Which Internet Radio Sites Have the Best User Experience in the Browser?

Joel Lee 18-02-2015

Nothing is more convenient than Internet radio. While local music libraries The 4 Best Tools to Manage Your MP3 Music Collection These are the best tools to manage your MP3 collection, helping you cure your music library management headaches. Read More and cloud-streamed music Five Streaming Alternatives To Google Music, Amazon Cloud Drive & Apple's iCloud Steam your music from the cloud right now, without waiting for invitations or paying for the privilege. The headlines may currently be dominated by Google Music, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive, but cloud-based music is... Read More are still great, web-based Internet radio requires only one thing: an Internet connection. But there are so many to choose from! Which one’s are the best?


We’ve already covered Android Internet radio apps What Is The Best Free Internet Radio App For Android? Looking to stream music on your Android device? These Internet radio apps are a great way to do it! Read More , iPhone Internet radio apps How to Find the Best Internet Radio Stations In this article, we explain why you might want to start (or go back to) listening to internet radio, as well as showing you how to find the best internet radio stations for you. Read More , and Windows Internet radio apps 5 Easy Tools To Listen To Online Radio Stations On Windows Music rocks! But managing playlists and local radio stations can be boring. Consider listening to the radio online with these Windows apps. Read More . This time, we’re exploring the web players for various Internet radio services to see which ones offer the best experience in the browser, not necessarily the best features or selections.

After all, what good is a great radio selection if the player is frustrating to use?

7. iHeartRadio

When it comes to selection, iHeartRadio is one of the best services out there. The selection of music is vast, over 18 million songs and 800 live AM/FM radios from all over the United States, making it a premier choice if diversity and discovery are most important to you.

Unfortunately, even though iHeartRadio’s mobile app design is pretty good, its web player has a lot of room for improvement.



When searching for live radio, stations are categorized by location and genre. However, there are only 25 genre categories, which makes it difficult to sift through the near-thousand stations available. On top of that, locations are alphabetized by city name only. If you want to search by state, region, or even frequency, you can’t.

But in a more general sense, the iHeartRadio web interface just feels messy. There’s no consistency between the various sections of the player. Sometimes the icons are huge and in a grid format while other times the icons are small, text is big, and everything is shown as a list.

As it is, iHeartRadio has great content presented in a poor manner. Not very fun to use.

iHeartRadio is free but ad-supported. It’s only available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.


6. TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is similar to iHeartRadio in that there’s a strong focus on playing live radio stations over the Internet rather than streaming individual songs in dynamic playlist format. In fact, TuneIn Radio doesn’t even have a dedicated music feature; if you want music, you have to find an actual station for it.


TuneIn Radio’s web interface suffers from a lot of the same issues as iHeartRadio – the overall design actually feels remarkably similar between the two – but to a much lesser degree. It can be difficult to find specific stations if you don’t have specific search terms in mind, but if all you want to do is find by browsing, it’s not so bad.

What I like about TuneIn Radio’s design is that it feels modern. The fonts are clean, the whitespace is perfect, and the colors are pleasant without being boring. Everything is fast and responsive. The only downside is that it could be organized a little better.


Perhaps the best feature is the “Upcoming Events” under each section, which is a list of live stations as well as stations that are primed to go live within the next 24 hours.

TuneIn Radio is free but ad-supported. It is available worldwide.

5. Slacker Radio

Like Pandora, which we’ll explore next, Slacker Radio is one of the original pioneers of the Internet music radio concept. In addition to the web player, it’s available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and several home media devices. At any given time, there’s always a way to tune into Slacker.



There are several ways to navigate Slacker stations. The Featured section is divided into Spotlight (picked by editors), Popular (according to user activity), and DNA (stations influenced by a particular artist). The Genre section is self-explanatory with 31 genres available. The Recommended section is what Slacker thinks you might like.

So in terms of finding a good station, it’s pretty limited. You’re stuck with the search functionality, which is good enough to make up for it. What I like best about Slacker is the interface layout, which is extremely clean and straightforward. The lack of extraneous features might be a downside for some, but that’s the primary reason why Slacker is so easy to use.

Slacker Radio is free but ad-supported. It’s only available in the United States and Canada.

