One of the best things about the internet today is the sheer amount of really excellent free online radio stations you can find out there. In fact, it can be overwhelming, with a worlds worth of radio programming to choose from, where do you begin?
I’ve outlined some excellent places to look for free online radio including Radio Garden and Tune in. Here you can browse radio stations from around the world and discover amazing radio for yourself! I’ve also listed some excellent free online radio stations that I’ve discovered for myself over the years. Enjoy!
This interactive free online radio site was created by Studio Puckey and Moniker from Amsterdam. They were approached by the Netherlands Institute for sound and vision to create a project about radio which crosses the human borders of language and country.
Radio Garden is one of my happiest discoveries of the last year and definitely one of the best free online radio websites. It’s an interactive site where you can explore different radio stations from around the world as they broadcast live.
How it works is you have a map of the world, a bit like Google Earth but in your browser. Using your mouse you can rotate the planet and scroll over different areas in the world.
The little green dots on the map show the physical location of different radio stations from around the world.
There is something really magical about putting on your headphones and exploring Europe in radio stations from the comfort of your home.
You may remember a time before digital radio where you would hear the pop and cackle of white noise scrolling between stations on your tuner. On the hunt for something you wanted to listen to you might pass by pop tunes, classical, jazz and talk radio. This site brings back that feeling.
I use Radio Garden sometimes when I’m working at my computer, and I want something to listen to, but I can’t decide what. Moving across the big cities like London, New York or L.A can give you a fantastic selection of weird and wonderful radio stations to choose from. My favorite discovery so far has been Rockabilly Radio from LA.
Lot’s of radio stations in Radio Garden reflect the country or region they originate from, giving you a heady feeling of travelling to exotic places. I love it!
TuneIn is a lovely app that allows you to enjoy free online radio wherever you are. You can search the globe for free online radio by genre, station type, call sign or location and begin listening immediately.
This free mobile app is available over all platforms including iPhone, Blackberry, WebOS, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone and Android.
The pro-version is only $1 and allows you to record and pause live radio, rewind and play back.
TuneIn offers the real radio experience on your phone without the AM/FM tuner.
Soma has been broadcasting the best in alternative and electronic music for the last 17 years or so. Over that time this excellent free online radio station has built up a fantastic following. It’s completely listener and user supported meaning that no adverts will play. This makes for a fantastic listening experience free from annoying distractions. It’s a station you can really immerse yourself in.
KEXP from Seattle is consistently rated as one of the best music stations in America. They champion all sorts of interesting music and it is a great place to discover what is new. It’s definitely one of my favorite free online radio stations, not just for their regular shows, but also because of some of the live performances they record and broadcast. I also recommend following their YouTube channel where you can watch videos of the live performances they’ve had in their studio.
NPR is one of the most famous public radio platforms in the USA. They are supported fully through listener donations, so can bring intelligent enriching journalism and stories to their listeners.
WFMU is a free online radio station that is all over the place in the best way possible. The DJ’s they have their are really knowledgeable and passionate. Tune in to hear some eclectic and well sourced mixes.
Berlin Community Radio is one of the best free online radio stations for getting a look in to the interesting world of the “creative scene” in Berlin. There are over 100 shows here covering a wide variety of eclectic topics including: music across a broad range of genres, literature readings, culture and the arts.
CKUT is the home of the radio show WeFunk that broadcasts addictive funk, hip-hop and soul live from Montreal every Friday night. This is a great free online radio station for lovers of soul music.
They also cater to a wide range of tastes throughout the week with fine programming in punk, folk, heavy metal and jazz. A bit of everything really!
Dip in now and see what’s on.
Sadly most radio doesn’t cater for the needs of children. If you are a parent and are searching for something for your kids, then RTE Junior might be one of the best free online radio stations for you. It’s an Irish station which has lots of nice programming for kids including story telling (The Cosy Corner and Little Pages) and pre-school learning (Happy Days). It can be nice to have this on in the background while you are baby sitting, as an alternative to the ever present television. It can help your kids to listen more carefully. They also have a lovely music show called Musical Chairs.
FIP, standing for France Inter Paris, has been on the go for over 45 years now. It is curated with music designed to provide a nice mood. It’s commercial free, and low on inane DJ chatter besides the weather and the news, which is delivered in French. You’ll here a wide variety of music from Motown to Mozart, Afrobeat to French folk music.
The internet is teeming with excellent free online radio options. Hopefully today’s post gives you somewhere to begin. I particularly recommend checking out Radio Garden and TuneIn. Two excellent places where you can discover excellent radio stations from around the world for yourself.