last.fm free for all with Skyfire
You can listen to last.fm radio streams with Mobbler and fring, but you'll have to buy a subscription unless you live in the UK, Germany, or the USA.
But there is a way to listen to last.fm radio on your phone without paying. It's available for everyone everywhere. Just load the last.fm site in mobile phone web browser Skyfire. Skyfire is not a very good web browser for Symbian, but unlike other mobile browsers Skyfire can play streaming audio and video files, including last.fm radio stations.
Because Skyfire uses a proxy server located in the USA, last.fm thinks you're in America when you load their site in Skyfire. The result: it doesn't matter which country you're in, with Skyfire everybody can listen to last.fm streams for free!
As long as last.fm can't see the difference between Skyfire users from "free" and "paid" countries there's not much they can do about this loophole.
Update: Skyfire doesn't work on Symbian anymore.
Run WMV-WMA-ASF Player
Run WMV/WMA/ASF player plays Windows Media files that other free players won't play. The previous english translation of this chinese program didn't play sound on many phones, and it was unsigned so it required a hacked phone or a trip to the Symbian Signed bureaucracy.
But now there's a new english version. It's signed, and the sound issues are gone. There's still some chinese in the user interface, but it's translated well enough to be useful anyway.
Tip 1: The player doesn't listen to the volume rocker. You can adjust the volume with the navigation button: left to turn the sound down, right to pump up the volume.
Tip 2: The program shows up in your menu as "run." You can change the name with Menu Editor.
The built-in media player of new Symbian phones may play Windows Media files, but if you have an older phone then Run WMV-WMA-ASF Player is a useful addition. Even if your phone is not very old installing the program is a good idea. On my Feature Pack 2 Nokia Run WMV-WMA-ASF Player beats RealPlayer 2-1: the built-in Real Player only plays the sound of the WMV files I threw at it, whereas Run WMV-WMA-ASF Player plays the sound and shows the video.
• Run WMV-WMA-ASF Player v1.0 (signed) in english
on Mobile Castle UPDATE: this link expired
Audials Mobile is an internet radio stream ripper with a search function. If you're looking for the major hits of well known artists Audials usually finds them for you, but if your musical taste is a little off the beaten track Audials Mobile fails.
The makers of Audials Mobile (the same company that made audio ripper TuneBite) asked me to write a review about their program, and they offered me a free license key for my review. I told them I wouldn't do it, because their program is not freeware. Then Audials mailed me again to tell me that "the free version of Audials Mobile allows to download 2 songs per day," so I decided to give their program a try and see if the demo version is usable without buying the full version.
The free version lets you record two tracks a day, but not any two tracks of your choice, because many artists can only be recorded with the premium version.
Small bug in the program: I set the default internet access point to "always ask," but Audials Mobile keeps forgetting my choice and sets my last used access point to default all by itself. Major shortcoming of the program: you can't choose what bitrate you want to record. All tracks I got from Audials were only 128 kbps. The choice of artists, songs, and bitrates with Symbian P2P programs like Symella is much better than what Audials Mobile has to offer.
I didn't take the free license that Audials offered me. Keep in mind that reviews elsewhere may be a little biased because of the free licenses that Audials gives to bloggers.
Audials Mobile UPDATE: Audials is dead. This link expired.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Free last.fm radio streaming everywhere with Skyfire, Run WMV Player plays Windows Media Video, Audials Mobile rips internet radio streams