I have nothing against Internet radio stations. In fact, I love to listen to radio online, and here at MakeUseOf, writers have covered a multitude of awesome applications you can use to listen to and even broadcast Internet radio stations. These are:
– Stream Quality Internet Radio Stations to Your PC or MobileThe 3 Best Online Radio Players For Your Desktop
– Pandora Seamlessly Integrates iPhone and Internet Radio
– Make your own radio station with Shoutcast.
– 3 Easy Tools to Record Streaming Music as MP3 Files
All of these are fantastic apps for Internet radio, but what do you do when you have a bunch of local FM radio stations that you love, and you’re working at a computer where there’s no access to a regular AM/FM radio?
The answer is RadioTime. These days the majority of FM radio stations stream their broadcasts over the Internet. It’s very difficult (if even possible) with most Internet radio players to find your local FM streams amid the huge collection of Irish folk music or FM radio stations from Bangladesh. I’ve nothing against Irish folk music or Bangladesh, but there has to be an easier way to get easy, organized access to FM radio stations when you want to listen to radio online. This is exactly what RadioTime does.
Use Your Browser to Listen to FM Radio Online
The simplicity, yet effectiveness, of this website and application is what attracted me to it immediately. It offers a directory of over 10,000 worldwide FM radio stations to choose from, so I’ll bet the odds are pretty good that they have your local favorite in their directory.
Once you register (for free) and provide your local area, the system automatically offers links for all of the local stations near you.
I was pretty psyched to see my favorite local station that I listen to when I drive in to work – 93.1 WMGX! So I clicked on the “Listen” button and fired up the player app while finishing the rest of this article.
While the browser-based player is great, and you can click on the “Presets” menu option to review your preset stations from any computer in the world with an Internet connection, Radiotime also offers a very cool free app called RedButton that lets you not only listen to your favorite radio stations, but you can also record them! The record option isn’t free, but listening to your favorite stations and managing your favorites is unlimited and free.
Use RedButton To Listen To FM Radio Online
Once you install RedButton you’ll see that the interface is well laid out and easy to use. It provides a simple navigation bar on the left with a large center display and the controls and presets at the top.
Clicking on the radio guide, I wanted to see if I could listen to the popular paranormal radio show “Coast to Coast AM,” and sure enough, it popped up at the very top of the list with the option to either listen, schedule a recording of the show (yes!), or add the station to your list of presets. This means that it no longer matters whether or not a particular show is available in your area, you can listen to that FM radio station anywhere in the world.
Do you have a friend who’s a DJ at a local radio station in Denver, but you live in New York? Now you can tune in over the Internet and listen in to his show!
The controls are very simple and easy to use, with the current station name and information at the top and the volume and controls just beneath it.
If you like the station that you’ve found, just click and hold the preset button on the upper right of the player and you’ll never have to remember the station again!
The coolest part of the app (which is, unfortunately also the feature you have to pay for) is the recording option. When you first install the app, you get 14 days of station recording for free. After that you have to pay to enable the feature. With recording, you can configure your recorded MP3 files to get stored in whatever folder or location that you like.
If you want all of the computers on your home network to have access to the music, I would suggest using something like Sugarsync to do so. If you want to access your recordings over the Internet at locations other than your house, then you can upload the recordings to a network like Maestro, which Tim covered earlier.
The one drawback with the system is that even though it organizes and collects all AM and FM radio stations into one spot where you can access them, not all stations stream their broadcasts online. In order to still access all of your favorite local stations through this app, you can purchase a USB radio antenna, hook it up, and then configure it in the RedButton app as shown above. Once you have RedButton set up, you’ll never use another application to listen to the radio online. This software really does have it all.
Do you listen to the radio while you’re online? What are your favorite applications to do so? Share your opinions in the comments section below.