Internet radio is big -- bigger than most people are probably aware -- and it's only going to get bigger. If you're new to the streaming audio world, the profusion of station choices can be overwhelming. But don't run back to your Sports Illustrated football radio just yet. I, DLT's resident online radio geek, have rounded up the best radio supersites, sure to put a smile on your dial.
Still not sated? No matter how obscure your musical tastes are, you're bound to bump into some aurally satisfying bits if you're willing to do a little more digging...
This site may be the biggest and baddest radio enterprise in cyberspace. Over the past three years, the site has evolved into the premier location for listeners and broadcasters alike. On a good night, you'll find at least 20,000 user-created stations of almost every conceivable variety. Also, those with the urge to share their music with the wired world will enjoy the site's free broadcasting tools.
Shoutcast is one of the more venerable radio portals. They started off as an itty-bitty dotcom and are now part of AOL, but otherwise, little has changed. They're still going strong.
Search on music and news, listen to music and news, talk about music and news with other listeners. It's like radio, only better.
This site lets you choose from one of a dozen station genres or create one yourself. When songs play, you are prompted to vote on how much you like each artist which then determines how often you'll hear that artist in rotation, and similar artists. Other bonus features, like Instant Messaging and weekly contests, are cool incentives for you to visit the site.
Here you'll find a gigantic library of pre-programmed and customizable music radio stations and music videos in a wide variety of genres. What's really a blast is the blazing bit rates, starting at 28Kbps for slowpokes, ranging all the way up to 300Kbps for you speed demons.
- RADIO LOCATOR was formerly called "the MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet" and may be the oldest directory of radio online. About as close to comprehensive as you'll find, the site features enough links to flood your desktop with an audio torrent of biblical proportions.
- ANTENNARADIO is kind of like that hip college station that is always playing the wild music you never thought you'd hear on the radio. OK, this is a shameless plug: I host the classic punk show "Gift Wrapped Crap" there, but it's only one of ten weekly shows, ranging from free jazz to hillbilly blues to avant-garde electronics.