Five Web Radio Services You'll Love
Web based radio allows you to listen to online radio stations on your computer or on a mobile device. But of course, the Internet is much cooler than a radio, so Internet radio lets you do all kinds of things you can't do with regular AM, FM or satellite radio broadcasts. Here's the scoop on tuning in to Internet radio...
Tuning in Your Favorite Songs With Internet Radio
There are hundreds of traditional broadcast radio stations that simulcast their programming online. So if all you want to do is tune in a favorite station and listen all day long, that's fine. But you can do a lot more with Internet radio, such as play a specific song, artist, or genre. You can even explore new musical avenues by letting the service choose a playlist based on your likes and dislikes.
To connect to Internet radio generally all you have to do is access an Internet radio website, search for a station, genre, artist or song, and click the Play button. Here are five online radio services that each offer a little different take on connecting you with the music you like.
Slacker is a very popular Internet radio station. It has an extensive collection of radio stations covering every genre, and it even allows you to create your own station using the site's music library. The basic version of Slacker is free, however, if you don't want to deal with banner ads and audio commercials then you can opt to upgrade to the paid version, Slacker Radio Plus.
One of the best features of this Internet radio service is that it is very mobile. In fact there are apps for taking Slacker with you on your BlackBerry Smartphone, your iPod or your iPhone. If you don't have one of these mobile devices you can purchase a Slacker G2, which is a mobile music device that will allow you to listen to Slacker programming where ever you go, and each time you connect via a WiFi network, your programming will be refreshed.
Pandora is another popular Internet radio station that you can use. Pandora is unique because they use technology called the Music Genome Project, which captures the essence of music at a fundamental level, by assembling the musical attributes or "genes" (melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, lyrics and vocal styles) into a Music Genome. This enables Pandora to suggest a playlist of artists and songs that you'll probably enjoy, even if you've never heard them before. I've discovered some music I really like this way.
Pandora is also well suited for mobile users. It is compatible with a few types of AT&T and Sprint mobile phones, as well as with BlackBerry phones, iPhones and with Windows Mobile. This site allows you to search for music using the artist's name or the song title. You can even search for music videos. Pandora also allows you to share your playlists and song selections with other Pandora members.
iHeartRadio is a free online radio service that makes it easy to find streaming broadcasts of your favorite real-world radio stations. You can tune in over 1,500 live stations from across the USA including pop, talk, country, rock, news and other popular genres. Browse or search for radio stations by call letters, genre or location, then hit the scan button to find other similar stations. If you've got an Internet connection, you're no longer limited by physical or geographic access to the radio waves that carry a particular radio signal. So, for example, you could be in London, Paris, or Tokyo, and still tune in to WABC (AM 770 in New York City) to catch the Imus in the Morning show.
Or if you prefer, create your own station! Similar to Slacker and Pandora, you can pick a song or artist to create your own station featuring music from that artist. You custom station will include songs from other artists that are similar or in the same genre. The iHeartRadio catalog has 14 million songs and 400,000 artists.
When you create a custom station based on an artist, you'll find a list of their top songs, a bio, and a list of albums they've released over the years. The Similar Artists tab shows other artists and bands that will appear on your station. Personalize or tweak the music that's played on your station by voting on songs or by adjusting the Discovery Tuner, which lets you control the mix of familiar and less familiar artists.
I first discovered iHeartRadio on my smartphone. Apps are available for Android, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone and even the Xbox. So you can listen at home on your desktop, or on the go with a mobile device.
One of the most customizable Internet radio station available is SHOUTcast. SHOUTcast allows you to set up your own radio station and select a number of ways to access the station. For example, you can download a SHOUTcast toolbar for your Internet browser, you can download a widget to add to your website or blog page or you can download a free iPhone app to go mobile with SHOUTcast. Like other Internet radio stations, SHOUTcast also allows you to browse for a station via genre. This site has one of the most extensive genre station lists in the business, especially if you're looking for stations outside North America.
Another option that you have for a basic Internet radio station is Live365. This one allows you to select stations by genre, they offer you a list of daily recommendations, they allow you to preset your toolbar with the stations that you listen to the most and they even allow you to create your own broadcast. Live365 also offers a great selection of free downloads and widgets that you can use to add Live365 to your website or blog page.
What's YOUR Favorite Internet Radio Station?
I've mentioned a handful of the most popular web-based radio services, but there are many others to choose from. What's your favorite, or what do you like about any of the ones above? Add to the list by posting your comments below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 23 Oct 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Five Web Radio Services You'll Love (Posted: 23 Oct 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved