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Author Topic: Rarma Radio (Raimersoft) - Mini-Review  (Read 8872 times)
IainB
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« on: April 25, 2012, 07:48:11 AM »

Originally posted:2012-04-25
Last updated:2013-01-04

Basic Info
App Name (Freeware)
Thumbs-Up Rating Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
App URLhttp://www.raimersoft.com/rarmaradio.aspx
App Version ReviewedFreeware version 2.68.3
This is the current latest version, released May 23rd 2012.
See the release notes here.
Test System Specs.Win7-64 Home Premium
Supported OSesWindows 7 is the only one mentioned, but I presume XP would be OK, except maybe not for TV channel viewing.
Support MethodsWebsite says "If you need to get in touch then please send an email to: support@raimersoft.com"
Comprehensive Help file.
Upgrade PolicyFree updates. Check for newer versions from the Help menu.
Other Versions Available?
Pricing SchemeFreeware

SCREENSHOT OF APP INTERFACE:


Introduction/Overview:
A very nice Internet streamed radio/TV manager, and set up for easy find, capture and play.
A simple GUI belying its relatively extensive functionality and a comprehensive set of tools.
   Key Features:
  • Enables you to listen to and simultaneously record multiple streamed Internet Radio Stations from around the world.
  • Search, capture and management of available Internet radio stations and their output.
  • Capture and management of recording/playback of Internet radio stations and specific song tracks (where track separation is possible in a digital stream).
  • Search for and select Internet-streamed radio stations from around the world.
  • Select, sort, manage station Favourites.
  • Select/set some stations as presets for speed of access.
  • Select several stations to stream simultaneously as a grouped "Session". (Like saving a set of tabs in a browsing session, to restart as a set at a later point.)
  • Stream and record multiple stations simultaneously, whilst listening to another station.
  • Uses streamed station data (where present) to collect station logo and album cover art for currently streaming sessions, and song lyrics.
  • Can record either a station stream or just a currently playing song (if the stream data defines the latter).
  • Has facility to create a schedule for automatic recording.
  • Displays station stream information.
  • Displays cover art and lyrics for each song.
  • Can also connect to Internet TV stations.
  • Shutdown timer.
  • Dynamic boost.
  • Splitting files.
  • Playlist files.

WARNING: (Edit 2012-04-27) The installer currently comes with an OpenCandy install and if you do not select the "Custom Installation" and untick the Babylon adware, then the adware will be installed by default.
If, like me, you have an outgoing firewall block (I use Windows 7 Firewall Control <--- Thmbsup ), then the installer will not be able to "phone home" and fetch the adware, and the OpenCandy part of the install will not occur and will not be apparent to you at all.
(Thanks to @PhilB66 for alerting me to this, in the discussion thread below.)


Who this app is designed for:
Anyone who likes to listen to different radio services across the world, and who would also like to record stations/songs - or, (say) a radio theatre play - as they listen.

The Good:
It works very well, and does what it is designed to do.    Thmbsup
Is a surprisingly comprehensive radio application.    Thmbsup
Comprehensive Help file.    Thmbsup

Limitations:
It seems to be constrained only by those stations that do not meet with the stream data standard that RarmaRadio needs to look for.
Thus you may get one station that is mono in one ear, or RarmaRadio is unable to automatically determine the details of a song that is streaming, or when it has ended (for recording purposes).

Conclusions:
Super radio, and a beautiful, intuitive interface.
Very useful and enjoyable tool for those who like listening to the radio and/or recording programmes/music.
(I have not checked out its TV functionality.)

Links to other reviews of this application:
(None given.)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 10:08:51 PM by IainB; Reason: Minor update. » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 08:42:11 AM »

Looks nice -- thanks for posting this!  thumbs up
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PhilB66
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 08:57:28 AM »

Adware.
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tomos
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 09:24:51 AM »

Sounds interesting, thanks Iain


Adware.

any more info there?
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IainB
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 10:58:20 AM »

Oops, sorry. I forgot to mention that RarmaRadio has a pretty good Help document.
About to edit the OP with that note.

Adware.
Actually, I don't think I noticed any sign of adware in the install or the operation, but then I downloaded it from the raimersoft (author's) site. I don't recall that it had any of those annoying  and sneaky default opt-ins that you usually get with adware anyway.

It's a beautiful radio. I rather like it, and my daughter wants me to install it on her laptop now, after seeing it on mine. (She wants to record some of her fave pop songs.)
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PhilB66
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 07:07:11 PM »

All the products on raimersoft download page are powered by BetterInstaller (an OpenCandy type installer) but without the users knowledge/consent. The installer also leaves BetterInstaller.exe behind.

Hint: launch the installer and check your AppData\Local\Temp folder


* 2012-04-26_074154.jpg (42.52 KB, 510x395 - viewed 237 times.)
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IainB
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 09:43:15 AM »

@PhilB66: That's interesting. I don't get that "Babylon" screen, and no adware has been installed on my laptop.
The install sets up two folders in Temp:
  • is-4JF82.tmp
  • is-3MQE4.tmp
- with nothing "bad" in them as far as I can see.
The install did try to phone home, but my Windows 7 Firewall Control trapped that and I did not enable it.
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PhilB66
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 10:39:16 AM »

The install did try to phone home, but my Windows 7 Firewall Control trapped that and I did not enable it.

