First impressions of the Star FM App

I’m one of countless people that don’t listen to radio nowadays as much as I used to in a past Zimbabwe. That’s not to say that there isn’t a variety of content, though. Besides two very aggressive commercial stations added to Zimbabwean airwaves, a handful more were given the green light to go on air.

It’s just that in a world where there’s a flood of content, besides focusing an awesome delivery, radio has to be really convenient to access, otherwise it gets lost under the rubble of audio, video and written material that’s screaming for attention. Which is why figuring out convenience for accessing content is a big deal.

Star FM Radio (one of the two aggressive commercial radio stations) decided to tackle this with its own App. The Star FM App is available for free download on Google Play and the App Store and we managed to take a peek at the Android version.


You can download the Android Version here

What does it offer?


Screenshots of the Star FM Android App


The app is built for streaming and that’s what makes up the app’s main interface really – an option to play and pause whatever is being broadcast on Star FM, along with the obvious volume option.

Outside that, you can use the app to wander off onto Star FM’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, something that’s mainstay for any interactive app and platform these days.

Social media plays a huge role for players in content delivery like Star FM so this makes sense. The app could have, however done a better job of crossover into social media. the process wasn’t as smooth, especially considering that I was doing this on mobile.

There’s also access to the Star FM website, which is where you’ll find info on the segment on air, plus Star FM’s news section, frequency finder (which ironically, won’t matter if you have the app) and every other way to reach out to Star FM and everything it offers.

There isn’t much else form the app, something that probably stems from the fact that it was developed using an audio streaming generator, LiquidSoap.

Kudos to Star FM for having an app in the first place. The aspect of convenience I mentioned earlier is where Star FM scores points, and if you were accustomed to using the FM tuner on your device which relied on earphones, you can put that away. that’a another point courtesy of the power of online technology.

However, as with everything else that says streaming, the cost of data comes into play here. If I don’t have mobile broadband, or I run out of my precious bundles then I no longer have radio access.

Perhaps there are ways that Star FM, as a Zimpapers owned company, can explore the option for bundles for this with its State owned cousin NetOne? This would, however, work splendidly if the app is amped up to include other functionality beyond just streaming.

Despite some kinks that Star FM can always work on with later versions, the app also exposes some lethargy from the other stations (When’s the ZiFM App coming?).

How come ZBC doesn’t have a streaming service for all its stations, let alone an app? It can’t be that hard to figure out, and the value proposition especially when you are trying to tap into a global audience.

Perhaps they need some Zimbabwean developers to pitch the idea to them?

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12 thoughts on “First impressions of the Star FM App

  1. Thanks for your review of Star FM app. It would be nice if ZBC can come up with live streaming of radio and television. Many SA radio and TV stations stream live. World is a global village and people live in different countries and not necessarily in native places.
    Nisar Ahmad, New York.

  2. Perhaps there are ways that Star FM, as a Zimpapers owned company, can explore the option for bundles for this with its State owned cousin NetOne

    Hold on Nigel. Is this not what you TZ went overboard about, citing net neutrality when Econet wanted to ‘bundle-up’ as a freebie? Machinja stance here?

  3. There z no reason wat so ever i cld/wld use that app… streaming,we r talking abt data here n i cant even imagine the cost.
    About partnering its state owned cousin..Thats a big NO 2 mi,maybe partnering Econet z better cz of its $1-250MB

  4. Our mobile operators r letting down some of these good developments wch makes no sence for something lyk ZBC to build its own app

  5. I has at the Digital Future Summit Hosted by Tech Zim earlier this year and ZBC revealed that indeed they are working on streaming services for their televesion and radio services. But of course funding issues are stalling that. At the same event many content creators didn’t hide their disdain for ZBC of lack of payment for their services so they first need to fix that and have great content before worrying about distributing it. It’s useless having cool ways to distribute the same old crap.

  6. what you are going techzim is great I am looking forward to our own proudly Zimbabwean social and many other applications,keep it up.

  7. I don’t think there is need to even use this app here in Zim, every phone has a radio app! Rather the business model should look at targeting Zimbos in the diaspora otherwise it will be a great waste of time making up for that app. Anyway that’s just my take on it.

  8. thumbs up for star fm for tt innovation . However in zim there is now value for money. l cnt ima
    gine myself wasting my precious bundles listening to star fm on the go

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