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linux radio applicationMassive MP3 collections are nice, but they don’t do everything. Sometimes you want to discover new music, for example, or listen to the news. Traditionally this was the role of the radio, but if you’re a geek (and if you’re reading this blog I’m betting you are) you’re far more likely to be around computers than FM receivers.

This is doubly true with Linux types, who tend to be geekier than most. Happily it’s perfectly possible to use your computer to get practically any radio station on your Linux computer. You could use your desktop music player to stream most online radio stations, but if you’re looking for simple radio-only web sites, read on.

RadioTray Is A Simple Radio App

linux radio applicationSome applications are so simple, yet so perfect, you wonder how you functioned without them. RadioTray is one such applications for me. This delightfully simply Linux radio application only does one thing; radio. It does so from the system tray, meaning any station you want to listen to is only two clicks away:

Naturally you’ll need to add your favorite streams to this program before it will actually be useful. Most websites offering streaming will give you access to a “.pls” file. Copy the link to this file and you can add it to RadioTray.

Doing this is simple: right-click the RadioTray icon and then click “Configure radios“. You’ll then see this window:


linux radio application

Click “Add” to add the station of your choice. You can also remove stations you don’t want anymore or configure existing stations.

Go ahead and download RadioTray. You’ll find an Ubuntu package and a source tarball for compiling on other distributions.

Pithos Is Pandora On Your Linux Desktop

It’s hard to beat Pandora Pandora - Your Personal Online DJ (Music Player) Pandora - Your Personal Online DJ (Music Player) Read More when it comes to Internet radio, but that doesn’t mean the service is without its flaws. The worst problem, of course, is that the web service is flash-based – a problem when combined with Linux’s less-than-perfect flash support.

Enter Pithos:

linux radio software

This Linux app allows you to access Pandora without a browser and without flash. The result is a cool CPU and a happier you.

There are a few catches, however. First: Pandora being US only, this service won’t work anywhere else. Second: I can’t seem to find installation instructions for any Linux distro besides Ubuntu.

If you’re an American Ubuntu user, however, go ahead and find installation instructions for Pithos over at OMG! Ubuntu!. I’m using Pithos as I write this and am perfectly happy; sorry everyone else.

Spotify For Linux

linux radio software

If you’re not in the United States of America you can’t use Pandora. Happily, if you happen to be in a country with access to Spotify Stream Music For Free With Spotify (+ Invites) Stream Music For Free With Spotify (+ Invites) Read More , you’re not entirely out of luck. The Spotify team have an Ubuntu/Debian build on the market. Currently it only works for people with paid accounts, but the team is working on extending Linux Spotify to everyone eventually.

Interested? Head over to the Spotify preview downloads page for instructions on installation. You’ll be able to stream music from Spotify in no time!

I couldn’t try this app out because I live in America, but I’m sure you European types can give us some feedback about it in the comments below.


These are far from the only radio apps for Linux; you could also, for example, check out and the many applications that can stream from it.

Can you think of any other cool Linux radio applications? As always, please share them in the comments below. Also be sure to suggest cool online radio stations and plans for global domination.

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