App Review: StreamFurious
Available: Now, Android Market
Lasting Impression: Streaming music application that delivers on its promise with nothing extra.Â It doesn’t chew up system resources or slow performance down.Â It’s small enough that this app ought to stay on your Android handset once it’s installed.Â
Nitty Gritty: If you’ve ever played around online with streaming music, chances are you are familiar with SHOUTcast.Â For those of you who aren’t, it’s an online media streaming service developed by Nullsoft with over 20,000 radio stations.Â With scores of genres and sub-genres to choose from, users are able to listen to pretty much any kind of music they want using their favorite media application.
As people transition away from the stationary desktop and start going mobile, services like SHOUTcast lose their appeal.Â If you don’t have a smartphone with a great web browser and media player, you most likely don’t have many options for streaming music.Â This is where StreamFurious comes in.
StreamFurious puts SHOUTcast and all of its music channels on your G1 or Android devices.Â It’s a no frills application that doesn’t require much of your handset to run.Â Not too heavy with graphics or glitz, it does exactly what you expect.
When you open the app, you get around 40 channels to choose from.Â Among them, you’ll find ESPN, BBC, NPR, and more.Â The bit rates vary from channel to channel, but I didn’t find too much difference in the quality using my G1.Â It’s a different story on a PC or with a really good set of headphones.
If you pull up a search for different stations or genres, the app opens your web browser and you have access to essentially everything SHOUTcast offers.Â The cool thing is when you click to listen to a station, it goes back into StreamFurious to play it.
One of my concerns with this app was whether or not it was going to choke the phone off with data or a cache that filled up too quickly.Â As you play a station, you see a running total of bandwidth and how much data is transferring.Â I reached out to the StreamFurious team and found out that it only indicates how much has streamed and that there is no data actually sticking around.Â In fact, I was told that you don’t even need an SD card to run the app.
As Android evolves and ends up on other hardware configurations, I could see this app working well on devices like Touch Revolution’s NIMble.Â Set something like that next to your bed and stream music over your WiFi connection.Â Put it in the kitchen and listen your favorite talk radio while you do the dishes.
According to the guys at StreamFurious, they have a pro version set to come out soon.Â I don’t have any indication as to what might be different in it, but I will definitely be checking it out.Â If you’re into streaming radio stations, give this one a shot.