A Selection of the Best Internet Radio Stations

It used to be that if you wanted to listen to a faraway radio station, you had to rely on AM atmospheric skip, shortwave or something pulled down by a satellite through a cable system.  Those days are long gone.

We’ve come a long way since RealAudio set up a radio streaming service so fans could hear baseball games away from their home city.  The Interwebs offers tens of thousands of options via the desktop, laptop and apps like TuneIn Radio.

There’s a surprisingly large audience for this kind of delivery. Here are some of my favourites:

1.  JAZZ-FM/Toronto has an app that’s been downloaded hundreds of thousands times all over the world and a sizeable global audience.  They’re particularly big in parts of Asia.  

2.  I listen to 6 Music from the BBC as much as I can. It has long been one of my favourite stations in the world.  

3.  KEXP in Seattle can also be very good. Their motto is “Where Music Matters.”

4.  Radio Transat is a funky and eclectic station from the Caribbean island of St. Bart’s.

5.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Indie 88/Toronto (the station where I work as the “guidance counsellor”), also has a worldwide audience thanks to its app–which is very, very good.

The Telegraph in the UK has another list of recommended Internet stations.  Right now I’m listening to Ancient FM, which plays nothing but music from the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

Have you got any favourites you’d like to share?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

6 thoughts on “A Selection of the Best Internet Radio Stations

  • November 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I've been a huge fan of Soma.fm's Groove Salad – great background throughout the day!

  • November 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Radio Paradise. Internet radio out of California.
    Are you kidding me? Why wasn't this in your post?
    Human curated, listener rated, listener supported, commercial free, great app, great website with excellent playlist info.
    It's what I hoped 88 would have been closer to, and probably resembles what The Spirit was back in the very early days- cross genre, new music, music discovery.

  • November 2, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Kansas City has a great indie rock station, 96.5 The Buzz. Their website AND their app is great. They play bands that stations on the coasts don't even play because indie rock in those markets has been crowded out by Sirius and Xfm. http://www.965thebuzz.com

  • November 2, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Triple J from Australia is one of my favorites for alternative. And thealternateside.org from NYC.
    I was going to ask how you left out WFMU but I see it's the first one on the Telegraph's list.

  • November 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I'm glad someone mentioned Australia's TripleJ. Just about any rock act, alternative or not, to come out of Australia since 1975 have DoubleJ/TripleJ to thank.

    I'll add:

    91X San Diego (http://www.91x.com) (The transmitter is in Tijuana, so you're going to hear the odd bit of Spanish.) 91X has been cranking out alternative rock for over 30 years now.
    SaveAlternative (http://www.savealternative.com)
    PacificFM stream using Winamp etc. (http://www.pacific.fm/) San Francisco


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