The popularity of Internet radio has exploded over the past few years, especially as listeners realize the ease of accessing specialized stations via smartphone apps.
While most services offer you commercial free or on-demand listening for a fee, others might give you just want you want at no cost.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can get from various online radio services for free:
Listeners can tune in to Last.fm online or through the Scrobbler — the site’s downloadable desktop player. There also are mobile apps and the service is available to Xbox Live members.
Mog offers unlimited ad-supported listening for free. The service allows listeners to create playlists of their favorite songs and personalize radio channels.
You can listen online for free, but be prepared to pay if you want to tune in through your phone or in the car.
Perhaps the most familiar name on this list, this station is inspired by the music genome project. What you may not know is that Pandora has a smaller music catalog than most other services.
You can’t pick out individual songs you want to hear, but you can create your own station based on a genre, artist or song. Then Pandora goes to work picking out songs you should like based on that information. Give the song thumbs up or thumbs down to tailor the station even more to your liking.
There are a limited number of skips allowed, you can’t rewind with this program and the service is ad-supported, so there are commercials. Listen for free via its mobile app or online.
Slacker Radio is a service with hundreds of stations categorized by various genres. This program is ad-supported, so in exchange for free listening you will hear a few commercials. Slacker also offers news and sports radio, which isn’t always available from other sites.
This service also allows you to block artists or share feedback and get more of the artists you love. You can listen to Slacker for free via its mobile app or online.
You can hear this station online, on a mobile site or through its app. Soma.fm isn’t playing mainstream music, so if you have an appetite for some new, unheard-of tunes, check it out.
If you’re a Facebook user you’ve probably heard of Spotify.
This service allows you to see what your friends are listening to, subscribe to their playlists and make your own.
You can listen to entire songs and albums for free through Spotify, which is an ad-supported program.
If you’re looking for new music, use the radio program to generate songs you may like based on an artist or genre. You can listen to Spotify for free online, but you’ll have to be a paying subscriber to listen on the go through the mobile app.
TuneIn streams live radio stations from all over the world for free on its website and mobile app. Listeners can search for radio stations by call number, location, genre or station type. This is perfect for anyone uprooted from home and craving some local flavor.
Which online radio service do you prefer? Are the perks worth the price, or will you stick to these free offerings?