4. Pandora Radio

If there’s one service that propelled Internet music radio to the forefront of mainstream popularity, it would have to be Pandora Radio. That’s not to say that Pandora is the best Internet radio, which it hasn’t been for a while now, but it’s still a great service worth using.


Pandora’s interface design is as clean as they come. When you first visit the site, you only see one thing: a search bar where you can type in an artist, song, or genre to create a station around.

There’s no clear way to navigate through all of Pandora’s available songs, although you can browse through genre stations by clicking on the “Create Station” input field and clicking on “Browse Genres” in the dropdown menu that shows.

But all in all, that’s Pandora in a nutshell. You type an artist, song, or genre and Pandora handles it all for you. It does not get any easier than that. If you aren’t convinced, here are some of the best reasons to start using Pandora 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Pandora Music Radio Read More now.

Pandora is free but ad-supported. It is only available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

3. Rdio [Broken URL Removed]

Rdio is a music streaming service created by the founders of Skype. Feature-wise, it feels like Pandora with a small twist. You create individual stations based on artist, song, genre, etc. and enjoy the music that way. There is no support for tuning into live radio stations.


I’m going to borrow a phrase from our Spotify vs. Rdio comparison Spotify vs. Rdio: A Complete Comparison I recently cancelled my Spotify Premium membership after a year of uninterrupted monthly payments to the company. This decision came about when I accidentally signed up for 14-days of free Rdio Unlimited. Quite frankly, I... Read More : Rdio’s web player is a breath of fresh air. It has the cleanest design out of any Internet radio service on this list, successfully nailing the “barebones but informative” goal. Depending on how minimal you like your aesthetics, Rdio could easily be #1.

Another thing that’s great about Rdio is that you can tweak the algorithm it uses to find songs as part of a station. With “Artist Only,” it will only pull songs from the same artist. With “Adventurous,” it will loosen up the standards of which songs fit the station. By default, Rdio stations start in the middle of the two.

All in all, the Rdio experience is fantastic. It may be underwhelming for some, but I don’t think anyone would find it frustrating.

Rdio is free but ad-supported. It is available in over 60 countries worldwide. Check this list to see if it’s available for you.

2. Songza

Songza is a music streaming service built on the concept of expert-curated playlists. Instead of creating specific stations around certain artists or songs, you can search for playlists that include the artists or songs that interest you.

In exchange for this reduced customizability, Songza’s playlists ends up providing a more coherent and consistent experience.


The most useful Songza feature is the Music Concierge, which presents you with a handful of activities based on the current time of day. Within each activity, the Concierge presents you a choice from several playlists that you might enjoy based on your mood. It’s a great way to expand your tastes and discover new artists.

I really like the interface of Songza’s web player. The layout just makes sense and offers no frustration whatsoever when navigating. Browsing, searching, and managing playlists are all straightforward and everything feels well-organized.

Songza is free and has no audio ads. It is only available in the United States and Canada.

1. Spotify Radio

Spotify is huge and we’ve written a lot about it. There are some who think that Spotify is the next generation of music, even going as far as to predict that it will be the death of iTunes Spotify Your Music Collection: The End Of iTunes Spotify is no longer content to just compete with radio, now they're competing with the idea of even owning music. Read More . That might be a bit dramatic, but there’s no denying the awesomeness that is Spotify Music Streaming With Spotify: What You Get For Free The long awaited streaming music service, Spotify landed in the U.S. last week. Unlike other streaming services, however, Spotify offers an ad-supported free option, which makes millions of albums and songs available to you through... Read More .

What I like about Spotify’s web player is that it feels like a full-featured application that happens to be sitting inside a browser. It’s clean, modern, easy on the eyes, and easy to navigate. That hits almost every positive note when it comes to interface design.


On the left, you have the main navigation that takes you to various sections of Spotify. On the right, you have the playback interface, which is a nice change from other Internet radio services that put it along the bottom edge. That leaves the entire center area for creating and managing stations.

Stations can be created based on artists, songs, and genres. If your mind blanks, Spotify also offers 31 basic genre stations to start you off.

