Video & Music
The best streaming music site on the Web has gone mobile. Not only has Pandora always done a superb job matching you to music you might like based on artists you already like, the mobile version has been streamlined enough to play just fine over EDGE connections, meaning you’re able to listen pretty much anywhere you get decent signal, not just in major cities. (That also means you don’t need a 3G BlackBerry to download it). You might just find yourself liking the app so much that you don’t even load your own music on your phone. It’s that good.
Love Slacker Internet radio on the desktop? The slick BlackBerry version works just as well, and offers a feature that other phones won’t do: storing songs for connectivity draughts. Tell Slacker to cache a station and it will fill up with songs when you have connectivity to ensure Slacker keeps playing when you don’t. With over 100MB on tap for any given channel, you should get through your subway ride and then some before connectivity returns, ensuring that you’re no longer beholden to the whims of cell signals.
Scanner Radio ($4.99)
Ever see police cruisers or fire trucks speeding down the street and wonder where they’re headed? Once upon a time, you needed a radio the size of a brick to listen in on emergency response radio frequencies, but not anymore. Radio Scanner offers access to over 1,500 police, fire, railroad and weather channels through the Web, putting the power of a $200 handheld radio into your BlackBerry.
Who hasn’t heard a song on the radio, in a bar, or on the elevator and wanted to figure out exactly who the artist was and what the song was called? Shazam makes it easy to identify it all in a matter of seconds: Just click “Tag Now,” give it a few seconds to record, send to Shazam’s database for identification, and you’ll have the song title, artist name, and album art back before the song is even over.
VLC Remote Control ($2.99)
Running a home theater PC to power your living room TV? Skip the chunky wireless mouse and keyboard and turn your BlackBerry into a media remote with VLC Remote Control, which pairs with the extremely popular VLC Media Player. Besides offering quick access to the usual controls, like play, pause and fast forward, VLC will let you browse your PC’s files directly from the handheld and choose what to play. No on-screen shenanigans needed. Because it works over a home Wi-Fi connection, you can even use it to control a computer in another room – like switching up the music in your living room from the kitchen.