Bobby Travis

Do you hate your local radio stations with a blinding passion? If not, you’re probably at least a little bit tired of hearing the same pop princess on the airwaves over and over and over and… well, you get the idea. Don’t despair! You’ve probably heard there are at least a few sites out there that do their best to provide you with alternatives to your local stations, and make it easy to find and lock into what you need. These are sites that will bring you real radio from around the world, as opposed to the often licence-restricted Last.FM or Pandora — and three of the best out there are RadioTuna, RadioTime, and Tun3r. Each have their good points — read on to see which will work best for you.

 

RadioTuna

RadioTuna is by far one of the easiest ways to find radio stations that are playing the kind of music that you want to hear right now. No need to set up an account, log in or jump through any other hoops unless you want to bookmark stations; and the interface is built for easy search play. Unless you have extremely obscure tastes, it’s likely you will be able to find something that appeals to you within a few minutes, if not seconds. It will also keep track of your tastes and throw the occasional Recommendation at you — and the Facebook and Twitter connect options are nice for those of you who like to share what you listen to.

Best Used For

  • Quick find and play of music by genre
  • Music discovery
  • Sharing favourite radio stations with friends

Downsides

  • No mobile streaming without Flash

 RadioTuna Discover Online Radio

RadioTime

RadioTime is a bit more complex than RadioTuna, but it offers one of the best ways to find local and worldwide radio stations for easy streaming. Particularly useful is the way it keeps track of radio show schedules, making it fantastically simple to find more obscure things like podcasts and old time radio plays.You can set up presets, browse by location, separate by music, talk, and sports radio. One of the best features of RadioTime is the downloadable, TiVo-like Red Button — where you can record and schedule what you want to listen to.

The mobile site works well, there is an Android app available, and RadioTime is also the power behind TuneIn Radio, an excellent streaming radio app for iPhone. TuneIn Radio costs $1.99.

Best Used For

  • Tuning in to local or alternative stations
  • Finding old radio plays
  • Easily finding talk and sports radio stations and shows
  • Streaming radio on the go
  • Recording and scheduling shows via RedButton

Downsides

  • Red Button features cost $29 — though the TiVo-like features could be worth it for power users
  • Information on Red Button is not readily available
  • Red Button requires download

*You can also record radio for later playback (and can skip back a track or two) with TuneIn Radio for iPhone.

RadioTime Free Talk and Music Radio 

Tun3r

Tun3r takes a unique approach to aggregating radio stations on the web. Users are presented with "the Dial" which is a grid of logos for over 2000 radio stations. Just grab the crosshairs and drag over a logo for a look at what the station offers. You can lock in what you like as a preset. If you have flash, you can get a preview of what they’ve been playing — or you can just tune in live (live mode requires a media player). You can also filter by genre and language.

There is an iPhone app available for $2.99

Best Used For

  • Music discovery
  • A bit of curious fun

Downsides

  • The Dial can be a bit overwhelming at first glance
  • The mobile site works without flash, but it is not easy to navigate
  • Connecting to a preview in discovery mode often fails
  • Live Mode requires a download for your media player, generally taking you out of the browser

Tun3r Online Radio

 

All three of these apps are great! Choose the one that best suits you and let us know what you think!