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Best internet radio stations of 2020

Searching for the more than 100,000 worldwide stations available on the Internet may seem daunting. Trust me, embarking on such an amazing adventure will give you limitless rewards. But like any trip, having a map and some signposts will maximize your experience.

You may want to watch the first episode of this story if you are completely new to internet radio. If you prefer to dive right in, these tips and tips from the top station will help you quickly find what you are looking for.

Tips for Internet Radio Trip

Start your journey on your computer, smartphone, tablet or smart speaker by accessing an Internet radio portal: An easy-to-use repository of stations searchable by format, location, popularity and (sometimes) streaming quality. Some of the best sources that I didn't include in part one are: Radioshaker, Zeno.fm, Mytuner radio, AccuRadio.com, Streema, Jango, SHOUTcast, Radio-uk, Hit-tuner.net and ̵

1; for people who Own Sonos components – the newly assembled Sonos Radio.

  sonos radio indie gold Sonos

If you own Sonos components, Sonos Radio offers a variety of curated music-oriented entertainment.

At the first landing you are encouraged to create an account with a name and password. Doing so allows you to create lists of favorite and recently visited stations. These choices will automatically reappear on future site visits with the same device or on another if you sign in with the same credentials.

While the directory and connectivity are "free," the most visible (in the US) Internet radio portals, TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio, entice visitors to sign up for their premium services with 30-day trials at no cost. TuneIn's $ 10 a month Premium package adds coverage for sports teams for the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA. The $ 10 TuneInPro app upgrade for iOS and Android devices eliminates annoying 'pre-roll' commercials and lets you record content for later playback. I advise it.

iHeart Radio offers two paid upgrade options: the $ 4.99 per month Plus service available for iOS and Android devices adds unlimited song, track and album skipping on demand, and the ability to store / play radio content as long as you stay online. The premium iHeart All Access, $ 9.99 per month, really adds download / offline listening and unlimited playlists. The latter service would be much more valuable if it omitted all commercials.

Digging deep into the bandwidth bastions of a favorite music category is a good place to start, and it will really surprise you. Talk about a bottomless pit. Then stretch out. Exploring exotic, unknown music genres will make you a new person.

  radio uk 3 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

The app Radio-uk provides useful tracking information.

Sometimes it pays to start a search in the city or region where the music style was born and local broadcasters have dropped special knowledge. If you're a fan of country music, use an aggregator's navigation tools – on location, if you're using TuneIn – to get from & # 39; North America & # 39; to & # 39; United States & # 39; to & # 39; Tennessee & # 39; and then to & # 39; Nashville & # 39; where to discover sonic delights such as Roots Radio WMOT 89.5 .

For Blues fans, a cruise to Kansas City's Kansas City Online Radio can only be good for you. But meandering paths also work. The RMF Blues Radio in Krakow, Poland offers a smart take on American (and the world) electric rockin blues. Likewise, some of the most entertaining Jamaican ska and reggae I've found are far from the coast, at Rio De Janeiro's Radio Reggae Brasil and in Madrid, Spain at Banana Ska Radio . [19659018] How to get internet radio on a smart speaker

In theory, it is the fastest hands-free calling from the call letters or the station name to an Alexa or Google Assistant powered smart speaker. way to start your musical day, ease dinner preparation, or whatever. In practice, the sweet girls are not always the best listeners unless you express your request.

When I mumble "Play BBC six" on a Sonos One or Bose Home Speaker 500, Alexa hears me wrong and sends me to BBC One . My JBL Link 300 speaker with Google Assistant is not making the same mistake. To reach the expected adult rock destination with Alexa, I've found myself saying "Play BBC six radio", or better yet, "Play BBC radio six music on TuneIn."

"It's a good practice to specify & # 39; on TuneIn, & # 39; & # 39; shared TuneIn & # 39; s senior director of marketing Ana Guillen." We have no control over what Alexa does with requests that do not specify TuneIn as a provider. "

  internet radio guide 6b Jonathan Takiff / IDG

BBC 6 Radio serves special shows on Saturday. Their schedule is five hours ahead of the time of the US East Coast, so the midnight "Freak Zone Playlist" runs at 7:00 PM East and 4:00 PM West Coast

Special Events on Internet Radio

Losing Time in the Lock? does not help, because the programming 24×7 is fairly consistent, with a time control, news update or weather forecast Fortunately, the streaming versions of broadcast stations switch gears on some evenings and weekends, with special appointments to mark on a calendar and attend.

