BDTA: Find new music with the Radio Fredo app (review)

Belly Dance Tech Academy: Review of Radio Fredo app

Whether we’re professional dancers or just beginning, most of us are constantly on the hunt for new music. Sometimes this can be difficult, whether it’s because of a language barrier (not everyone can read popular Arabic music sites!) or because listening to song samples on iTunes and YouTube is time-consuming.

This is where a radio app can be a dancer’s best friend, introducing you to new music to play at haflas, use for improvisational exercises or build your music library with. While app stores do have reviews, they don’t usually have dancers in mind. In my first app review, I hope to touch on some of the many things that dancers are looking for when they seek out new music.

Radio Fredo

The channels page of the Radio Fredo app

Radio Fredo is a mobile app that gives users access to 20 pre-loaded Arabic internet┬áradio stations. Because the stations are streaming live radio broadcasts, they can occasionally cut out or be interrupted by DJs. While it might pause your jam session at a party, it’s not a major problem because you can just switch to the next station. While Radio Fredo’s instant access to a wide variety music is incredible, it does have one major pitfall if you’re using it as a music discovery tool: no written out song titles/artist info! Most of the stations have websites or desktop platforms that have more song information (and Great Cedars even allows for requests), but these are not accessible from the mobile app.┬áSo far, Great Cedars Radio, Musik Oriental and Radio Middle East CA are my favorite channels, perfect for keeping me company on long commutes (and probably helping me get strange looks from my neighbors when I unconsciously start bopping along to the music!).

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Multi-tasking: Yes, runs in the background while you use other apps. Does not support pause/volume capabilities unless you are on the app screen.

Song titles/artist names: None onscreen. Some channels with DJs do announce song titles, but they can be difficult to understand for non-Arabic speakers.

What can I expect to hear? Pop favorites/Top 40, old classics, remixes. Mostly in Arabic, some French.

What kind of dancers would like this app? Cabaret, Egyptian, Orientale, Lebanese

Recommended by Najla? yes

Price: free

Where can I get it? Download Radio Fredo on iTunes

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Belly Dance Tech Academy: How to use technology to improve your dancing

Over the past decade or so, technology has been one of the greatest influencers in belly dance. Until relatively recently, dancers had to rely on the few vinyl records available for music or squint to see images of the divas of Cairo on crackling, snowy VHS tapes that were handed down from teacher to student. Today we can download music in a matter of seconds and watch twenty different versions of “Enta Omri” from dancers from ten different countries.

So how do we use this technology to our advantage? My goal with the Belly Dance Tech Academy series of posts is to suggest innovative ways to incorporate web-based technology into your belly dance practice, as well as to review products, apps and websites with the specific needs and desires of dancers in mind. Have a product I should review? Let me know!

Welcome to my new belly dance blog

Hello, and welcome to my brand new blog! This will be a place where I’ll discuss all things belly dance, from costuming and music to dance history and recent dance shows.

A bit about me… I’m a professional Egyptian style belly dance performer and instructor based in New York City. You can read more of my bio on the blog’s About page, or visit the bio page on my website

Stay tuned for this week’s post, which will appeal to the techie dancers out there.