mugLast winter I wrote about the growth of Internet Radio, and many of you told me about your favourite online music sources. As a result, I’ve started listening quite regularly while I work, enough to have assembled a small list of favourite stations and tools:

Favourite rock music station: Rock Chicks Radio – 128kbps Stereo – All the great women of rock, and interactive: you can get them to add your favourite singer & song to the rotating playlist of about 300 songs, send ‘dedications’ that will come up everytime your favourite song is played, and vote on songs and increase the amount of play they get.

Favourite African music station: Pan-African All-Stars Radio – 64kbps Stereo – I love modern African music, especially West/Central African soukous. This station plays a great variety from throughout the continent, and they have a very informative website as well.

Favourite Latin American music station: SalsaStream – 96kbps Stereo – Readers know I’m taking Salsa dance lessons (coming very slowly, by the way, but great fun). But I’ve loved Latin American music for years, and this site has great sound and lots of variety.

Favourite folk music station: Omzig Kicks Ass – 64kbps Mono – Scroll down the list until you find ‘Omzig’. As much as I like Hober Radio, this one’s at least as good. Great mix of old and modern folk.

Favourite eclectic mix music station: Radio Paradise – 64kbps Mono – This station bills itself as an ‘intelligent music’ station and plays a wide variety of consistently high-quality, often little-know and rarely-heard music.

Favourite classical music station: InLive Katharsis – 128kbps Stereo – Scroll down the list until you find ‘Katharsis’ (not a 24-hour station so if you don’t see it, it’s off-air). This is a tough choice, since there are some excellent alternatives from France, Switzerland and Russia. But this station, surprisingly from South Korea, has excellent sound and plays not only an excellent selection of music from Medieval to Contemporary Classical, but seems to pick the best possible performances of each composition. When it’s off-air I listen to MagnaTune all-indie-performers’ Shoutcast Classical Radio station.

Most unusual station: Radio KanKan – 24kbps Mono – The country of GuinÈe in West Africa is one of the least-known in the world, but a source of great music (including some amazing electric/tribal instrument fusions). This station and its site play a lot of music and also take a courageous stand against it’s government’s corruption. Some fascinating local stories, that tell you more about the people of this land, caught between the indigenous, French colonial and Arabic cultures, than you’ll ever get in a book. They’re also nuts about football (soccer). In French.

Favourite Internet Radio Directory/Player: ShoutCast with BOOMBox. The BOOMBox player is free to download. Access to hundreds of Internet Radio stations (including all of the above), which you can listen to with one click (no need to go through the station’s website). Very comprehensive list of stations, and well-maintained. Uses ShoutCast as its streaming system and works best with the sister WinAmp player (which is also free online). Set up your own favourites list and then browse through your favourites with one-click.. Identifies the selection currently playing as you browse. Also one-click recording capability. No annoying ads. I’ll never go back to Netscape Radio or Yahoo Radio. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the BOOMBox list, the ShoutCast page has more detailed listings and info on the available stations, as well as popularity ratings and one-glance look at what’s now playing on all the stations on a particular genre.

Sure beats the hell out of ClearChannel. Check ’em out, tell me what you think, and what your favourites are.

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  1. David Jones says:

    As I read Dave’s Blog I’m listening to mostlyclassical.com which somehow manages to put all my favourite sounds together on one Internet channel.I get it on ITunes.

  2. kuros says:

    shame shame shameboombox is infested with spypware/adware

  3. You never cease to amaze. I am so incapable of multitasking that I can’t listen to music when I write. I tend to get caught up in the music and forget that my original purpose was to drain the swamp.However, if I manage to find time to listen without distraction, I’ll use your guide. Thanks.

  4. mscandide says:

    I’d die without Internet radio. (All the real radio can fetch where I live is one almighty Christian station.) I stick to public stations for the most part (customizable listings & links at publicradiofan.com), but I have had some fun lately with apple-fm.com, a cheesy oldies station out of Europe that includes cheesy European oldies. Did you know a South African street-musician pennywhistle group called “Elias and His Zigzag Jazzy Flutes” had a top-ten hit in Britain in 1958?

  5. Dick says:

    Wow! Someone else who knows of Elias & His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes! ‘Tom Hark’ was a novelty hit just as skiffle & rock’n’roll were breaking big. It was the signature tune to an extraordinary BBC serial about life in the townships. The musical genre is called ‘kwela’ &, on & off, I’ve been trying to track down both Elias & co. & further examples of the style. So if you come across anything, Shirley, let me know…

  6. Dave Pollard says:

    Sam/Dick: Interesting post on Kwela here. I remember a song by Johnny Clegg a few years ago called ‘Kwela Man’. Seems to me there was also some Kwela music in the musical Sarafina. Thanks to all for the links and comments, especially Sam — we’re thinking about you every day and keeping our fingers crossed that things will still work out.

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