So Many Choices!
Not so long ago (Less than 10 years, to be exact), “radio” meant AM/FM. Now it may mean AM, FM, satellite, or internet radio.
You say you’ve never heard of internet radio?? The idea has exploded over the past few years, with Pandora being the best known, but there are many others for any style of listening. Most have free versions, and most have smartphone apps available so you can listen when away from a computer.
You don’t need a super-fast internet connection for internet radio; anything faster than dial-up will probably work. Usually, all you have to do is create a free account on the radio provider’s website, and you can start listening. The station plays right in your web browser.
Some of the many internet radio providers and their strengths and weaknesses:
- Pandora: Use one of the stations already there, or create your own using your favorite artist or song as a “seed.” Geared to music only. “Thumbs up” and “Thumbs down” for songs you love or hate. Free account has commercials, but not many. Paid account is about $4/month. Paid account eliminates commercials, and you can skip more songs. There is also a PC app for premium users, so you won’t have to have a browser window open.
- Slacker: Similar to Pandora, allows you to pick a pre-fab station or customize one, and, like Pandora, there are free and paid options. Slacker premium, though, is $9.99/month. The paid version lets you play entire albums and make playlists. You also get optional news and offline listening on the paid subscription.
- iHeart and TuneIn: Freebies that let you listen to ordinary AM and FM broadcast stations, even if you’re out of range. Even if the station is on the other side of the world! You can search for a particular show or station. They also have customizable stations.
- Spotify is a bit different. Type in the name of a song and most times, you’ll be able to play that exact song. Spotify has different restrictions depending on what device you’re using; You get more options on a tablet than you do on a phone, for instance. They also have a PC app that makes things a bit more convenient. They also have a premium service at $9.99/month.
- You can also often find the exact song you want to listen to on YouTube! Just be aware that even if you’re only listening, you’ll use a lot more data.
That’s only a brief overview of internet radio. Explore these sites; if you don’t like them, there are dozens more. Happy listening!
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