Want easy access to worldwide radio stations and podcasts? Audials Play lets you explore hundreds of thousands of options, all for free. The best part is it’s cross-platform, giving you access on Android, Windows, iOS, and your browser. I recently had the opportunity to test out the Android and Windows desktop versions, the latter of which adds some useful media management features.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Audials. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Overview of Features
Audials Play is a surprisingly well-designed app that goes beyond just letting you listen to radio stations worldwide or manage your music collection. Instead, it’s a media manager that’s designed to give you access to over 100,000 radio stations worldwide (36,000 based in the United States) and over 250,000 podcasts. It also records live radio, seamlessly breaks tracks for individual songs or shows, and gives you a library to listen to whenever you want.
The features for the Android app and Windows PC version are slightly different. I’m going to focus first on the app. However, you get the best results when using both together. One of the best features overall for both versions is that they’re completely free. There aren’t even any ads outside of ad breaks that play on radio and TV stations.
The Android app is focused solely on radio stations, podcasts, and recording music/shows for on-demand listening later. Search for your favorite artist, genre, or song. You can also search based on country, city, and region to find local stations. All you have to do is create a free account. No payment is necessary.
The Windows desktop version adds to the app. The desktop version includes a limited number of streaming TV stations, mainly news. It also turns Audials Play into a media manager by letting you connect streaming music services, such as Spotify, to access your playlists through the desktop app.
You can also import music from your computer. Then, you have offline music, streaming music, and radio stations all in one place.
When you use the two apps together, you can wirelessly sync to access the music stored on your computer on your phone or tablet. You’ll have to open the desktop app to do this, though.
Exploring Audials Play Android App
Despite the popularity of music streaming services, radio stations are still going strong. Audials Play makes it incredibly easy to find exactly what you want to listen to without having to constantly change stations.
The Android app is as straightforward as it gets. When you set up an account, you’re brought to the home screen, where top radio stations from around the world are listed.
Easily browse radio stations and podcasts using the quick access menu at the bottom of the app. If you go to the Music option, you’ll see songs, artists, radio shows, and podcasts that you’ve saved or recorded. If you have songs stored on your device, they’ll show up under Artists as well.
Also, if you’ve connected the Android app and Windows desktop app, you can see music stored on your computer as well.
Searching and Recording
Where Audials Play shines even more is on-demand listening. This takes it beyond a normal radio app and gives you the convenience of streaming music services. What I really love is that you don’t have to pay for this feature. Everything’s truly free.
Use the search feature at the top of the home screen, Radio, Podcast, and Music screens to find exactly what you want to listen to. For instance, as search for the band Queen showed me radio stations and shows currently playing Queen’s songs. When you choose a station, you also get recommendations for other stations.
Have an artist you want to immediately tune to or record? Use the Wishes screen to set up favorite artists or even genres to set up mass recordings.
Speaking of recording, Audials Play lets you start recording any song, radio show, or podcast as soon as you start listening. Or, you can schedule recordings.
I admit, I was skeptical that the app would trim tracks and skip commercials, I was pleasantly surprised when I tested it out. I pressed the record button while listening to a Queen radio show. Several songs recorded before I pressed stop. Each track was listed separately in my Music screen and cut off at the beginning and end without the DJ’s commentary in between. Obviously, if you press record in the middle of a song, it starts recording then, not at the beginning.
I’ve also enjoyed waking up to music. Audials Play features an alarm clock in the Settings. You can also customize the look and feel of the app.
Using Audials Play Desktop Edition
The Windows desktop version works similarly to the Android app. It’s important to note that you don’t have to use them together.
However, the desktop version allows you to import your own music and Spotify playlists. I really don’t like Spotify’s desktop player. Plus, it was nice to mix music on my PC with my Spotify lists. Amazon Music, YouTube, SoundCloud, and more are supported as well.
As long as the app’s open on your desktop, you can stream music from your PC to your Android device. This is ideal if you want to use your PC for music storage and your phone to play the tunes all over your house. What’s really impressive is the app imported over 32,000 songs in less than five minutes.
Of course, there’s also a limited number of streaming TV stations within the app. Don’t get too excited, as it’s mainly news and music channels (not videos, just music).
The only trouble I ran into is sometimes the desktop app freezes and force closes. It’s random, but it did happen twice while I was testing it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at first with this app. I thought it was just another radio station player. But adding on-demand listening with recordings, including scheduled recordings, makes this app stand out.
I love that the Android app integrates with the Windows app. It’s also nice that the Windows version works as a media manager.
Not only does the app work well while still being easy to use, it’s free. Try out Audials Play for Android or Windows yourself today. If you’re looking more for a full-featured streaming player with a subscription, check out our review of Audials One.