Monday 3 March 2014

Appealing apps

Extracts from my Radio Websites columns, Radio User, 2014

There are two smartphone apps that I have become reliant on. TV Catch up and Tune In Radio. TV Catch up has enabled me to watch television on my phone, be it wrapped up warm in bed on a winter’s night or sitting in the shade of a balcony on a summer evening (and pretty much everywhere else in between too).   and plus on Facebook at

It offers around 50 television channels and although the app is called “catch up” that’s a slight misnomer, as it is actually live broadcasts that you watch. No matter, I have enjoyed the regular BBC output plus other Freeview channels such as Quest tv (Freeview channel 38)-I imagine many readers are fans of Drew Pritchard the Salvage Hunter on this channel?  and

TV Catch up, best of all for me, offers the two channels Euro News (which has now been replaced by an English speaking China station) and NHK Japan. Broadcasting in English, by regularly watching a combination of both you can keep informed on news stories and features from Europe and Asia that the mainstream tv stations seem to neglect and

The Tune In app, which I mentioned a couple of years back, now offers 70,000 radio stations, and even more than that The more I play around with this app the more I discover. You start by doing the obvious searching for a radio station by title, country or genre. Local FM from Papua New Guinea or Bolivia, the news from New Zealand or a feature from Fiji?  Or if you prefer, just the mainstream UK and US local radio fare. 

That is all incredible enough and is, dare I say, the closest that the modern generation is going to get to the DX thrill us long timers enjoy on analogue platforms. You can also search by typing the name of a show, drama, musician or a subject matter and up comes one, sometimes dozens, of programmes for you to hear there and then. 

ROK is a British based drama and comedy station along the lines of BBC Radio 4 Extra with the unlikely URL of and there is plenty of old time US radio drama as well- by station or show. Anyone fancy a dramatic evening with Philip Marlow or Sam Spade? and

The World Radio Network (who celebrated 21 years in 2013) has a nifty widget to download for your computer desktop which enable you to stay tuned to their fantastic and varied relayed output of stations around the world. It’s at, or if you prefer, it can be found streaming live on Tune In. 

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