Windows Phone 7 Wednesday; Zune isn't the only audio option

One of my favorite features on Windows Phone 7 is the Zune integration. However, there are many more audio choices and now even an app for wireless podcast downloads.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Another week and another 428 apps for the Windows Phone 7 platform, including a couple more cool Xbox LIVE game titles I need to download and give a try. You will find iBlast Moki ($2.99) and 3D Brick Breaker Revolution ($2.99). Remember, you can install both of these and give them a try for free before you make the purchase and you will find them in the Games hub and not on the list of applications.

The number of new apps each week is staying fairly consistent at just over 400 a week and this week I decided to talk about some of the audio content alternatives you have on Windows Phone 7, primarily because I FINALLY found a podcatcher application that lets me find, subscribe, and download all of my podcasts over 3G and WiFi. This functionality is really something Microsoft should have in the Zune part of Windows Phone 7, but for $1.99 you can get an app that works quite well.

You can stream Zune Marketplace songs and albums you select, but you might want to have some software present songs based on your listening preferences or catch some live sports or news from your favorite AM radio stations so this week let's take a look at five apps to enhance your audio experience on Windows Phone 7.

  1. BringCast: As I mentioned above, I can finally get all my favorite podcasts downloaded right to my HD7 thanks to BringCast. BringCast supports video and audio podcasts, downloading via 3G or WiFi, playlist support, import from OMPL, and full integration with the Music and Videos hub on Windows Phone 7. It was cool to see the podcasts I downloaded in the Music and Videos hub, but unfortunately you cannot use other apps while listening to your podcasts even though you can turn off your display. The trial version supports 3 feed subscriptions, but I skipped right over that and paid the low price of $1.99 for this application and am happy with the software performance and functionality.
  2. Slacker Radio: I became a fan of Slacker Radio over a year ago on my Android device so I was quite pleased to see it available on my T-Mobile HTC HD7 at launch. I used to use Pandora, but personally find Slacker Radio doesn't repeat as often and serves up more music I enjoy. This current version on Windows Phone 7 is FREE and the more advanced features, including offline caching, should be coming in future updates for subscription customers. Slacker also integrates into the Music and Videos hub.
  3. Last.fm: Similar to Slacker Radio, I enjoy using Last.fm for streaming music content on my mobile devices. Last.fm actually comes to WP7 from Microsoft and is a great looking and enjoyable application that even shows you local events. Last.fm is available for FREE.
  4. iheartradio: Your Windows Phone 7 device has an integrated FM radio, but you really need AM to listen to live sports and news. This is where iheartradio comes into play with over 750 favorite local radio stations. You can search by city, genre, and personalities so you should be able to find something that interests you. I love the way you can hear a song you like then jump right into Zune Marketplace to get that song through your Zune Pass. There is a premium option for select commercial-free content too. iheartradio is available for FREE and I highly recommend it.
  5. Soundtrckr: Another streaming music application that I just recently started trying out on my Symbian^3 Nokia N8 and HD7 Windows Phone 7 device is Soundtrckr. The application is available for FREE and you do need to sign up for a free account to use the application. You get access to over 8 million songs, with the ability to create and share personal radio stations with friends. You can search your city for music and share your favorite stations via Facebook and Twitter.

There are more cool audio apps, like Shazam and Resco Radio, but the ones above are my top five favorite apps. What are your favorite audio-related apps on Windows Phone 7?

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