Listening to the radio feels intimate and personal in a way that’s difficult to replicate when you are watching TV. Unless, of course, you’re only listening to some pop or dance music station while you are doing the washing up.
But isn’t that variety part of radio’s magic? You might be listening to a heart-rending eulogy one minute and then a live sports commentary the next.
Another advantage that radio has traditionally enjoyed over TV is that it’s genuinely portable. Portability certainly lies at the heart of the Nokia Internet Radio app for Series 40 devices.
This great app, which is free to download from the Nokia Store, streams hundreds of radio stations from around the world direct to your mobile phone.
It is one of my favourite apps on my Nokia Asha 311, where it uses the WiFi connection so that it is not using any of my precious data allowance.
Finding the stations
Using Nokia Internet Radio is extremely easy and once you are familiar with how it works then you can also set up quick access to your favourite stations.
To start you will need to select a station to listen to. As you might imagine, there are hundreds of radio stations being streamed online all over the world, so Nokia Internet Radio has created a directory to help you find what you are looking for.
Select the three horizontal lines icon in the top left corner to open the app’s menu and tap on Station Directory.
The directory itself is further divided into these categories:
- Countries and Regions
There is also a search option if you happen to know the name of the station that you wish to listen to.
For example, if you want to discover which jazz music stations are available then you would select, Genre and scroll down to Jazz.
Selecting this folder will present you with a list of all jazz stations – as a matter of fact there happens to be 707 jazz stations listed in the directory. Pressing on any of these stations will start the stream and you can listen to your heart’s content.
As I am writing this, I happen to have 4U Smooth Jazz, a French station, playing on my Asha 311’s fantastic external speaker. That’s not a station I could have picked up with my old analogue radio!
At any time you can return from the directory to the ‘player’. You do this by again selecting the option in the menu button (or by pressing the back button in the bottom right).
The player gives you further controls such as adjusting the volume, selecting the next station in the directory, or previous station and, where it’s available, the name of the song that is being played will even scroll across your screen.
One thing that may not be immediately obvious is that you can tap on the name of the station in the player and this will give you further information about it.
Having such a vast directory is fantastic but it can also make navigating through them all rather time consuming.
Thankfully, once you’ve found the station you’re after, or have stumbled upon something that you like, it can be easily saved as a favourite for quick access in the future.
You can do this for any station that is currently playing by bringing up the menu on the player screen and selecting ‘Add to favourites’.
From the menu list – if you select Favourites you will find all your selected stations. After a while you might have a lot of stations stored even in your favourites! However, there is an easy remedy to this problem – you can also create different folders within your favourites to keep them organised.
To create a folder, select the menu button when you are in your Favourites and you will see the ‘Add New Folder’ option appear. You can even name your folders.
Another of my favourite features is the ‘recently played’ list that you can select from the main menu.
This shows you all the songs (where the naming information is available) that you have been listening to across all the radio stations. It’s really handy if you want to get the name of a song.
One final great feature about Nokia Internet Radio is that it continues playing even when you have put the display to sleep and the phone is locked. A minor thing perhaps but it truly turns my Asha 311 into a true Internet Radio.
Nokia Internet Radio is available for a number of Series 40 devices, including Asha. Series 40 devices with a smaller screen than QVGA are not supported.