And if you didn’t already know, Spotify is much more than an Internet radio service. Check out our guide to Spotify Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide Spotify is the biggest music streaming service around. If you're not sure how to use it, this guide will walk you through the service, as well as offer some crucial top tips. Read More to explore all that it has to offer as well as our tips on how to use Spotify efficiently 4 Ways You're Using Spotify Wrong Without Even Knowing It Lots of people use Spotify. But are you using it efficiently? Find out 4 common errors Spotify users make. Read More . And did you know that Spotify isn’t 5 Awesome Things To Listen To On Spotify That Isn't Music Spotify is best known as a great online service for listening to all the online music your heart desires. If you're opting for the free version of the service, the vast musical collection comes at... Read More just 5 Awesome Things To Listen To On Spotify That Isn't Music Spotify is best known as a great online service for listening to all the online music your heart desires. If you're opting for the free version of the service, the vast musical collection comes at... Read More for music 5 Awesome Things To Listen To On Spotify That Isn't Music Spotify is best known as a great online service for listening to all the online music your heart desires. If you're opting for the free version of the service, the vast musical collection comes at... Read More ?

Spotify Radio is free but ad-supported. It is available in over 100 international territorities. Check this list to see if it’s available for you.

Which is Your Favorite?

In your experience, which Internet radio service offers the best user experience? Which ones feel good to use? If there’s a good one out there that I missed on the list, tell us about it in the comments below.

Related topics: Internet Radio, Rdio, Spotify.

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  1. Jesse
    May 20, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Did you also check out I always discover new cool stations there.

  2. Cuneyt Kaplan
    March 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    How about AccuRadio? You will enjoy over 1000 stations with the best genres and very limited ads, but it's worth it. Unlimited skips and no buffering at all!

    • Joel
      March 3, 2015 at 2:34 am

      Beautiful website + unlimited skips? You've got my attention! I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads up, Cuneyt!

  3. william carlton
    February 23, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Woody Radio is the best one ive found...great djs!

    • Joel
      February 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Never heard of it, will check it out. Thanks!

  4. Phids
    February 22, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Joel, I'm not sure what your definition of "internet radio" is if you include services like Spotify but not Grooveshark. Both allow you to pick artists and play "stations" based on those artists. As for the desktop apps that I use, those would be Spotify and Pandora. I have a paid subscription to Pandora (I use it regularly at home and on my phone while driving, and occasionally when I want to hear music at a coffee shop), and the desktop app might only be available to paying members.

    • Joel
      February 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Sorry Phids, you're right. I wasn't aware that Grooveshark could be used like an Internet radio with artist stations. Is that a recent thing? I don't remember it being a feature back when I used Grooveshark. Maybe I was just oblivious, lol.

      Both Spotify and Pandora are great on desktop. If Pandora could make theirs free, that'd be awesome. Great choices!

    February 20, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Spotify ALLLLLL the way! it is the raddest , coolest thing to ever land on this planet... I listen to some really f*#ked up music , and Spotify has had EVERY artist or song i have punched in the search bar, but the besssst part about it is that then Spotify will showcase that artists ENTIRE catalog of music they have ever made, including rare mixes, collaborations with other artists, E.Ps, greatest hits albums, albums they only feature on etc.etc... AND then Spotify will even show u an extensive list of "related artists" "related albums" and "related songs" ...
    it has been my premiere method , my ONLY method of choice these days in discovering talent I will like..

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:33 am

      I've been using Spotify more and more lately and I can see why it's so popular. Maybe I'll have the same level of enthusiasm as you in a few more weeks. :)

  6. A41202813GMAIL
    February 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

    2 Nice Choices:

    A - JANGO As A Radio Station,

    B - Using An Extension For CHROME Called STREAMUS.


    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:33 am

      I used to like Jango but stopped using it when they ramped up the ad frequency. I'm open to advertisements but not when the ad-to-music ratio is hovering around 1:1!

      As for Streamus, it doesn't look like true Internet radio but it sounds awesome nonetheless. Thanks for the heads up!

    • A41202813GMAIL
      February 22, 2015 at 4:41 am

      My Pleasure.

      Thank You For Responding.

  7. Jay
    February 20, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Anyone know of a tuneable FM radio or Android app for smartphone? At gym they have wall of TVs that are silent. Each one has a sign on it with the frequency to turn to in order to pick up that set's audio. I've tried every way I can think of on my phone without success. Hate to have to carry two devices while working out. My Walkman FM radio/player works. There must be a smartphone way.

