Mobile Audio and Radio Apps to Add to Your Community Radio Tool Kit

By: Vanessa Maria Graber

With the smart phone becoming more accessible, mobile applications have 
the potential to expand the reach of your radio station or program by 
bringing the latest news and music to listeners via a variety of 
different technologies. Its important to consider branching out into 
mobile technologies since more and more people are using their mobile 
device as their primary source of internet access, especially in places 
where access to broadband is limited.  Additionally, for citizen 
journalists reporting from live events, mobile audio apps can turn any 
smart phone into a mini-production center.

One way for low power stations to deliver their content to listeners 
outside the transmission area is with an Internet stream that can be 
accessed online with a traditional computer and also with a mobile 
application that can put your station in the palm of someone's hands.One 
way to do this is through TuneIn <>, a website and mobile 
app, which allows listeners to access over 50,000 streaming stations and 
120,000 audio shows from around the world.  Radio stations that stream 
online and individual show producers can submit their content to TuneIn 
to include in their library for FREE.  If you do a search you'll find many 
community radio stations and popular shows are already streamed through 
TuneIn which allows listeners all over the world to consume your content 
through their smart phones.

If you are interested in reporting breaking news you can use your cell 
phone to call into the station to give a live report, but if you don't 
yet have a station, you can use a free app called, Audioboo 
<> which allows you to upload audio to an online 
profile through your phone.  Users call a special number, record the 
audio, and then enter an access code which links the audio file to their 
account.The audio files are then posted to a feed on the user's online 
profile page.  Users have the ability to copy and paste the audio embed 
code and post to another website or social media account.  It's an easy 
way to record audio and distribute on the fly, especially during times 
where news is breaking.

Smart phones can also be used to record audio files with free apps like 
Hi-Q Lite 
Simply download the free app, press record and save the file your phone 
as an mp3.  The app allows you to share the file via email or Bluetooth so 
you can retrieve later and upload online.  You can also plug in your 
phone's SD card and upload audio directly to your computer.  Apps like 
these are great for the on-the-go audio production since the quality is 
pretty good and the files are easily shared and stored.  The free version 
only allows you to record up to 10 minutes at a time, so it's not ideal 
for recording whole events or speeches.  You can pay to upgrade for more 
time or just record in 10-minute increments.  The iphone also comes with a 
recording app with the same abilities.

Now that you know you have the ability to record, upload, and stream 
audio, radialistas might be wondering, can I edit on my smart phone too? 
The answer is yes, but it's limited.  There are several apps for the 
iphone that allow you to edit audio such as Monle <> 
from American Public Media, VC Audio Pro 
<> by 
Vericorder Technology, and Hindenburg Mobile 
<>, from Nsaka.  These apps are not 
free but are relatively inexpensive and easy to use and allow 
multi-track audio editing in the palm of your hand.  Unfortunately, 
they're only compatible for the iphone.  There is still no word yet on 
Android audio editing apps but we'll keep you posted if we find any.  I 
wouldn't recommend editing your next audio documentary on one of these 
apps, but its useful for short stories and cleaning up audio clips.

These apps are by no means a substitute for the real deal.  We're still 
big fans of FM, the zoom recorder and programs like Audacity for 
achieving the ultimate sound quality. However, having the ability to 
record, edit, upload, and stream audio on mobile phones is useful when 
you can't make it your computer or you want to listen to a station that 
doesn't broadcast where you are.  Additionally, these apps are pretty 
inexpensive and remarkably convenient giving just about anyone the 
ability to be a radio producer. The point is that these technologies 
only add more value to your community radio toolkit and expand your 
ability to reach new audiences faster.