written by: MikeWehner•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 5/28/2010
While it might not make your iPod obsolete, FlyCast is a fantastic alternative for BlackBerry users looking for a little music on the go. Plus, if you're a podcast fanatic, you'll find even more to love in FlyCast with its wide selection of talk programs ranging from news to finance to comedy.
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My very first trip to BlackBerry App World ended in quite the surprise. After searching through a number of costly productivity applications and racing games, I came upon FlyCast. Its "FREE" tag definitely drew my attention right from the start, and after, reading the short description of the app, (in short: Listen to anything, anywhere.) I was intrigued. A short download later, I booted up FlyCast for the first time to find a world full of ready-to-play live stations and a seemingly endless list of radio news and entertainment programs right at my fingertips.
Need to know the weather? FlyCast is there. The news? FlyCast brings it. Comedy? FlyCast has you covered. Get-out-of-work excuses? Well, you're on your own with that one.
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Listen to the Music
FlyCast turns your mobile device into an antenna for the country's most popular radio stations as well as some more obscure options that many other music-on-demand offerings overlook. You can sort the station options by various criteria such as genre and era, and you can even go so far as to filter based on what city the station is based in. After finding a station that is to your liking, simply click on it ,and after a short <15 second average buffering time, you're up and running with some rockin' tunes.
The sound quality itself is quite good, and, after several tests with local stations, I found the sound quality to be as-good or better over FlyCast as it was with my car's digital FM tuner. That's a very good thing. Buffering lag in mid-song is a rare occurrence, but, while traveling, I found that certain areas with poor signal coverage were predictably hard-hit with music lag. However, unless you're traveling in the rural areas of Wisconsin, as I was, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Talk to Me
The digital age has brought with it the need for humans to listen to others talk even more than we normally would. Many folks (myself included) spend a large part of their day listening to news programs and podcasts where people chat about topics of interest. It is in this area that FlyCast truly shines.
Offering a crazy number of channels and individual programs to browse, you could spend every day listening to these shows non-stop and you'd barely scratch the surface of what FlyCast has to offer. Some of the best (How Stuff Works, Diggnation, This American Life) will undoubtedly hook you into coming back week after week to see what's new.
With these fantastic shows taking up as much as an hour-sized chunk of your iPod's capacity, the ability to stream them directly from your Smartphone really is ideal, and the selection that FlyCast offers can't be beat.
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Now Your Smartphone Is Complete
Sure, it might be a corny tagline, but the folks at FlyCast might just be on to something. Music-on-demand services are a dime a dozen these days, it seems, but FlyCast sets itself apart with its wide array of both music genre options and its talk and podcast selection.
FlyCast's interface is also a big plus for the program. With clean lines and large text, it offers the perfect way to navigate the menus using the BlackBerry's trackball. FlyCast allows you to search all of its offerings by title right from the start, and, once you find programs that are up your alley, you can favorite them with a simple button press. Flycast even forgives your forgetfulness, and ,if you just can't seem to remember what the title of the show you were just listening to was, you can jump into your recent history and be reminded in an instant. They really did think of just about everything when building this application, and it shows.
FlyCast is highly recommended for those looking to get a little more audio love from their Smartphones. Plus it's free, so what do you have to lose?