True, if you block the installer, you will not get the BetterInstaller adware, junk offers, Facebook script, etc. I still think you should include a warning about the installer in your review.
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Renegade
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 11:03:23 AM »

The install did try to phone home, but my Windows 7 Firewall Control trapped that and I did not enable it.

True, if you block the installer, you will not get the BetterInstaller adware, junk offers, Facebook script, etc. I still think you should include a warning about the installer in your review.

Have a quick read at my blog post "Opening Up OpenCandy".

I go through web traffic in depth there and show exactly what it is doing.

You can then imagine that what IainB sees is very different from what you see.

Advertisers generally pay more/less for different markets.

e.g. The US market is the highest paying market, while you won't get/pay jack all for ads in other countries like India or Cambodia. Even Canada is MUCH cheaper than the US market. etc. etc.

So, this isn't a failing of IainB, unless you expect reviewers to spend several days for mini-reviews. Wink Grin

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 12:25:58 PM »

While we're on internet radio players, anyone knows one that can scrobble what the radio played (if the stream contains the information). It would make it so easy to find tracks later again
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IainB
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 07:17:06 PM »

While we're on internet radio players, anyone knows one that can scrobble what the radio played (if the stream contains the information). It would make it so easy to find tracks later again
+1 for that! Maybe you could post it it as a request for a new DC app.?    Thmbsup
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PhilB66
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 08:23:37 PM »

@Renegade

Listen, you can try to twist my words, put smiley faces all over the place, whatever, but let me tell you, neither IainB nor the mini-review is the issue (never was, and not going to be), so stop implying otherwise.

Fact is that Raimersoft (the developer) does not inform users about the ad-supported installer, there is no license agreement/consent for the BetterInstaller product/service, and the Installer's "opt-out" mechanism is tricky by design. Not everyone who will be reading this review / following its recommendation is behind a a two-way firewall, technically sophisticated, etc. etc., hence a warning should be added.

Search for BetterInstaller, Somoto, DealBulldog to see that it does way more than just recommend software.

@IainB The folders names in %Temp% are unique. The the third one (which you did not get) has these files in it:

_isetup (folder), check.xml, itdownload.dll, temp.html, BetterInstaller.exe, and bi.exe

temp.html is a script to 'Like' the application on Facebook and check.xml is for a pre-offering checks (registry scan) for the following:
- Babylon (and BabylonToolbar)
- Incredimail (and Incredibar)
- Somoto (and SomotoToolbar)
- SweetIM
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IainB
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 09:36:33 PM »

Fact is that Raimersoft (the developer) does not inform users about the ad-supported installer
Yes, thanks. I abhor this OpenCandy practice.
I have re-run the install but allowed the "phone home" feature, and proven what you say about the OpenCandy (Babylon toolbar) stage.
I have added a WARNING and a screenshot (from my laptop) into the OP.

This is evidence of yet another good reason for having something like Windows 7 Firewall Controller installed, to control incoming/outgoing Internet access/traffic.
Interesting that I would have remained oblivious to the OpenCandy if you had not pointed it out.
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skwire
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 12:05:46 AM »

While we're on internet radio players, anyone knows one that can scrobble what the radio played (if the stream contains the information). It would make it so easy to find tracks later again
+1 for that! Maybe you could post it it as a request for a new DC app.?    Thmbsup

My music player, Trout, has Last.FM and Libre.FM support but currently does not scrobble radio streams (only local files).  I don't recall why I did it this way.  I think the Last.FM API may have asked not to scrobble streams but I just checked again and there's no mention of it.  At any rate, it would be a simple option to add to Trout.

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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2012, 07:34:23 PM »

I've been happily using RadioSure for a few years now.  You can record as well, more basic interface and use as stand alone without install.  My favorite stations are limited to a certain number I don't know if that's a paid vs free version limitation or a software limitation.
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IainB
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2012, 02:12:47 AM »

I have just updated the OP and made some minor changes:
EDIT 2012-07-03 re new/current latest version, as released May 23rd 2012.
Release notes:
Quote
Minor Update 2.68.3
    Fixed: No longer resets manual settings when changing equalizer preset
    Fixed: Minor bugs

Currently listening to Voice of Russia news broadcast in English. Just heard something like this:
Quote
Ground-breaking news. Hear the news from the first station to broadcast the news ... that Russia was taking steps to prevent the risk of a world war crisis over Cuba.
Now that is arguably leagues ahead of the kind of spin you get out of Downing Street or the WH. Pretty impressive.
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IainB
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 07:59:31 AM »

2012-11-01: made an update to the OP (Minor updates and rearrangement of layout.)
Worth noting also that the sound from this radio player generally sounds better in stereo than in 7.1 surround sound - on my Logitech G930 headphones, at any rate.
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IainB
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 10:12:14 PM »

Made a minor update to the review in the opening post. No real changes. No newer current version of the software.


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