    • TerrestrialRadio
      February 20, 2015 at 2:35 pm


      Radio doesn't work that way - at least, not the kind of local-broadcast stuff that your gym is using. Unless your phone has actual radio hardware in it, or your gym starts providing an Internet stream from the TVs (which is pretty unlikely), there's no app that will help. Sorry...

    • Adam
      September 22, 2017 at 12:23 am

      try tuneity, it takes a couple of seconds of the screen video, and then tries to find the source, then sinks the source to your phone.

      really neat.

  8. Jon
    February 20, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I use TuneIn on my tablet to listen to my favorite AM station after the sunset power reduction.

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:31 am

      Good choice! TuneIn is great for AM radio. Is there anything else you like about it?

  9. ggrrqq
    February 19, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Google Play music FTW!

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:28 am

      Is Google Play Music an Internet radio service? I'm looking around and all I can find is custom playlists which are only available for the $10 "All Access" subscription.

    • ggrrqq
      February 22, 2015 at 4:33 am

      I guess it isn't technically one, but the $10 all access subscription is totally worth it. You can make radio stations for artists, albums, songs, and there are tons of ones for specific purposes, kinda like songza.

  10. KJT
    February 19, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Rdio, is NOT free, I just downloaded it, not its UNINSTALLED, its a Trail version. No, I'm not talking about an upgrade,they wont a FEE.

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:25 am

      I think you are mistaken. There's no need to download Rdio at all. Just visit the website and start a station and the music will play, no fee or upgrade necessary.

  11. bob
    February 19, 2015 at 1:01 am

    iheart ,care less about the radio interface,care more about the music and selections offered to me

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:23 am

      The interface is just too cumbersome for me but maybe I'm just overly picky about aesthetics. But yeah, iHeartRadio's selection is better than most.

  12. Carol Van Egmond
    February 19, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I have been using tune-up radio pro for several years. I started using the pro edition because I can record a radio program on it. I have a couple of programs I don't like to miss and I can set this to record them and I can play back at my convenience. It would be great if one could set up more than one recording as I have a few programs at different times I would like to record. I have found that I have to watch when it updates that it does not sign me out and lose my preset.

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:22 am

      So that's essentially TiVo for Internet radio? That's really cool actually and I wasn't aware that TuneIn Radio had that feature! Definitely earns it a few more points in my book, though it'd be even better if it wasn't locked behind a Pro account. (But I understand, they need to make money.)

  13. Jackiecan
    February 18, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I hate most mainstream music. I only listen to DIFM, SkyFM (now its called Radiotunes).

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:18 am

      All of these Internet radio sites have non-mainstream music! Personally, I don't really listen to mainstream much either. Still, DIFM and Radiotunes are worthy mentions. Thanks for bringing them up.

  14. bben
    February 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Pandora. Some years ago I picked one of my favorite artists, and it created a station based on the kind of music he played. Not just his work, but stuff that was similar. I have added to the list of artists over time. But it is MY station, playing the kind of music I want to hear. You can flag a playing tune to block just that tune, or that artist. Or flag it as something you like and want to hear more of. I doubt I have either down checked or up-checked a tune in over a year. I can open MY station from nearly any device - Desktop, laptop, pad, cell phone, and Chromecast - and it is always the same music that I like. I don't particularly care for a specific play list or playing a series of tunes in exactly the same order - so the Radio station model used suites me. I have given my station to several friends, and every one has made their own changes to make it their own station - not everyone is going to like exactly the same thing and Pandora allows for that.

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:16 am

      Agreed! Pandora's selection is relatively small when compared to all of the other Internet radios out there, but the stations do produce great collections of music.

  15. Phids
    February 18, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I typically use stand-alone apps on my desktop rather than play in-browser. That being said, one in-browser music service that I have kind of liked the look of/experience is Grooveshark.

    • Joel
      February 22, 2015 at 4:13 am

      I considered including Grooveshark as the interface really is very nice! I don't know if I'd consider it to be Internet radio, though. What desktop apps do you use for Internet radio?