Will an iPod Play FM Radio?

by Adrian Grahams

The Apple iPod can store thousands of your favorite songs and podcasts in its internal memory, but occasionally you might want to listen to your favorite FM radio station as a change from listening to the tracks and playlists stored on your iPod. Among the iPod range of models, only the iPod Nano comes with an integrated FM radio receiver that you can access with the "Radio" app on the iPod's home screen. The iPod Touch is the only other iPod model to offer a radio option -- a non-native solution available via Internet radio apps that you can download from iTunes rather than through an integrated FM tuner.

About the iPod Nano FM Radio App

The iPod Nano's Radio app offers several useful features that let you to tune into any FM station available locally. The device's integrated radio tuner scans the FM waveband and, when you find a station you like, you can save it as a favorite station. The Radio app also lets you pause live radio and then resume listening to the broadcast up to 15 minutes later. The pause control offers a fast-forward and rewind function so that you can move back and forth through a paused broadcast to find the content you want to hear. Some radio stations also allow you to tag the songs you like on the iPod Nano and purchase them from iTunes.

iPod Nano FM Radio App Requirements

Before launching the iPod Nano's FM radio app, you must plug the device's headphones into the jack because the headphone cable incorporates an integrated antenna that the iPod uses to receive FM broadcasts. After inserting the headphones, tap the "Radio" app icon on the iPod Nano home screen to launch the application. Use the onscreen touch and swipe controls to scan for FM stations, save radio stations as favorites, pause and resume live radio and tag the songs you like in radio broadcasts.

Radio Apps for the iPod Touch

If you have an iPod Touch rather than the Nano, you can listen to radio on the device by downloading and installing a free or premium Internet radio app from iTunes. Available Internet radio apps include AOL Radio, Internet Radio Box, Shoutcast Radio and TuneIn Radio. They all offer similar functions, including access to thousands of radio stations playing a wide range of music, news and talk shows. Many local FM stations stream their output online, so you may be able to use the app to tune into your favorite local FM station. Most Internet radio apps also offer advanced features, such as favorite station lists, social network sharing and background playback.

Installing a Radio App on the iPod Touch

To download and install an Internet radio app on the iPod Touch, launch the iTunes App Store from the device's home screen. Use the search function to find a specific Internet radio app or to browse through a list of available radio apps. When you've found the app you want to install, tap the "Free" or price tag button beside the app's name, and then enter your Apple ID password. Wait for the download to finish, and then tap the "Open" button next to the app icon to launch the radio app. Navigation and search features vary by app, but most let you browse through radio station lists by location, name or musical genre. To listen to stations, your iPod Touch must be connected to a Wi-Fi wireless network at your home, office or at a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images