Internet radio (also known as web radio, net radio, streaming radio, and online radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet.
Why do we like internet radio? There’s no sign-up or subscription charges. There’s a huge range of stations available from around the world. If you like classical music, pop music, folk music, news, talk radio, and much more, internet radio has something for everyone wherever you live (providing you have a net connection). Internet radio offers every format that is available on traditional broadcast radio stations.
There’s a wide range of free and open source software that lets you listen to internet radio. With so many different possibilities available it’s easy to get lost trying to find the right one for you.
Here’s our verdict on internet radio software. Features that are highly desirable include, but are not limited to, access to the community radio browser API or similar, recording streams, the ability to import/export a list of radio stations, good search functionality, station logos, reordering stations, as well as an attractive and easy-to-use interface. Other factors that help to determine our rating include things like the program’s stability, speed, memory usage, and more.
Only open source software is eligible for inclusion.
We must stress that the rating for each program represents our assessment of the program’s capabilities as an internet radio program. Many of the programs are not dedicated internet radio software. And the fact we’ve scored some programs (fairly) lowly isn’t indicative of their qualities as a music player. For example, Tauon Music Box is our recommended open source music player. It’s truly an amazing music player. While recent releases have added more internet radio functionality to Tauon, there’s plenty of scope for further improvements in this area.
Let’s have a look at the programs in more detail. For most of the software, we’ve written a detailed review. All of the programs offer a graphical interface, unless otherwise stated.
|Tuner||Minimalist radio station player written in Vala|
|radio-active||Listen to radio stations from the terminal|
|Shortwave||Rust based dedicated internet radio program|
|Yarock||C++ based music player|
|Tauon Music Box||Python based music player|
|QMPlay2||C++ based music and video player|
|Olivia||C++ based music player|
|Curseradio||Python based dedicated internet radio program. Console software|
|Sayonara Player||C++ based music player|
|PyRadio||Python based dedicated internet radio program. Console software|
|Rhythmbox||C based music player|
|Quod Libet||Python based music player|
|Byte||Vala based music player designed for elementary OS|
|StreamTuner2||Python based dedicated internet radio program|
|Banshee||C# based music player|
|Amarok||C++ based music player|
|Clementine||C++ based music player|
|Radiotray-NG||C++ based dedicated internet radio program|
|Goodvibes||C based dedicated internet radio program|
|Melody||Vala based music player designed for elementary OS|
|Exaile||Python based music player|
|GogglesMM||C++ based music collection manager and player|
|Audacious||C++ based music player|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.