Radio was highly popular for decades, even during the early days of cable TV. Music and cable news networks didn’t come close to replacing popular radio shows. That’s until the internet took over the world. Radio has seen better days and now it’s probably most popular with those who commute by car.
And then there’s internet radio. Many radio stations are now also streaming their content online, usually with fewer interruptions too – since radio ads are mostly local but the internet isn’t. You can perhaps listen on your browser but you’ll want an internet radio app for the best experience. And the following are the best available for Windows 10.
Most people have heard of Pandora by now, one of the most popular streaming apps in the United States and a number of other countries. In addition to its streaming service, Pandora also caters to podcasts and internet radio.
You can find the Pandora app in the Windows Store. It’s a more unique internet radio app, too. Although Pandora is a streaming service, it doesn’t allow you to find specific songs by this or that artist. You can search for an artist but the songs will play on random, which gives it the feel of listening to the radio. You never know for sure what you’re going to get.
This may sound like a drawback, but that’s what you get if you’re looking for that radio experience.
Okay, while Spotify isn’t strictly an internet radio app, it is the world’s most popular streaming app where you can find almost every recording artist on the planet.
Furthermore, Spotify actually has a radio feature. But here’s how Spotify works at its core. You can create playlists and share them with the people that you follow. Conversely, you can go and check out their playlists and have a listen. That’s how most people use this app, anyway.
To get to Spotify’s radio feature, you’d go to any playlist of your choosing. Click the three-dot icon at the top of the screen and select Start Playlist Radio or Go To Radio. What happens now is pretty cool. A new playlist will be created, one that shares the DNA of the original playlist. That means that you’ll get to listen to a playlist that’s built on the original. (If you’re familiar with YouTube, it has something like that under YouTube Mix.)
One of the most frustrating things regarding modern music streaming platforms is the ads. If you want to skip the ads, you’re going to have to pay up most of the time.
But not with iHeartRadio. This music streaming app is free of ads and that’s its calling card. As the name implies, iHeartRadio isn’t a regular streaming platform but more like internet radio.
With this Windows 10 app, you get free and also live radio streams. You select the genre or mood and the app will play what you want to hear. Some users complain about not being able to replay or go back to earlier songs, but this is what makes you get the radio too.
In fact, you can only skip songs for a set number of times per listening session and per day. There’s a workaround, however. Subscribe and you’ll be able to go back and forward all you want.
Sure, the website version of this app doesn’t look all that great. It looks as if it was built 10 years ago. However, the Windows 10 app looks much better and closer to the likes of Spotify and Pandora.
You must have heard of SiriusXM, the satellite radio company that came as a merger of Sirius and XM. Back in the day, most people got satellite radio in their GM cars. But it’s grown a lot and a myriad of music artists have played at its live and acoustic sessions.
SiriusXM also has a Windows 10 app, which is available in the Microsoft Store for free. There’s a commercial-free service, as well as comedy, sports, talk, entertainment, and music programming.
The biggest advantage of SiriusXM is the huge number of live channels. It gives that radio-listening experience because it is in fact radio, except most channels are ads-free and it’s not governed by the FTC for it doesn’t travel on airwaves but private satellites, which is why certain radio stars moved there so they wouldn’t have to deal with the FTC.
The app doesn’t have a lot of features or the best music taste recognition algorithm in the world. But it works as advertised and is ideal for people looking for some simple, uninterrupted radio time.
Besides music, people also listen to the radio for talk shows and sporting events. The latter is even more popular before the days of cable TV, where games could not be all televised at the same time. Even today, the radio broadcast of games is still incredibly popular. Almost all American pro sports teams and major college football teams have a highly recognizable radio caller.
And TuneIn Radio is one of the best for those who are into sports broadcasts. You’ll get to hear every MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL game. You also get sports talk, College Football, ESPN, and such.
This is not to say that TuneIn Radio doesn’t play music. With this app, you get a commercial-free experience that’s curated by real people.
It also has news channels like Fox News, CNN, and BBC. Plus, you get to stream more than 100,000 radio stations the world over, both AM and FM.
Audials Radio is a free radio app for Windows 10. It packs 70+ genres, more than 100,000 radio stations, and north of 260,000 podcasts.
One feature that sets apart this radio from all others is the recorder feature. You can use this option to record music and save songs as MP3 files. The folks at Audials Radio even market the service as an “online radio recorder.”
Windows Media Player
Yes, this is definitely not the most obvious choice. But the Windows Media Player is something that everyone gets with their Windows OS. How do you stream radio stations using this popular built-in app? It’s as simple as downloading the stream and opening it with Windows Media Player. The app currently supports .m3u URL and WMP files. Unfortunately, .pls URL files aren’t playable on the Windows 10 version of Windows Media Player at the moment.
Best Windows 10 Internet Radio Apps
For anyone who claims that radio is a lost art, there’ll be a radio aficionado to prove them wrong. Radio is still big in the United States and even if you don’t care for it, you’re bound to have heard of or maybe even like at least some of the apps mentioned above.
They each may have a unique audience and for you, it’s going to come down to the content that you’re looking for. You’ll know which of these internet radio apps for Windows 10 for you and you may also want to try all of them. You might just find something you can’t do without.