Review: Tune out mRadio Player since that's about all you can do with it

Skip this weird preconfigured Internet radio player.

We're all for Internet radio apps that make it easy to expose yourself to a world of music, but mRadio Player takes the "basic is better" concept too far in the wrong direction. This freeware radio player offers no controls beyond Play and Pause buttons, and you're limited to a preloaded list of stations: a whopping 18 in all and mostly European commercial jazz and classical stations. The free mRadio Player is suitable for Windows versions from XP to 8.

It was not without trepidation that we viewed mRadio Player's user interface, which takes rudimentary to a new level. There's just one button, a large Pause control, and the station list in the sidebar beside a blank window. Double-clicking a station starts it playing, after the typical delay, or so we assumed since mRadio Player doesn't give you much in the way of feedback. We got a station to play, and mRadio Player displayed the station's bandwidth and bit rate as well as the song and title (when available) while the main window displayed pictures that the developer says are "related" to the composition but seem more like random choices: Sometimes pictures of musicians, though not necessarily those playing, or even from the same century, while other images seemed more like ads. Most puzzling was a plethora of images related to Syracuse Orangemen basketball from a station far from upstate New York! But we could minimize the interface to hide the slideshow, which helped.

It's hard to make out what mRadio Player is for, other than listening to a limited variety of Euro-radio. You can't tune in to any channels not already listed, nor can you configure playback quality. There isn't even a volume control. Not only that, but mRadio Player froze and crashed several times when we tried to change channels, and then we needed the Task Manager to close it! A host of online radio stations are streaming high-quality music and other programming to desktop radio and media players that are every bit as free but many times more versatile and capable than this strange app.

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