Screamer Radio: Rock out while you work

Light and free, Screamer Radio's simple, direct app for streaming Internet radio lets you discover and record songs from around the world.

Screamer Radio may not be the most feature-rich desktop app for streaming Internet Radio, but it is light, compact, and effective freeware that fits the way I like to listen to music while I work: without thinking too much about what's coming next.

Screamer Radio

To fulfill a set-it-and-forget-it listening experience, there's Screamer Radio's lengthy list of preset stations organized by global region, language, and genre. While many preset links work well, there are also many that don't, because the links point to a Web site and not to the streaming URL. If you like the station, you can always follow the link to the site, find the correct streaming URL, and add it manually to your personal list of favorites. It's just too bad that your corrections don't work Wiki-style to update the link for everyone.

While I prefer letting a radio station run its course until I change my mood, there are a few controls for those who enjoy getting more hands on. Recording songs is the most active extra. Press the Record button to begin capturing and the Stop button to end the recording and save it in another folder as an MP3.

You'll just need an editing app like the freeware Audacity to trim down the track if you begin midway through a song. Kudos to Screamer Radio for opening the Recording folder from the menu navigation; finding recordings would otherwise be a hassle.

Additional features, though meager, include two sound effects, some manual configuration, and the ability to save favorite stations. I personally enjoy the fullness of preset stations from around the world and the application's directness of purpose, but a few more capabilities wouldn't go astray. While a visualizer would only distract me, it would be nice to save individual songs. Likewise, being able to report misdirected URLs is a missing must-have feature that would work to everyone's benefit, especially that of Screamer Radio's reputation.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.