capsule review

WFMU Radio

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WFMU Radio

    PCWorld Rating

Many people and many publications have declared WFMU to be the best radio station currently operating in the United States. It is a commercial-free, free-form radio station located in New Jersey, and it is the longest-running station of its kind in U.S. history. WFMU also stands out for having an enormous amount of content available on the Internet in the form of mp3 archives, live streaming, and podcasts, as well as a wealth of other information.

The breadth of content available on WFMU is incredible. Some of my personal favorites include Mudd Up!, and Best Show. Mudd Up! is hosted by the critically acclaimed DJ Rupture, whose sets weave music from all over the world into an exciting 1-hour mix. Meanwhile, the Best Show is a 3-hour long comedy show hosted by Tom Scharpling, with a guest list that reads like a who's who of comedy. Frequent guests of late have included Paul F. Tompkins, John Hodgman, Patton Oswald, and many others. The 3-hour format helps keep the show slightly unpredictable, and allows extended riffing that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else.

The app has options to live stream at 128k or 32k bit rates. In addition to live streams of WFMU, you can select from among several other Web stations, including Ichiban Rock n' Soul, UbuWeb Radio, Do or DIY, and Give the Drummer Some Radio. You can also play archived streams of your favorite programs that go back about a month, or podcasts that date back considerably longer. There is also a tab for news updates related to the radio station, often related to special upcoming events.

Unfortunately, development of the Android app is behind the pace of iPhone app developments. This version lacks some of the features currently available on the iPhone such as the ability to leave comments on playlists, integration with social media like Twitter and Facebook, and the ability to download files. For fans of the station though, this just means more features to look forward to when the next update arrives.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WFMU Radio

    PCWorld Rating
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