(October 5, 2016)
|operating system||Windows , macOS|
|category||Internet radio player|
|License||Adware , Plus: Subscription model from € 0.99 / month to € 7.95 / month|
Phonostar is a German-language internet portal and a player of the same name for internet radio in various audio formats ( WMA & MP3 ). The company, founded in 2003, started in the same year with an Internet radio player that was available to users both as a free edition financed by advertising in the software (so-called adware ) and as a paid version (Phonostar Player Plus). is available for download. From version 2.0 a podcast client is integrated in the Phonostar player . With more than two million users, the Phonostar player is one of the most widely used playback systems for Internet radio in German-speaking countries. A station database with more than 8,000 radio stations from over 125 countries is integrated into the software .
The software system is supplemented by the German-language websites Phonostar.de, on which you can find editorially supervised program information on mostly German-language radio programs, tips on Internet radio and news from the radio scene. All the stations presented can be listened to directly in the Phonostar player with one click.
Phonostar GmbH is a software development company and service company in the field of internet radio based in Hamburg . The company was founded in mid-2003. Phonostar GmbH produces software systems for customer acquisition and customer loyalty and sells them in the B2B area. Services related to internet radio and online entertainment are also offered. With the "Imageradio" Hirsch.FM , Phonostar implemented an in-house internet radio for Mast-Jägermeister AG in 2006 .
Functionality and user functions
The Phonostar player is free software for listening to and recording internet radio. It is classified as adware because a short promotional video is played when it is launched and the user interface can display advertisements. The system is programmed in C ++ and consists of various applications and program libraries . The player accesses existing systems ( Windows Media Player ) and plays several audio formats without making any special settings. The main area of the Phonostar player contains controls such as start, stop, record, volume and mute, as well as the information area for the radio station being played, in which the author data is displayed. The user can add new channels to the database, recommend them or communicate changes.
The pull-out window of the Phonostar player consists of two sections. In the options area you can find the search system, program information, podcast and other individual setting options (for example: language). Stations can be added or removed from a personal favorites list, additional information about the radio station can be displayed or the user can go to the homepage of the respective radio station. The ranking lists of the 100 most popular radio stations with the Phonostar player can be found under “Topsender” in the options area. In addition to the general “top” station list, you can also select by genre. In the search function of the options area, stations can be found according to criteria such as genre, country, language, station type. Format, quality or just search by name.
The recording function can be individually set and configured in the options area. This makes it possible, for example, to save radio broadcasts in compressed MP3 format or to adjust the recording level. Individual broadcasts or recurring broadcast formats can be stored under the timer function. The timer entry leads to an automatic recording of the selected program in the set format, which is then saved as a file on the hard drive. The program tips area provides the user with an overview of programs for the next three days. By clicking on a respective program tip, the user receives additional editorial information on the program.
From version 2.0 there is a podcast client which is connected to the Phonostar website. Editorially selected podcasts can be subscribed to using search criteria and inserted directly into the player. After inserting the subscription, the podcast client always searches for the latest podcast in the respective series.
The Phonostar Player Plus is the paid version of the Phonostar Player with additional functions such as a WAV converter that converts WAV files into MP3 files, an editing function for the recordings, an unlimited podcast subscription service and the option of several Record programs at the same time. The paid Phonostar player is ad-free.
The business model of Phonostar GmbH is based on the licensing of the software for corporate customers who can use and distribute the player in their own design to acquire new customers and retain customers. At the moment, the graphical user interface can only be changed in version 2.x using so-called skins under the heading "Skin". Skins in the corporate design of Congstar, Samsung, W&V and other sponsors, which also enable news and advertising from these companies, can be downloaded from the Phonostar website. Phonostar GmbH also produces OEM versions of the player for broadcasters . These versions are distributed by the broadcaster under their own direction and responsibility and, in addition to an adapted design (usually not changeable as in the retail version), also have functional extensions and restrictions. In this way, Deutschlandfunk is supported by Phonostar GmbH. The dradio recorder is an OEM version of the Phonostar player and can be downloaded from the broadcaster's website. In contrast to the retail version, it can be classified as freeware because the advertising leader is omitted when the program starts and the messages displayed are limited to information that accompanies or supplements the radio program.
From version 3.02.9, recordings can be made in the so-called radio cloud; this is more reliable than on your own computer, which does not need to be switched on for this.
The Phonostar GmbH website is an editorial information portal on the subject of internet radio . Program information , station tips and radio news provide an overview of the diversity of internet radio and provide information on radio plays , concerts , reports , radio interviews and radio programs and shows through editorial contributions .
The top 100 list of internet radio stations is calculated on the basis of the listening hours achieved with the player over the last 30 days. Therefore, it is mainly the well-known radio stations that appear in the list.