corner. Like it or not, I have to admit my BlackBerry hasn’t always been up-to-date, music wise. Sure, I use it as an MP3 player, but if I hear a song on the radio that I like, I have to wait until I go home, search and download it. Raise your hands if you’ve recorded something you like as a voice note for reference.

Nobex Radio Companion offers, both radio streaming and song detail retrieval. The best part is that, for a limited time, radio streaming is being offered free!! Read on because, after the jump, we’re gonna rock this joint!

See what’s playing, hear what’s playing, get what’s playing!

Nobex is powered by Mediaguide, “a provider of airplay data drawn from terrestrial and internet radio, as well as major peer-to-peer networks.” Set up of Nobex is a breeze! An email address, to which requested information will be sent to, is required at the beginning. I’ll elaborate on this later on. Nobex will automatically display your selected message service email settings as a possible email account (in my case it will display my Gmail account).

Nobex Radio Companion can access the playlist of 2700 radio stations found in the United States. I’m hoping that they will expand their horizons and hit some stations in the Great White North. Nobex grants access to over 100 stations you can stream right from your BlackBerry, though they suggest you do so if you have WiFi or an unlimited data package. With my 8310, I have neither, so I can’t wait to see my wireless bill…


Browsing with Nobex
Browse through songs you love

After selecting a radio station, a playlist will appear. This playlist will show the song currently playing and the 9 previous entries. This roughly covers a half hour of music. Depending on the stations schedule, these entries may include commercials. Each entry will show the Song Title, Artist and the time it was played. If the album cover art is available, it will display, as well as a thumbnail. The trackball smoothly navigates back and forth between entries. If you are looking at a station in another time zone, their time will be displayed. So, stations in New York will display times three hours ahead of me in the Greater Vancouver area.

Find a song that you like? Good, now go get it! Using the Get It! feature, you can select a song you want to buy. Remember that email address you entered earlier? Well, Nobex sends you an email with details about the song, including direct links to purchase the song or album from Amazon or iTunes. Unfortunately, direct purchase from the Berry isn’t available yet.

Love it? Get it!
Love it? Get it!
Details and Links for your Convenience
Details and Links for your Convenience


It’s the newest feature of Nobex to date. You can now stream playable stations directly from your BlackBerry. From the menu, hit Play. If you don’t have WiFi, a pop up displays, warning you of the potentially gargantuan bill you may receive if you continue. Because of this, I only used this feature for a short period of time. Between an actual radio and my Berry, I experienced a 30 second or so delay while streaming. Some research revealed for this to be the norm of Nobex. Once I upgrade my Berry, I’m going to love WiFi even more.

Radio Stations

Initially, you start off with two stations. The menu gives you 2 different ways to add more stations;

Add Any Station

Using this method, you can use various cities listed to browse through the radio stations. The stations are listed by frequency, call letters and any quotes from the station such as “Buffalo’s FM Talk” or “In tune with your mind”. If the station is playable from your Berry, the station will be marked by the Nobex logo. Selecting a station will add it to your station list.

Add Playable Station

I prefer this method, since I don’t really know my American radio stations. Here, you can browse by genre, from Adult Contemporary to Non-music to Rock. I selected a genre, rock in this case. A list appeared in the following screen. As with the previous search method, the stations are listed by frequency and call letters. They’ve also added all of the cities associated with each station. Once again, playable stations are marked with a Nobex logo.

Choose how to search
Choose how to search
Browsing by Genre is Easier than Browing by City
Browsing by genre is easier than browsing by city

Station can be deleted at any time, keeping your selections fresh. If I can pry your eyes away from your Berry..Hey! Over here! Plop yourself in front of your computer and check out Nobex’s Activity Page.  Here, you can see a map of radio stations listened to in the past hour. Look at all the cute little Nobex icons. Click on one and see what stations are in the area. Nobex’s site states that they cover a few other countries besides the US, but their map says otherwise. A pop up window will also show the latest song requested by Nobex users, like you!

Stations from around the Country
Stations from around the Country

Time for a Commercial

If I had WiFi or unlimited data, I would be a regular user of Nobex Radio Companion. Despite the inability to access stations outside the US, you still have quite an eclectic list to choose from. The navigation menu is easy to use and is automatically updated. Until the day when we can directly purchase and download music from our Berry, at least we can still receive download links via email. In the future, streaming will be available for a monthly subscription, but the Get It! feature will remain free. Check out Nobex Radio Companion at the CrackBerry Store and get it at no cost to you. How does that price sound Ivan? This is Ryan Blundell signing off!


  • updated radio playlists
  • easily add/remove station
  • smooth navigation
  • stream!


  • must have WiFi or unlimited data or else… $$$
For more information, check out Nobex Radio Companion at!

Reader comments

Review: Nobex Radio Companion


why did you use the name ivan? it freaked me out since it had noting to do with the review and its my name. super curious !!!

I wish this had the shazam ability to identify a song that is playing by letting it listen to it for a number of seconds and then let you buy it if you want.

when I press play it says "Failed to play. Please chose help form the menu for more information"

I can't figure it out through the help. Any tips? I am using at 8130, verizon with an Unlimited Data Plan.