Saturday afternoon performances by the Metropolitan Opera and Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon concerts with the esteemed local symphony orchestra working on WQXR in New York and WRTI in Philadelphia. My British favorite (you couldn't guess) BBC Radio 6 Music lives Saturday with Gilles Peterson's eclectic worldwide meandering, then a classic Funk & # 39; n & # 39; Soul Soiree, a lively top song countdown hosted by rocker / DJ Tom Robinson, and then a head spinning trip to the "Freak Zone."

Also special compliments for the beautifully informed Brazilian Tudo Bem and World Journey music shows that enrich the Saturday afternoon at WWOZ in New Orleans. Love you madly, (show host) Suzanne Corley!

  wwoz radio 5 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

New Orleans & # 39; rootsy WWOZ is "Jazz Festing in Place."

The Best Internet Radio Stations [19659004] To borrow a phrase from Bernie Sanders: Let's be clear on this. Anyone who dares to publish a "Best of internet radio" list with only a dozen station listings suffers immense hubris. I have been listening to internet radio stations for at least twelve years and I regularly go bobbing for fresh apples. I still feel like I just took a few bites from a ridiculously large and juicy selection of fruit.

So take what I offer in the right context. These are my top three choices in a small collection of genres from some of the outlets I keep going back to. But please, use this as a starting point for an ear-opening world tour of your own. And understand that it is an adventure that will never end.

Rock Music

With a brand name like The Current Minneapolis' gift to non-commercial, alternative rock for adults (aka KCMP) better be free as the wind, and hip for what's on happens. Like it is. Even the all-important DJ who rides in the morning has the freedom to go out on tangents, such as a recent listener-suggested grouping of classically rearranged rock covers mixed with the originals. The Current's accented British evening dress, Mark Wheat, also deserves a big compliment for sonic diversity (and soft speaking tones).

  The Current Radio 7 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

The Current Keeps The Measure In Minneapolis.

Santa Monica & # 39; s KCRW is often cited as a leading hipster music destination, but they are trapped in NPR news mornings and late afternoons. So instead I send you to them nothing but music KCRW-Eclectic24 . Yes, contemporary rock, electronica, soul, rap and world flavors can happily coexist !

BBC Radio 6 Music offers a lot of new, old and always tasty music for adult listeners – the prog rock / album rock loving generations (count me down) who don't identify with many of today's youth wonders . This Beebilicious station is also useful for interviews and concerts of seasoned English artists who never got their earnings in the United States.

Roots music

If the rootsy revelry and deep soul of New Orleans WWOZ don't smile, check your pulse. Voluntary DJs do an excellent job of celebrating Crescent City's rich R&B, Creole Cajun / Zydeco and jazz heritage, plus the aforementioned world music connections on the weekends. Live feeds from local festivals are also generously served to a wide audience. Right now, WWOZ & # 39; Jazz Festing at Home & # 39; is a replay of previous sessions from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival that should have taken over the city this week.

Do you enjoy a folk down-home singer / songwriters, old-fashioned blues and bluegrass bands, but not the commercial country stuff? Dig for Roots Radio WMOT 89.5 from Murfreesboro / Nashville, Tennessee. Or to the strange, snappy, internet-only Boot Liquor billed as & # 39; Americana roots music for cow hands & # 39; and one of the 30 well-composed stations flying the flag of SomaFM. Charmers, both.

  roots radio 2 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

A request "Take me, country country roads" leads to Roots Radio WMOT 89.5 .

Hip Hop [19659004] The throbbing, spitfire, monotonous rap that shoots out of car radios hurts me. But I can listen for hours to L.A. based Sensimedia Hip Hop Radio . Spotlighted by wise guys like Boogie Monsters, MC Serch, Black Sheep and oldies but goodies Beastie Boys and Goodie Mob, each song offers a theatrically charged (often funny) storyline and smart, sophisticated scores, with elements of Dancehall, Roots Reggae, Hip Hop and Dub Step. I wouldn't be surprised that composer Lin-Manuel Miranda ( Hamilton and In the Heights ) found inspiration here.

If the rapping flava of the hour is more your thing, New York's (and the nation's) top rated hip hop outlet Power 105 (aka WWPR) can't be beat. They keep the music pretty calm these days, amid the pandemic disturbances. And with advertising messages they now serve at least two & # 39; ad-free & # 39; hours per day.

