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Best apps for listening to online radio

There are a ton of online radio stations out there – here’s the best of the rest

Do a quick google search of the keyword term “online radio” and in about a half second’s time, you’ll get 836,000,000 results.

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The reason there’s so much out there is because of the proliferation of web-capable gadgetry in recent years that allow listeners to stream music wherever they are. Whether it’s a talk show or podcast, live stream of a sporting event or a station devoted to a specific musical genre, there’s an online radio station that suits your need.

The following are a handful of what we consider the best of the rest, and what makes them different from all the others.

They’re listed in no particular order.

TuneIn_onWhite

TuneIn is awesome because it lets you listen to radio stations from all over the world, ranging from stuff here in the States to experimental music stations in Europe and more; heck, even the scientists down in Antarctica have a station set up that they stream music to. What’s more, the service is entirely free. All you have to bear with is the occasional ad or two in between station buffers.

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Songza creates music based on the mood you’re in / activity you’re partaking in. If you’re cleaning the house, there are at least three stations they’d recommend. Having friends over for a cocktail party? There’s a music station for it. Getting over a breakup? There’s a station. Get the picture? Best part—there are no ads that play in the smartphone app (yet).

pandora

Pandora is probably the most popular station on this list, and for good reason. The dudes and dudettes behind this music app have come up with a great product. You can create hundreds of stations based around your favorites artists and songs, and they’re all automatically saved to your account for quick and easy access. Two downfalls to the music app that I feel have held it back: there a ton of ads that get played in between songs, and you’re also limited in the amount of songs you can “skip” if they play something you don’t like.

stitcher_logo_white-_bg

Stitcher is cool if you’re in to talk shows rather than music. There are a lot of topics covered here, from news to comedy, sports, arts, technology, and a ton more. It’s a great solution if you want to keep your brain on during a long commute.

iHeartRadio-Logo

iHeartRadio is like Pandora, but it’s commercial free instead. Music channels are customized based on artists and songs you choose, and from there, you can build a library of options to choose from. The one downfall to this particular app is its user interface, which many noobs to the service have complained as being too much to navigate through.

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Slacker is another popular streaming radio app. Unlike the one mentioned above, though, it has a terrific user interface that lets users access their preferred radio stations quickly and easily. Album art and artist bios show up while the music plays, both of which are pretty cool to check out if you’re not driving. You can skip songs with this app, but just like Pandora, there’s a limit set to the amount of times you bump a song.

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Spotify is a great music app, but it’s limited to the US and parts of Europe so far (sorry Canada!) It’s kind of like iTunes, though the difference with this particular service is it reads your music collection and playlists from your hard drive, and from there, makes recommendations on new releases, top-10 hits, and whatnot. Easy interface, convenient search box, limited exposure to ads make for a great service.

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