Best places to stream radio from the Internet

March 11, 2008 – 6:55 pm

radio small iconMusic is the soundtrack to life. Even if your life is a worker drone lost in the din of corporate musak culture, you can liven up your personal world by streaming your individuality to your computer speakers/headphones. (hopefully not infringing on your cube-mate’s personal audio-space)

radio ipodOf course, you’ve grown tired of your random gigs of music that you have haphazardly dumped onto your ipod, or cringe at buying one more song off itunes, seeing that you’ve already dipped into your retirement account to feed your music addiction (mathematically, to fill a 160GB ipod classic which holds 40K songs, at 99c a pop, is $39,600), so what’s a audiophile to do? (legally, that is)

radio musicInternet Radio! Its been a bumpy road, always having the record companies chomping at its ass trying to find every which way to stop the streams, without success (yet) With high-speed internet ubiquitously available at work and in home, high quality streams of every genre is available at your fingertips. Why not use some of that bandwidth that you’ve paid for? (don’t forward this onto your friendly workplace network administrator)

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • radio pandoraPandora – My current love. High quality streams from the Music Genome Project. What makes this streaming radio so great is that there’s a human element that analyzes each song and categorizes it based on several characteristics. So, you ‘seed’ it with certain bands, songs, artists, and it starts streaming songs that are similar to your likes/dislikes. You can ‘approve’, ‘disprove’ based on your preferences, and it ‘learns’ your taste. After a few weeks, it molds your station into a internet radio that plays songs that fits your unique music personality. The beauty is that it keeps introducing new songs/artists it thinks would be compatible with your tastes, thus exposing you to new songs/artists constantly. Then again, if you have no desire to go through that rigmorale, you can select from the 1000s of channels already created by others. (commercial free!)
  • radio launchcastLaunchcast A more primitive algorithm used to determine your personal radio station. Select the bands that you like, and it plays songs from your bands and bands that others have in their ‘circle’ I ultimately ended this affair after they started limiting the stream quality and inserting a ton of commercials, unless you purchase the launchcast plus (38 bucks a year) yipe!
  • radio live 365Live365 If you’re more into the ‘baby bird’ method of listening to music (I dont want to think or work towards music nirvana, I just want to have some random semi-interesting radio feed regurgitated into my ears) then, live365 is for you. Live365.com allows users to create their own radio stations and broadcast them out to the Interwebs. So, as joe-user you browse its categories and select the appropriate genre and listen away. Braindead! Similarly: Shoutcast

radio socialOther avenues of getting your daily stream of music and recommendations is via social network music themed websites. By sharing your music preferences likes and dislikes, your circle of friends can be influenced by your coolness. (or vice versa) like sheep! Notable: Last FM

radio searchAnd always, google is your friend in finding your niche radio station if none of the above fits your head. There are directories that are available, but the accuracy is dependent on the fearless webmas.. content providers, so tread carefully.

So, thats a handful of options for your music streaming ecstasy. Select your favorites, and whenever you’re at a party who’s idea of music is a puny transister radio playing a random soft rock song or commercial filled top 40 dreck, toss that into the neighbor’s pool and fire up your favorite Radio Streaming URL on their PC (hopefully connected to semi decent speakers) and get the party hoppin’ (you may want to retrieve that tossed radio later)


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