Five Web Radio Services You'll Love

Category: Music

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

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.
web radio

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

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

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.

SHOUTcast

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.

Live365

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...

 
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Most recent comments on "Five Web Radio Services You'll Love"

(See all 36 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

andreia
24 Oct 2012

I like spotify and slacker. I like the reviews and band information on slacker. I like spotify's recommendations.


Posted by:

Peri
24 Oct 2012

I love Songza. I use it on my ipad, my android and my browser.


Posted by:

Bruce
24 Oct 2012

I've been using Stitcher on my iPhone. So far so good. Pandora also, but mostly for comedy.


Posted by:

Marilyn
24 Oct 2012

Because I love to listen to old time radio programs, I log into www.archive.org. Hundreds of programs are available free.


Posted by:

Alan
24 Oct 2012

181.fm
They have many genre to choose from,no DJ's the odd advert and uninterrupted music.


Posted by:

wilkmjw
24 Oct 2012

I like to listen to either Spotify or TuneIN


Posted by:

Alistair Edwards
24 Oct 2012

...and most of them unavailable outside the USA


Posted by:

Sebastian Vizcaino
24 Oct 2012

No one has mentioned live365.com yet. The cajun/zydeco selections are the best I've found. Try Po Bo and Bienvenue, The're lively toe tapping stations. Great new and old mix.


Posted by:

Igor
24 Oct 2012

Spotify, Tune.in, Sky.fm are great with a wide range of chanells to chose from. We love them... Many thanks from
shoutcast hosting service UK


Posted by:

U
24 Oct 2012

"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."

Correction: One also needs an IP address in the U.S.


Posted by:

Dwight
24 Oct 2012

Another great choice is fairly new, "StreamLicensing.com"


Posted by:

Jeff
24 Oct 2012

Wolfgang's Concert Vault (was free, now an annual fee) has tons of concerts collected over the years (including the old "King Bisquit Flower Hour". Check out the website. I've used it for a few years and it's great!


Posted by:

DMyles
24 Oct 2012

i've used slacker for years; the selections, music info, lyrics and reviews and variety as well as fine tuning, are great features... be warned tho, their software (both web-based, and on their devices) as well as the devices themselves, are a little unreliable. i've used slacker plus (subscription about $50/ year) for 2 years. all in all, i am satisfied with the service, tho i grumble about it from time to time.


Posted by:

Don Potts
25 Oct 2012

I listen to the best 24 hr. Jazz station I have found, after researching many others. It is KPLU , on the web as Jazz24.org, out of Washington state.


Posted by:

Hal Wrobel
25 Oct 2012

I like http://streema.com/radios/genre/Classical but http://streema.com/radios/ give a great choice of countries and genres.


Posted by:

Lawrence
28 Oct 2012

CKUA.com and click Listen Live. The announcers actually pick their own musical selections to play. And their selections are eclectic: folk, alternative, Celtic, world, classical, rock, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, jazz. Stay there all day and you'll hear it all.


Posted by:

Michelle
01 Nov 2012

I use Tune-in Radio and it gets stations from all over the world!


Posted by:

Dan
03 Nov 2012

www.vtuner.com

Click it...you'll see why it's
the best.


Posted by:

Bryan Doherty
04 Nov 2012

I like Tune-in, it has great search features and has a sleep timer. I also like Stitcher. For music listening, although I pay a modest monthly fee, Spotify is my choice over Mog and Rdio.


Posted by:

christopher
04 Mar 2013

playlist.com has been my favorite for a while. a long time ago, i avoided napster and it's wannabe's and used audiogalaxy.
our sony dvd player has pandora which is a hit and miss proposition but acceptable.
for italian contemporary music, we use www.radioitalia.it
I also have relied more and more on podcasts ....
NPR has a wonderful list and i have listened to coverville for years.


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