Same phone, same carrier & same problem. :(

I really wanted this app. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I've the same problem twice on my 8310 with ATT, check to make sure that next to the channel it says (playable) and it should work just fine, I found that one of the preloaded stations (WIIS or something along those lines) doesn't say playable and doesn't work. If your trying to listen to a local station and it doesn't say playable that would be the problem.

Two words: freakin awesome! Sound quality is fantastic over wi-fi, wide variety of streaming stations, nice album art, and best of all it's free! Go download this now

...if you all want to know! I'm a MOD on CB, and Ryan's post ALWAYS cost me to go a spend money, and get his latest review product! But, this time he's outdone himself, he got me a free one...

Nicely done, Ryan...

I have been on Tech support w/ATT and have a 8310. I am streaming and I have unlimited data. It seems even if I click on playable no matter what I do I am not getting any sound. Told to check TCP settings and everything is fine.

Any other ideas out there? Would really appreciate all your help.

Try going and removing the app from your blackberry and then reinstalling it? I had the same problem for about the first 5 minutes I was using it but then it managed to resolve itself.

Very nice app! Especially since its free to download and use as long as you have data or wifi.

I can't believe it this is even working on Cellular South. I wonder what the subscription fee will be down the road.

This application doesn't seem to be compatible with the Blackberry bold. I installed and when I started using it my BB crashed. I had to restart my BB and it gave me a bunch of errors and screwed up everything. I had no emails, no applications, etc until I deleted Nobex and restarted the phone.

Friendly warning.

I did what it said to download, asked for it to be sent by SMS and have not gotten anything? It has been like 2 hours.

Edit: ok tried it again and now downloading!

..but most of the stations I want to stream aren't playable. Also, the interface is kind of annoying. Still searching for a streaming radio app that can run in the background and has a good selection of stations, preferably with the ability to add my own......

I've had this for a few months now and I've been using it practically everyday. I love it!

I wish I could arrange the stations according to the ones I listen to the most and not numerical order. Other than that, it's definitely something I have to have on my Berry.

Tried everything, been on the phone with ATT Techs for over two hours and my TCP connections are fine, data is streaming and I have clicked on playable stations and still nothing.

Do any of you nice folks have any other suggestions that I might have overlooked?

Hi there,

if you have technical support issues, we'll be very happy to help. Please email us at and we'll get back to you quickly.

phydiss: please email us the message that you get after clicking "Play" in the menu.




In regard to those of you who indicated that you selected a playable station, yet didn't hear anything... Please note that in addition to selecting a playable station, you must select "Play" from the menu.

If the little purple icon in the top left corner of the screen is not spinning, then you're not in play mode.

Hope this helps!

Where did you find the answer for this? I have TMobile as well, and I can't figure out what the TCP settings are supposed to be. Mine lists out APN, and then has a place for Username for APN and Password for APN. Any advice?

anyone else have this issue? I plugged in a pair of headphones, and nothing. still plays out of the speaker. However my BB media player doesnt have this issue? any suggestions?

I bought a jabra bt3030 bluetooth that includes stereo headphones and it works great with the Radio Companion.

I like it, but wish there were more playable stations. Also, my 8100 gets warm after a good 30 minutes of play time, and battery life is drastically reduced. As long as I can recharge throughout the day, its great!

I had no problems downloading or setting stations, I play my BB through my car stereo all the time so this will be good when I travel.

I try to play on my Pearl, but just get an error message of "Failed to play, please choose help for more information."

Went to help and it was no "help". Deleted app, installed again and same thing. I have an unlimited plan with Verizon.

Any suggestions?

Subject says it all? How long will it take????Between this free app and xm radio which is not available through verizon i have no options??????????

Hi. I have a BlackBerry Storm 9530 and I'm using T-Mobile Network. When I play something it says

Faied to play. Please choose Help from the menu for more information.

But I can't change the setting on Options> Advance Options I don't know why I can't use this app.

I need Help!!!

I have a bb 8310 and a jabra BT8040 bluetooth. I couldn't get XM to play through the headset, but this works really good! Plus I get more choices of music types too! definately worth the 30 sec(s) it took to download

Love, love, love Nobex Radio Companion! Unfortunately there are not a lot of stations in my market that are "playable" but I have found a few CA stations I like. The one thing I noticed though is it requires a lot of battery power. My Curve gets blazing hot and when using multiple applications ie: BBM and Nobex it has shut down on me requiring a battery pull. I won't uninstall it though, i'll just get an extended life battery and external charger ;-)

i just wanted to know if there is something to pay to use this service...for example if i have an unlimited internet contract i pay something?

I own a BB 8130 and I cannot get Nobex to work! I too get the failed to play message and I too cannot change anything in advanced options to rectify this. I contacted the Nobex people and got no reply. I checked with my provider (Bell Canada) and they can't do anything from their end either. If anyone has any tips or ANYTHING that will help please let me know! I've heard great things and I really would like to see it work on my BB.