Back from my self-imposed iPhone development exile, I wrote a new App: Waft. Waft plays streaming Internet radio stations. For free.
Waft makes it easy and fun for listening to the vast spectrum of Internet radio stations on the iPhone. Just pick a station and Waft begins to play, showing any song information embedded in the audio stream. Waft plays beautifully in the background in iOS 4.0.
Most of the other streaming players I’ve seen provide you with a giant list of stations and you get to choose from them. Waft does have a small station list to get you started, but in addition to choosing stations from an arbitrary list of limited stations, Waft lets you add any station from standard .pls or .m3u playlist files. Most Internet streaming stations are supported including those broadcast via Shoutcast/Icecast and Live365.
And yes, you heard me right, Waft is free. I am trying out the new iAd system to see how that works. I also provide a way to turn the ads off — via an in-App payment, of course. I don’t know how it will all pan out. But it’s going to be a fun experiment.
Waft requires iOS 4, as playing in the background is a core feature, as well as iAd. So for now, only iPhone and iPod Touch customers are supported. Once the iPad receives its OS upgrade I’ll have to make a few user interface changes before Waft becomes native, but that’s true of any app making the transition to the pad.