Germany's popular web store Antenna Bayerne Black Beatz opts for the boppin & # 39; poppy hip hop that doesn't need translation. That means crossover collaborations like Kid Ink with Chris Brown and two-tone singing and rap talents like Bazzi, Blackbear and Beyoncé. Antenna Bayerne also has a Classic Rock outlet, a Hits fur Kids and more at webradio.de.

  sensimedia hip hop radio 7 Jonathan Takiff / IDG [19659007] Illuminates Sensimedia Hip-Hop Radio for a smart and tuneful ride.


Mainstream jazz is extra large and well attended by listeners supported WBGO, Newark, NJ. Artist birthdays, deaths and major album birthdays provide daily attention. Young Bloods get a good shake and DJs regularly alternate wry jazz and crossover vocalists. Some station hosts also cross the river to run in NYC at SiriusXM's RealJazz.

As a largely acoustic art form, jazz lends itself to high-resolution recording and reproduction. That's a point that has been pretty well proven by Linn Jazz a 320 Kbps MP3 stream curated by the UK's hi-fi product maker and record label of the same name. High-res Linn Classical and eclectic (jazz, classical, pop mixing) Linn Music streams are also ripe for listening.

Paris based TSF-Jazz pays tribute to classic American artists such as Louis Armstrong, Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Nina Simone, Chet Baker and Ramsey Lewis, plus Hot Club of Paris Django Reinhardt legends and Stephane Grappelli and young affinity artists such as Madeleine Peyroux, Michael Buble, Joey Alexander and Norah Jones. Commercials are only interrupted in the morning. C & # 39; est magnifique.

  vpr classic radio 11 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

VPR Classical is ripe for gigs.

Classical Music

While always a powerful recipe for creativity, contemplation and tranquility, classical music radio enjoys a special resurgence in these stressful times. Need a lifeline? Start with Chicago & # 39; s classical music legend WFMT, which delivers lighter rides during the day and a glistening (AAC 131Kbps) signal all the time.

Vermont Public Radio's VPR Classical is another calming charmer, with lighthearted talents sharing homely backstories with sonorous symphonies and small pastoral ensemble works. Close your eyes and you can easily imagine yourself sailing through the hills and valleys of Vermont, tapping the maples and looking after satisfied cows – much of the listening audience of VPR.

  radio caprice 12 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

You would never guess from the playlist Radio Caprice is located in Russia.

Since the WQXR in New York is the country's top-rated classic station, it certainly gets enough props. But not nearly enough has been written about the spin-off from Operation New Sounds Radio, also tagged with Q2 and WQXR-HD2 . This is where classical and contemporary come together, where chamber music mixes with folk and electronics on the veranda, where Philip Glass and Steve Reich hang with the Kronos Quartet, Yo Yo Ma & # 39; s Silk Road Ensemble, Bela Fleck and Chris Thile.

Chill [19659004] If you are not familiar with this genre, think of slow (mostly) minimalistic music, as you might hear in a fashionable boutique, a night out or at the spa while getting a massage. Chill is also a cool comfort in these stressful times. Dive in at the British station called Smooth Chill or the more diversified Global Chillout that occasionally seduce with uptempo dance beats. It still sounds great with its recently reduced streaming bit rate (to save the world's bandwidth) of 192 Kbps. And from Russia comes with love Radio Caprice Chill Out laced with tasty neofolk vocals (including a techno-beat-soaked remix of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence"). Radio Caprice has a huge crop of 192 Kbps specialty outlets.

World Music

  alpha boys school radio 14 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

Reggae-playing numbers are celebrated on Kingston, Jamaica's Alpha Boys School Radio .

I don't speak a word of Portuguese, but I'm a sucker for terrifyingly beautiful Brazilian choruses of samba / bossa nova / jazz / folkloric beliefs. So I keep coming back to music stations like Radio Rio Verde FM and Radio Blue Bossa Nova . Yes, those are two choices for the price of one.

Jamaican reggae also makes me happy. Lately I've been browsing through the 1500 song catalog of Alpha Boys School Radio an online station founded by a vocational school with religious order in Kingston, Jamaica, with only tunes recorded by graduates. Most notable is the winking crook Winston "Yellowman" Foster.

Glascow, Scotland-based Celtic Music Radio is often so sonically spooky that I considered putting it in the "Chill" pile. But it is traditional folk music, pure in heart, unpainted and threatened. If you fancy Enya and Loreena McKennitt take a sip!

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