Vita App Review: TuneInS

Two weeks ago, I was thinking to myself "Man, it would be awesome if the Vita had an internet radio app". I browsed the PSN and PSM Store but there was not a single radio app. Feeling defeated, I searched the net. Lo and behold, as I opened the PS Blog, the first entry is about an internet radio app called TuneIn! The Vita Gods do listen!

So, now, on to the review. TuneIn is a free app released this week for the Vita and last week for the PS3. It allows you to stream from internet radio stations and even listen to podcasts (something I think was not present on the PSP Internet Radio app).

Does It Work?

Vita App Review: TuneInS

The first thing that you notice as you open the app is that the interface is quite nice. The front page gives you a list of bands currently being featured by different stations grouped by genre. Tapping the band/station's tile will show the song's name and tapping it again will play it. This alone sold me on the app, but there are still other nice features.

Vita App Review: TuneInS

You can also search for stations and podcasts/shows by name, artist, song and genre. It will then list the most popular and relevant results. It can also suggest stations to you based on your location. I was surprised to see that even our university radio station is listed. The listing is diverse and it'd probably be hard for you to be disappointed. I've seen anime podcasts/radio stations and video game podcasts (such as the Official Playstation Blogcast).

Vita App Review: TuneInS

As seen above, it also provides a "Suggestions" page that lists trending and local radio stations. Everything's here from music, news, sports and others.

Vita App Review: TuneInS

Also, tapping the thumbnail on the right brings you to the "Now Playing" tab where you can favorite a station, select stream quality and a list of recommendations.

So...DOES IT WORK? (You never answered the question)

The answer is a pleasantly surprised YES. Not only does it work but it's also highly recommended. I don't think anyone was expecting a faulty internet radio app but the polish and feature list seen here is quite nice for a free app. Creating a free account is recommended so you can sync your favorites and so that it can recommend stations based on your location (which is especially useful for news).

For convenience, here's a quick list of pros and cons:
Pros:
+ Nice interface. Looks really polished.
+ Search works well.
+ Diverse listings
+ Virtually lag-free
+ Location based recommendations
+ Music will not pause if the system enters sleep mode on its own. It'll pause if you press the power button to enter sleep mode, though.

Cons:
- Can't use as replacement for Music app since you can't use it while playing a game.
- No multitasking. Can't open other apps like browser or even go to the homepage without pausing the music.

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