Free Online 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.

Pandora is a very popular Internet radio service that you can try. 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.

free Internet radio

Pandora is also well suited for mobile users. 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.


Slacker is another popular Internet radio service. 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 Slacker is that it is also mobile. There are apps for taking Slacker with you on your iPhone or Android smartphone, and even in the car.


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 your favorite talk radio program.

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. Your custom station will include songs from other artists that are similar or in the same genre. The iHeartRadio catalog has millions of songs.

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.

I first discovered iHeartRadio on my smartphone. Apps are available for Android, iPhone, iPad, Amazon Echo, Google Home, gaming boxes, and pretty much any gadget that has a speaker. So you can listen at home on your desktop, on the go with a mobile device, and even in the car.

is one of the most customizable Internet radio station. 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 is yet another option that you have for a basic Internet radio station. This one allows you to select stations from a long list of genres.

AccuRadio is worth a mention because it offers thousands of hand-crafted music channels that will sound great all day long. Plus, you get unlimited skips, so you can avoid listening to Neil Young. :-)

If you love old-time radio classics, you can get your fill at The Internet Archive. CBS Radio Mystery Theater, The Whistler, Lone Ranger, and many others are preserved here.

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 "Free Online Radio Services You'll Love"

(See all 38 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

ChickJ
13 Mar 2018

I love Boomer Radio.It has many types of music. My favorite is Acoustic Cafe. It is artists I grew up with and plays their lesser known hits.


Posted by:

George Newby
13 Mar 2018

Tune-In Radio seems to work real well. I use it on a couple of Android devices; not sure if there is an iOS version.


Posted by:

ct
13 Mar 2018

I love New Orleans/Cajun music. Usually just stay tuned to WWOZ.org.


Posted by:

Chuck
14 Mar 2018

I love Pandora and have been using it for years. My only problem is that I live in Thailand for several months a year and it is not available here. (without a VPN connection which are limited if they're free)


Posted by:

Paul S
14 Mar 2018

Arline: I believe Alexa has access to TuneIn radio. I know I listen to several stations that way.

ct: Pandora has a nice Cajun and Zydeco station.

My goto resources are Pandora, TuneIn and Sonos with occasional "surprises" courtesy of Alexa.


Posted by:

Andy
14 Mar 2018

I listen to www.onlineradiobox.com It has many Stations and Genres. It has some commercials on the stations that you listen to, but there is a paid addition with no commercials. The one I listen to is Canada, Ontario, Markham, and then click on any of the 65 stations/Genres marked for Calm Radio. There is also Streamingthe.net It has both Radio and TV stations. Go there and download the link. You can also subscribe to it and they will send periodic emails for Radio Station / TV links. Since I live in Canada, Pandora is not legally available, however, by using HOLA , download it and than Pandora may be heard in Canada.


Posted by:

Marion
14 Mar 2018

iheart radio doesn't seem to work. It first tries to get me to upgrade for a 30 day trial for what I don't know. Then when I click on a station it gives the 404 error code for page not available. The only stations I can get are rap music stations and other garbage with which I would not torture my worst enemy. Their website gives me a headache with all the graphics and other nonsense. Why can't websites just be utilitarian, work and stop trying to impress me with how creative the "web page designers" are?


Posted by:

Marion
14 Mar 2018

OK. I give up. Is there a website that just has a list of the radio stations it uses, so I can just view their list to see if, e.g., station KZZZ 900.0 AM in Boingo, N.D. is on their list, and, then just listen to whatever that station is broadcasting? I am not interested in music. I have all the music I would ever want to hear on my own media. I just want to access certain stations for which I am beyond their radio broadcasting area. Anybody know if this exists? Bob's article seems to focus on the music aspect only.


Posted by:

Cherylb
14 Mar 2018

Thanks for mentioning live365. That was my go-to site until they closed a year or so ago and didn't realized they had returned.
I've been listening to accuradio and love it, but I will be checking out the resurrected live365 and see what they are like.


Posted by:

Dennis
14 Mar 2018

I use the Android App 'Simple Radio' as it is, well, simple and easy to use. My favourite station in Venice Classical Radio - or Radio Dunedin from New Zealand. Thank you for some other ideas.


