AOL has retired the older version of their radio application for the Mac OS X operating system in favor of the new AOL Radio 2.0. The application is powered by CBS Radio, and includes over 200 radio stations including 150+ CBS Radio stations that are spread out across the United States.
The interface isn’t overly fancy, but it has some nice features including:
- Save your favorite stations to presets.
- Browse through stations according to genre.
- When a new song starts playing a transparent overlay appears in the middle of the screen notifying you of the artist, song title, and displays the album cover. There are no preferences in the app yet, which means this feature can’t be turned off. The notification is fast so it’s not too annoying.
- The dock icon for AOL Radio changes from song to song to show you what the album looks like. This is pretty sweet.
I had never actually used the AOL Radio service until the iPhone application came out, and then I found several stations that I really liked. So when I saw that they released a compact application for the Mac I was pretty excited.
With that being said there are still some things they need to work out. Particularly the fact that they don’t have any preferences implemented yet, which means you can’t turn off things like the on-screen notifications. Plus there’s no way to search through the available radio stations. This is just the first Beta, so I’ll cut them some slack.
If you want access to AOL Radio without using an application you can jump over to the online version. You’ll need to have Flash installed, but it works on any operating system that way. Plus with the web interface you can actually skip the songs you don’t want to listen to.
Note: I’m not sure if the entire AOL Radio service is for the United States only. The iPhone app is only available for U.S. residents though.