Digital music serial entrepreneur Michael Roberston today launched UberStations. Robertson previous projects included MP3.com and MP3Tunes, as well as the still active DAR.fm, a DVR for radio. UberStations monitors thousands of music and talk radio stations in real-time and users can see what songs are playing on stations in their area.
For talk stations users see what shows are playing. By default users are shown stations in their local region, but they can also search for stations in other areas and monitor what is playing in those areas.
Clicking a station plays the stream in a web browser. In what Robertson says is an industry first, both MP3 and AAC stations stream directly into the browser using HTML5 with a Flash fallback providing a universal player for all popular radio stations. UberStations' recommendation engine scans thousands of stations to suggest streams with similar programming.
"Remember when you had to scan through each TV channel to find something to listen to because there was no interactive guide? That's how radio still is today, but UberStations changes that," says Michael Robertson.
A First Look
A quick self-tour of UberStations found the site still a little buggy (some streams did not load) and missing my favorite local station (eclectic AAA/Americana hybrid, 101.5 The Music Place), but it was oddly satisfying to know what I'd be hearing across the dial before I hit play.
Competitor TuneIn offers a somewhat slicker design and user experience, but lacks several of UberStations key features.
Here is Roberston's quick video tour of the site: