Joseph Campbell once said you can tell a lot about a city by its tallest building. I’d like to think you can deduce a few things about a place by its local radio stations as well — which is why I’m utterly fascinated with Wunder Radio, the latest release from the folks at Weather Underground.
By teaming up with RadioTime,Wunder Radio has compiled a bank of thousands of stations from around the world. Wunder Radio uses GPS to find stations near you, as well as lets you scroll through options divided by type and location. The variety ranges from talk radio to music by genre and much more. Interested in what you might find playing on a blues station in Mississippi? Wunder Radio’s got it; Curious about what a soul station in Finland or an Argentine TV music station has in store? Wunder Radio has you covered.Once connected, the display information varies, but usually includes the city where the station is being broadcast, the station’s call letters, the artist and song playing or the name of the show playing. Below that is often a list of suggested stations that have similar music or shows. You can also save stations to your favorites list.
And they don’t stop there. Wunder Radio features live scanner feeds through ScanAmerica.us, as well as, of course, weather coverage. While Weather Underground’s earlier release, Who is Hot, is both convenient and free, Wunder Radio’s broader scope is well worth the $5.99 price tag.
Appealing as Wunder Radio is, it is not without its faults. While the maker’s description boasts that Wunder Radio features more than two thousand stations, I had a hard time getting even two dozen stations to come in clear, quick, and without dropping out. In the developer’s defense, however, I have to admit that perhaps the Eastern European stations don’t stream so well while driving through a snow storm next to Lake Superior and testing the app on an iPhone 2G.
If you’ve got a newer phone and you’re not listening from somewhere in the Arctic tundra, I’m guessing you’ll have better reception. Regardless, Wunder Radio is worth putting up with a few glitches, if only so as to know that somewhere in the world besides Detroit, someone’s listening to Marvin Gaye.