September 15, 2011

I do not heart iHeartRadio

Clear Channel is recently trying to go big with iHeartRadio as a competitor to Pandora. Sadly, usability issues prevent me from liking iHeartRadio.

iHeartRadio has some interesting ideas going for it - access to radio stations it owns and operates across the country and create your own custom station, based on an artist you give it, then it will customize the station based on how you rate songs, just like Pandora. It claims to have 11 million songs, much more than Pandora.

Sure enough, it has a non-mainstream artist I listen to and their newest albums. Their older albums were absent. Typing in the artist name was a challenge, though. After typing in a few characters, iHeartRadio searches for possible artists you are trying to type in. In doing so, however, the cursor goes back to the beginning. What you type will now be at the front. iHeartRadio needs to do this without changing the cursor focus.

Secondly, to create the custom station, you need to connect it to a Facebook profile and give it access to various things within Facebook. Not something I generally want to do, especially when just trying to test out something. I went along with it though to try it out, knowing I could remove it later.

I had no luck. It connected with Facebook, but I was left at the iHeartRadio site. No music. I tried creating a station again. A window quickly pops up again and closes.

I gave up after this. There shouldn't be this much difficulty to use a website, even just to demo it. Pandora is in no danger from iHeartRadio anytime soon.

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