For me, Radioshift is one of the greatest OS X apps ever. I love it with a burning passion. Unfortunately, Rogue Amoeba retired it from development on December 31, 2011. Their reasons made sense, but it left an empty hole in my heart. It still works and I still use it. But knowing there will come a day when it no longer fires up makes me a little sad.
The whole idea behind Radioshift is Internet radio. Radioshift makes it drop-dead simple to find what you want. Want to hear some hard rock? Here’s 1,200+ hard rock stations from all over the world. Click on one and the music starts streaming. Hell, within ten minutes you can jump from a station in Tokyo to another in NYC to another in Reykjavik. Click on the station name and you’ll get details about the station, their DJ schedules (if any), and you can add the station to your favorites list for fast access later.
One of the really cool features is the world map:
This puts the joy into discovering new music from new places. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent zooming around this map, finding new radio stations in different cities all across the world. Moving your cursor over one of the green dots will give you the city name. Clicking on a city will list the stations in that city.
Who knew Ponta Delgada had so many radio stations? At the bottom of that image you can see the display and filter options, such as Spoken, Music, etc. Fantastic stuff.
You can also subscribe to stations. This basically tells Radioshift to record a specified station at a specific time and for a specific duration.
Radioshift also has an option to auto wake or even power on your computer to ensure that you don’t miss your recording:
How awesome is that? Once recorded, Radioshift can import the recording into iTunes, making it available for your mobile device. Basically, if it floats your boat, you can walk down the street listening to a pre-recorded portion of a radio station located 3,000 miles away in a city you’ve never even heard of. That is magic, my friend.
TuneIn’s business model shifted away from licensing this guide data to third-parties. The resulting uncertainty made it very difficult to work towards the future of Radioshift.
Additional issues, such as “the low quality of existing streaming technologies” and third-party plugins failing to advance enough to provide “seamlessness and reliability,” led Rogue Amoeba to the conclusion that ongoing development and support was not feasible.
If you don’t already have a license, you’re out of luck. However, if you have a license, you can continue to download it, install it, and use it.
For existing users, Radioshift will continue to function just as it always has, including the Radio Guide. Further, it will be fully supported through at least the end of 2012. While we have no plans for future updates, we will release bug fixes as needed until 2013.
I have no idea what happens after 2013. It’s possible that Radioshift will continue to work, but it’s equally possible that TuneIn will kill access to the guide data. If that happens, it’s the end of the road.
Unfortunately, there are no other alternatives to Radioshift that I’m aware of. Radium doesn’t offer recording and has a myriad of other issues. Music Dog is (ugh) an Adobe Air application. I’m sure it’s possible, using some script-fu, Audio Hijack Pro, and Hazel, to come up with something similar to Radioshift. But nothing will replace the joy and ease of discovery.
Radioshift brought something very unique to the table. Joy is a tough thing to replicate. I have no more words, only an empty hole where joy used to live. And that’s a sad thing.
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