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Nobex Radio Companion Verdict: Try it out Pros: See album art and info for songs ... Smartphone Reviews forum

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    azstar's Avatar
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    Review: Nobex Radio Companion-Now with Streaming Radio

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    Nobex Radio Companion


    Verdict:
    Try it out
    Pros: See album art and info for songs you are listening to on the radio, use the Get It! feature to have detailed song info and purchase links sent to your email. Stream radio to your BlackBerry, stereo bluetooth and wifi support, runs in background while doing other things
    Cons: Album artwork falls behind while streaming music, sometimes the stream doesn't start on the first try and requires requesting again,
    URL: Direct download to your BB:
    http://www.nobexrc.com/download/
    Web site address: http://www.nobexrc.com/Default.aspx
    Price: Free(subscription for streaming in future, but free for now)
    Rating:
    4 Stars

    Nobex Radio companion is an application that I have used on and off several times since I first heard about it. Earlier this week I decided I needed it again after hearing a song several days in a row but never catching who the artist was that performed it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they have added streaming radio to the application. I'll talk more about that in a bit.

    The Nobex Radio Companion application allows you to select from a list of stations and add them to your list. There are 2 ways to add stations to your list, Add Any Station which brings up lists by city in alphabetical order and includes playable and non-playable stations or Add Playable Station which lists only stations available for streaming and they are listed by genre.




    If you listen to one of those stations on the radio you can open up Nobex and select that station from your list, Once selected, the application brings up the album, art from the current song playing and the previous 9 songs. You can scroll through the artwork and see what's recently been played.



    Also if you hear a song and you think you may want to add it to your collection, just open the menu, select Get It! and the song information gets delivered to your email including links to purchase the songs or albums from iTunes or amazonmp3 (see the purple screen shot for a partial look at what's included in the email)




    This service of the application will remain free. They have just recently added the streaming radio feature which is free for now but at a future date will require a subscription. The price is not known yet but I was told by the folks at Nobex that it would be reasonable, we shall see. But I can tell you that Nobex is committed to make this more than just streaming radio. The album art and Get It features already make this more than your typical streaming radio on the BlackBerry. Also I have been given a sneak peek at one of their upcoming added features that I just love, I can't say what it is yet, but I find it very useful . And there are other features as well that are planned in the near future to make this a unique experience and may make it worth the monthly subscription service.

    There are currently about 100 playable stations on the list with plans to add many more. They are really going for quality of stream rather than quantity of stations in the beginning. I have been using the app all week and find the streaming to be very smooth on my 8330, with very few pauses. Can be played via speakerphone, headphones, or stereo bluetooth and does run in the background so you can do other things while listening. This app uses a lot of data. If you have a wifi device that's optimal, but if like me you have no wifi then an unlimited data plan is highly recommended!

    There were a few issues I encountered during the week. Some were expected based on my experience with other streaming radio for the BlackBerry. Some may be able to be tweaked and fine tuned a bit, others may be limited by the capabilities of the device but are not real major issues.

    Incoming alert tones interrupt the stream, use a quiet profile if the interruptions bug you. The album art often falls behind while streaming music so I had to close the app and re-open it so the album art would update. Sometimes it would update if I stopped the stream but that didn't always work. Some sort of refresh option in the menu would be awesome. Sometimes the music stream wouldn't start the first try and required a second attempt. I did have a couple times when the stream failed and one time when my BB rebooted itself, but I fully believe this was more from abuse on my part. For some reason my BB threw fits when I was streaming radio and had BBM and Google Talk convos going, browsing via the BB browser and Opera Mini, emails coming in and Viigo updating all pretty much at the same time.

    I have found that their customer support is excellent. They have been giving thorough answers to my questions in a timely manner and seem to be very interested in feedback, comments, and suggestions for enhancing the user experience.
    Last edited by azstar; 11-08-2008 at 03:39 AM.

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    This is an awesome app. But it doesn't have any small radio stations for us country folk down here is MS. Lol, we may not have big stations but we like them all the same. For the most part. overall its a good stream, comes over real smooth.~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    Thanks for sharing azstar. This is just what I have been looking for. I love the way it plays in background and while holstered. Still have to explore it a little more but from what I have gotten from it so far it will nake the long days at work go faster and make my med passes more enjoyable. You Rock!!~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    Wow it's works for me now how do I add my station so I can listen to the other dj's?
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    Can't add your own stations, need to request them, but I think they only do FM stations.
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    Nice review, Az. You talked me into trying it.
    For every complex problem there is a solution, that is simple, neat, .....and wrong! (H. L. Mencken) jblackfish(at)pinstack(dot)com

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    How do you request a station?
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    You can email support@nobexinc.com to contact them with any issues. I did that in the past to get a couple new stations added back before they started their streaming service just to be able to get the song info and they were very helpful.

    Also, in the app, you can open the menu and click on "Help" this will bring you to their help page via your browser and they have some FAQs there that will answer some questions.
    Last edited by azstar; 11-08-2008 at 04:27 PM. Reason: added help info
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    Great review on the update with radio streaming.

    About as close as we can get to an FM tuner. I was really thinking it would be a one time purchase kind of price once they come out of beta. The monthly charge will be a turn off once that hits. I would be willing to listen to so many ads a month instead of paying if that was an option. Regardless, time will tell if they ramp up the number of stations the app offers, this could be a really awesome application. Not too mention they have direct funding from RIM...
    BlackBerry® Certified Support Specialist

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    I was concerned about the price as well, but I have been given a hint of what they are thinking in terms of subscription price and the number of stations they are planning to have available at the subscription launch. I think that the number of stations combined with the other options they are working on adding will probably make it worth the subscription price to me. That will depend on their ability to get some of my most listened to stations added to their playable list so time will tell.

    But I am really liking what I see so far.
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    Does anyone know whether this app supports Canadian use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KriK View Post
    Does anyone know whether this app supports Canadian use?
    Okay so works with Canadian providors (wondered about location page but it seems o work okay.) I would like to know about Canadian stations though.

    I'll see what I can come up with and keep you posted.

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    KriK, contact them via the support email in post # 8, they should get back to you pretty quickly with the answers.
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    Wow great review Az!! Nicely done! I will have to wait untill I have high speed data in Jan before I will be able to give this a try. I have tried streaming stuff before and with 1x data dont work to good

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    Okay, the more I use this app, the more I dig it. It plays really LOUD if you so choose, volume keys work great. It really does max out the sound on the bb, this could be a bad thing if you blast the sound at all times. I listened to KROQ out of LA while I took a shower and could hear everything fine.

    I like that it plays in the back ground so you can browse at the web at the same time. Mute key does not affect the app, this could be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. When I first add a station, it usually doesn't play the first time, but plays fine when you click play again.

    Streaming quality is great, no audio drop outs yet.
    It does have headpone support, although the sound was a little crackily then. Overall it works really well and it is growing on me.
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