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?
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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