Remember the days of saving songs you loved from the radio to a cassette? It was a nerve-wracking procedure that required you to listen for your favorite tunes and hit the record and pause buttons on your tape deck at just the right moment. The iHeartRadio app has perfected this process, allowing you to discover millions of songs -- old and new -- from thousands of live AM and FM radio and artist stations and save them to replay whenever or wherever you want to -- if you pay for a premium account.
Customizable experience: After registering with iHeartRadio, tell the app which genres you like by tapping any of the 19 available genre tiles -- Top 40 & Pop, Country, News & Talk, Sports, and so on -- that the app offers. After we did this in testing, the app served us with 50-plus stations to start. If you want to add or remove any genres, you can just tap the Update button. After scanning the list, you can also save stations you enjoy or mark the others as Not For Me.
Upvote songs that you love and iHeartRadio will group them in the My Favorites Radio station or save them to add up to 40 to My Playlist. But to play these songs on-demand, you'll need a premium subscription.
Easy to navigate: The default For You tab has all your suggested artist, genre, and location-based stations. You can also search for stations around the country. Your Library features all your saved stations, as well as songs, albums, and artists (if you have a premium subscription). The Radio tab features all your local stations or you can search by other locations or by genres. The Playlists page features thousands of free playlists to explore, divided by Moods & Activities, Decades, or Genre. There is also a Featured section for topical and timely playlists based on new releases or time of year, for example. The Podcasts page, as you'd expect, enables you to browse podcasts.
Radio stations from around the country: It's fun to listen to radio stations from around the country -- from a country station in Auburn, Alabama, to a Gen-X-focused grunge, hip-hop, and hair bands music station in Cheyenne, Wyoming -- with all their local flavor.
Podcasts: iHeart Radio has many of the most popular podcasts including "The Joe Rogan Experience,"The Daily" from "The New York Times," NPR's "TED Radio Hour," "My Favorite Murder," "Stuff You Should Know," "Freakonomics Radio," "WTF with Marc Maron," "Pod Save America," and many more. Browse podcasts by popularity or 19 available topics -- from music and crime to cryptocurrency and spirituality. Follow any podcast, and it'll be saved under the Your Podcasts tab. Or tap the Overflow button, then Download Episode to save to your phone to listen to offline.
Alarm Clock and Sleep Timer: To wake up or go to sleep to your favorite radio stations, like you used to do on your standalone alarm clock, tap the Settings button and then the Alarm Clock and Sleep Timer tabs respectively.
One month free trial: You can try out iHeartRadio Plus or iHeartRadio All Access memberships for a month before deciding whether to purchase.
Not much for free: On iHeart Radio, you can listen to a variety of radio stations and podcasts for free, but you can't listen to on-demand music -- only related stations. For example, tapping a Madonna station may get you some music from Madonna as well as similar pop stars, such as Gwen Stefani and Janet Jackson. If you hear music you don't like, you'll only get 15 skips per day across artist stations unless you upgrade to a premium account. Of course, radio station songs can't be skipped.
You'll need an iHeart Radio Plus subscription for $5.99 a month to search for and play any song, get unlimited skips, save songs from the radio to your playlist, and instantly replay songs from the radio (when metadata, which includes song titles and artists information, is available for the app to search) or an All Access membership for $12.99 a month for all those features, plus the ability to listen offline and create unlimited playlists.
It's hard to justify spending $12.99 per month for on-demand access to iHeartRadio's catalog of music, the ability to create and edit playlists, and the ability to listen to music offline when you can spend just $9.99 to do this on a competing app like Spotify. But if you're really into listening to live radio from your region or across the country, you should give iHeartRadio's free app for iPhone a try.