Jewe NetRadio is an ultracompact radio player | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Jewe NetRadio is an ultracompact radio player

Play Internet radio with this unobtrusive, ultracompact freeware.

Jewe NetRadio is a free Internet radio player built on the JewelScript GUI library, the BASS audio engine, and parts from 7Zip and other open source freeware. It has an ultracompact, interactive interface and a minimalist design that is focused on playing music and other Net radio programming, without a lot of extras that you'll probably never use. It plays stations from 181.fm's playlist, but you can copy other playlists to the program's playlist folder to add more stations.

The minuscule, rectangular NetRadio interface is about as simple as a player gets; just a black background with blue border and blue script displaying the program name, channel, and controls when we moused over it. The interface has six buttons: Play; Sound, with sliders for volume, bass, middle, and treble; Stations, with a scrolling list of available Net radio stations; About, Hide, and Quit. We chose a station and clicked the Play button. NetRadio displayed the station, artist, song title, bit rate, and other data. There's even a two-channel spectral bar graph at the right edge of the tiny window.

NetRadio's sound quality will be as good as your system's sound card and loudspeakers, all things being equal, though some stations stream higher-quality signals than others. We wish it were easier to tune in different stations, though. The provided playlist offers too few choices, and the process of adding new stations is cumbersome, to say the least. We like this small program's design and layout, and it performed as well as the other Net radio players we've tried, so we recommend it, with the caveats about station choice. A little tweaking would make Jewe NetRadio a real winner.

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