This Week's Sponsor:


Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.

Internet Radio App Broadcasts Has a Fresh New Look, Improved Search, Shazam Integration, and More

Version 3 of Broadcasts, Steve Troughton-Smith’s Internet radio app and a Club MacStories Recommends pick, is out with an updated design, improved search, Shazam integration, and a URL scheme that makes sharing stations simple. Together, the changes look fantastic and make enjoying Internet radio with the app easier and better than ever.

The Mac version of Broadcasts includes a miniplayer that can be pinned to float above other windows.

The Mac version of Broadcasts includes a miniplayer that can be pinned to float above other windows.

The app’s main view now features a tab bar on the iPhone and a sidebar on the iPad and Mac. The result is a more modern feel that’s further enhanced by a bunch of new ways to add station artwork. Far too few Internet radio stations have good artwork by default, so it’s great to now have so many ways to add your own. Broadcasts offers:

  • Picking a photo from your photo library
  • Choosing a file from the file system
  • Adding text or emoji against a colorful background
  • Using a radio glyph from the SF Symbols catalog against a colorful background
There are lots of ways to customize station artwork.

There are lots of ways to customize station artwork.

The Now Playing screen has been updated, too, with bigger, bolder artwork with a blurred background effect that pulls in the colors of the station’s artwork. From the Now Playing screen, you can play and pause playback, adjust volume, set a sleep timer, AirPlay to another device, review the playback history of the station to which you’re listening, access those songs or the currently playing song in Apple Music, and activate Broadcasts’ Shazam feature, which I cover below.

Brodcasts' updated Now Playing screen.

Brodcasts’ updated Now Playing screen.

With thousands of stations available worldwide, another excellent refinement to Broadcasts is how search works. You can browse stations manually by country, search for a country, or search stations within a country. For instance, if you pick Ireland and then search for ‘Alternative,’ you immediately narrow the number of results from 130 to seven, making it much easier to find a genre you like than if you were to scroll through a long list of stations.

Using Shazam to add artwork to song data to Broadcasts.

Using Shazam to add artwork to song data to Broadcasts.

More metadata is supported by Broadcasts now, too, including the name of the song playing and its artwork if it’s available. Like station artwork, though, few Internet radio stations I’ve tried support song art. Broadcasts has a solution to this as well, which is a new beta feature that incorporates Shazam functionality into the iPhone and iPad versions of the app. In my testing, the feature works well, pulling cover art and song information into the Now Playing UI, which makes the experience much more like listening to Apple Music, Spotify, or another music streaming service than before. The experimental feature can even be used if you’re using another source to play your music, serving as a Now Playing UI for any music playing around you.

Using the iPad Pro and Broadcasts' Shazam integration to monitor a station playing on my Mac in the app's miniplayer.

Using the iPad Pro and Broadcasts’ Shazam integration to monitor a station playing on my Mac in the app’s miniplayer.

Broadcasts has a new setting that will resume playback automatically the next time you open the app, immediately streaming the last station to which you were listening. The setting is off by default but can be switched to work every time you launch Broadcasts or just when you connect the app with CarPlay.

Another handy feature is the addition of a URL scheme in the format broadcasts://add?name=Name&address=Address&artworkAddress=ArtworkAddress. Add parameters for the name of a station, its URL, and a URL for station artwork, and anyone with Broadcasts will be able to quickly add the station to their library. It’s a nice way to send your favorite station to a friend, set up automations in Shortcuts, or link your favorite stations on the web. For example, here’s a link I created for WXYC, the University of North Carolina’s station.

I don’t listen to Internet radio often, but I love it for live broadcasts of podcasts and when I don’t have the energy to pick out some music myself. With Broadcasts’ new search functionality, I’ve expanded my collection of stations with little effort and really enjoyed quickly restarting stations when connecting to CarPlay, which has already led me to use the app more. Broadcasts was already an app we recommended to Club MacStories members last year, and it has only gotten better with this release.

Broadcasts is available on the App Store as a Universal Purchase that syncs among the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. The app is free to download and try with a fixed set of stations. A one-time, In-App Purchase of $4.99 unlocks the ability to add your own stations to the app’s library.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.