I stumbled onto a mobile site that will tell you what song is currently playing on almost any US radio station. The site is mobile.yes.com and it’s actually not new having been around for over three years. It works pretty well after you get past the initial hurtle of finding your station – which is a bit tedious on the phone. You first pick your city and then the station. Yes has thankfully broken the city list up by first letter of the city name, so I just clicked, clicked, clicked way down in a dropdown to “S” and and then in a second dropdown to “San Francisco” and finally in a third dropdown to the station I was listing to. On the full Yes.com web site you just enter the call letters, which should be an option on mobile too. Keep the menu driven interface for those people who refuse to enter text on a phone but give the rest of us a call-letters entry field, sheesh call letters are only four characters it would be so much faster then the endless drop downs.
Once you have found your station, bookmark the page. Yes Mobile will remember your station and city but only if your provider sends a unique subscriber ID in the html headers. Not all carriers do and neither do Opera Mini’s servers. I don’t know why Yes doesn’t use a cookie. It’s true that in the early days of WAP cookies weren’t well supported but the opposite is true today. Anyway, at least Yes creates a book-markable url that will always take you back to a specific station’s page.
The actual page where the song is listed is clean and simple with the artist, song title and album (if any) at the top on the page, above the “fold” on most phones. Too bad Yes doesn’t include a “Refresh” button or link. On some browsers the refresh function is buried. Like on the Openwave V. 7 browser on my Motorola i855 – to refresh I have to hold down the menu button for a few seconds to bring up the browser menu then choose “Advanced” and then “Refresh”. Come on Openwave, you guys used to make the best mobile browsers with the greatest usability but the refresh thing on V7 is so screwed up. On this browser a short press of the menu key does nothing, so why do we have to press and hold the menu key to get a menu? And since when is refreshing the page an advanced feature – Opera Mini, which I’m liking more and more, makes refresh a hotkey function.
Yes has commercial tie ins with Amazon and iTunes. If you hear a song you like you can order the CD from Amazon and get a dollar off by doing it from the Yes mobile site. The iTunes integration is only available from the web not the mobile site, presumably because iTunes doesn’t support mobile downloads.
Yes claims to cover 2500 stations which sounds like a lot until you consider that there are over 12,000 AM and FM stations in the country. Still, Yes covers most of the stations I listen too regularly so I like it. Set up a few bookmarks to your favorite stations and then when you think “that singer’s voice sounds familiar but who is it?”, just grab your mobile and get the answer with a few clicks. Yes.com serves both WAP1 and WAP2 versions of the site from the same url using browser detection to (hopefully) always serve the optimal version to your phone. Content is the same for both WAP flavors but the WAP2 pages are more attractive thanks to the use of color.
Yes.com Mobile: wml/xhtml-basic