There’s clearly an insatiable audience for radio and music apps, and Fuzz Radio is one of the latest entrants into the crowded marketplace. What makes Fuzz Radio different from other offerings is its ability for users to create their own stations using their own audio files and those uploaded by others. All that’s required is the occasional use of a computer.
Can control be the key to Fuzz Radio becoming the king of radio broadcasting apps? Find out after the jump.
What’s On the Dial?
Fuzz Radio declares itself to be people-powered radio and delivers on that promise. A human DJ curates each station, so its playlist features songs that they have uploaded into their library. Songs can also come from giving tunes heard on others’ Fuzz Radio stations props — which we’ll explore in a little bit.
Users can find a station using the search tool. Type in a term and you will be given results of artists, stations and DJs categories. Within artists, you can choose the one you’re looking for and will be guided to lists of stations that play them, something that will also happen within stations, though the results between the two may vary.
As you might have guessed, searching this way will also guide you to specific DJs if you know their names. You will also be able to search for broad and narrow genres, in case you want a to listen to niches, such as all-encompassing R&B versus, say, ’70s funk.
The listening experience with Fuzz Radio won’t feel entirely like listening to a terrestrial or online station, and not just because of a lack of a DJ’s voice or station identifications. Since the tunes on playlists come from uploaded MP3s and other acceptable formats, the process is equal to listening to songs on iTunes in shuffle with no overlapping play.
While fine, listeners may occasionally hear long gaps of dead air between tracks. This seems to be especially true of older songs imported from older albums recorded before the digital age and because of buffering. Sound quality also varies. Most stations have clear and crisp audio, but several produced an almost tinny sound. Given that so many stations had decent quality tunes, these others could be a result of poor quality uploads.
When actually listening, a song’s album artwork will be what Fuzz Radio users will see on their screen, provided the file had artwork attached to it.
If you don’t enjoy the song that is current playing, you can tap the fast forward button in the bottom-right corner. There appears to be a limit of six skips per hour when listening to a station. To reset the number, you can go to another station and listen to it for a while before returning to the original station with skips replenished or just wait until you accrue more.
The Exponential Library
Let’s say you’re listening to a Fuzz station and you hear a jam that really grabs your ear. You can give the song props, indicated by the thumbs up icon at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will serve two functions. The first helps you remember songs that you like. Naturally, when exploring this list of tunes, Fuzz will provide a link to purchase a track from iTunes. It will also remind you which station you heard it on and who the DJ of that station is, should you want to check out more from either one. There will also be a link to more stations that play your remembered song’s featured artist.
Secondly, giving a song props will add it to your library of music, which makes it playable on your self-created stations. This means, thankfully, that you are not limited to just the songs that you own.
You Be the DJ
While listening to Fuzz Radio on your iPhone can be enjoyable, kicking up the experience a notch will require you to sit in front of a computer. In order to make a station for the listening pleasure of your friends and family, you’ll have to go online to upload your tracks.
Visit and log in to Fuzz.com. Under the manage stations section, you’ll be able to upload audio files from your computer into your library. Once a song has made it to the site, you can place it into any of your stations that you have created. Yes, that’s stations plural, meaning you are not limited to just one output. Create niche channels, but manage all of your audio files in one library, which is very convenient for an endeavor such as this.
Tailoring the playback of your stations is also simple, mostly because there are only two options: shuffled playback or playing the songs in the order that you program them. Setting a station to shuffle seems to be the best way to keep it interesting and to mask the fact that it may not yet have many tunes available.
Plus, who wants to listen to the same songs in the same order every time you turn on the app?
Is Fuzz Buzzworthy?
Fuzz Radio is very reminiscent of Songza’s Web form from about two or three years ago. The ability to create your own station — this time using your own library of music versus Songza’s then-access to its approved albums and artists — is a powerful and fun tool, and probably offers more in the way of ear-pleasing tunes than something like algorithmed Spotify or an already-programmed station.
Fuzz Radio is in its infancy, though, and there aren’t that many DJs or really good stations on the app at this time. However, that’s not to say that good stuff can’t be found, but until more folks start using Fuzz, there’s a bit of a “musical desert” of certain genres, artists and songs.
But the ability to control your music and more fans flocking to the app could be the reason why it’s worth hopping on Fuzz Radio. The more the merrier and the more that can be added to the massive digital library that will travel with you from device to device.