Posted by:

Richard Krieger
14 Mar 2018

I downloaded the app for my favourite radio station. I just click on it and it plays on my phone. Simple.


Posted by:

Richard Krieger
14 Mar 2018

I downloaded the app for my favourite radio station. I just click on it and it plays on my phone. Simple.


Posted by:

dlfs
14 Mar 2018

Marion,

I hear your frustration! The info displayed by many of these apps is annoying and often of little use.

For most, maybe all, of the internet radio apps (I use TuneIn frequently and some others occasionally) you can use their search feature to find your radio station. Look up whatever radio station you desire on the internet and type their URL into the app's search box. It should find the station within a very few seconds. Mark it as a favorite and you'll never have to search again.


Posted by:

B A Vet
14 Mar 2018

I use Tune-In Radio on iOS and on my Browser (Safari and Chrome).
Also use Pandora (free version)


Posted by:

Monique
15 Mar 2018

Hey! Bob this PANDORA you said it was FREE it is NOT FREE you have to pay.....for me FREE is COMPLETELY FREE NO MONEY INVOLVED I really don't know why you would say it's FREE BECAUSE IT AIN'T!


Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
15 Mar 2018

Pandora has both a free (with brief commercials scattered in) version and a paid version. I've only used the free version, and I'm very happy with it. It learns from my preferences, and sometimes leads me to songs I'd never heard before but really like. Similarly with singers I wasn't familar with. I love being able to customize channels.

My daughter uses Pandora for "baby channel" music for my one-year old grandson. It keeps him occupied during car rides.

I've got lots of music stored on my smart phone, but it's easier just to turn on Pandora for a short commute in my car. If I traveled more often, I might invest in Pandora's paid version or try one of the other services as well. But I'm pretty satisfied with the status quo.


Posted by:

Tim
15 Mar 2018

I use TuneIn Pro. It has stations from all over the world including Talk, Music, Sport, News, Podcasts and Local. You can save your favourites, see what’s trending, by location or language. I love it.


Posted by:

Greg C
16 Mar 2018

To ARLINE & others re: Alexa
The DEFAULT Radio source is Tunein & works well, provided the station of interest is on Tunein.
Also available in Canada & Britain is a service called Radio Player. This has to be enabled from your Alexa - Amazon account. I had Great difficulty accessing my favourite station on RadioPlayer.

Which brings me to the next point and major issue with Amazon Echo & similar products.
There is only limited functionality without a smart tablet or phone. Finding a particular station is only one issue. Setting up devices as an intercom, accessing telephone services and setting up multiple users are all IMPOSSIBLE using the computer service. I bought Echos to use as a speaker and with my small two story home I am satisfied. Although I now realize that without internet access I would be unable to use them even as a stand-alone speaker. Buyer beware.


Posted by:

Andy
16 Mar 2018

Thi is for Marion: There is no such place as Boingo, ND at KZZZ 900 AM. Go to OnlineRadioBox.com Then input USA, Then State, then City where the radio station is located. Once you get the station, Bookmark the page. Voila, it will always be there for you. The following link is a listing of all AM radio stations beginning with KT to KZ. https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/List_of_AM_radio_stations_in_the_United_States_by_call_sign_(initial_letters_KT%E2%80%93KZ).html


Posted by:

DJ Toby Chicago
30 Mar 2018

Hi Bob!

My favorite internet radio stations are Bumps Radio England and AIR Radio! Why? I'm a DJ with their parent company, Kingfisher Radio Group! After 5 years on internet radio (and umpteen years on "traditional radio") I much prefer internet stations to work with and for listening. If you have access to the internet and a device to access the internet, that's all you need. The options are endless! By the way, iHeart Radio has filed for bankruptcy and just might go bye-bye soon. Glad you noted that Pandora and Slacker were "services" and not stations. TuneIn is superb. Live 365 is back but not as big as it used to be. If anyone thinks it's easy to be an internet DJ, let me caution that it is not easy. For every hour you listen to one of my shows please know that there is a minimum of 10 to 12 hours of work behind it, plus there are international broadcast laws that must be followed. Thanks, Bob, for bringing attention to internet radio - WAY better than "cable Radio" aka satellite radio! ;)


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