When it comes to Internet Radio you have a couple of options to find stations that you are interested in. You can browse the websites of individual stations, like Digitally Imported for instance or use a directory like Shoutcast or Icecast instead to browse available stations. Directories offer several advantages including the ability to filter radio stations by genre or audio quality of the broadcast.
Shoutcast Explorer is a free program for Windows that brings the entire Shoutcast directory of radio stations to the local system. The main benefit it provides over browsing Shoutcast online is that it is making available a superior interface that is faster and easier to navigate.
Once you start the program after installation you will notice that it takes a second or so to refresh the radio station listing in the interface. A total of 50 mixed stations are listed in the interface, each with its name, the song that is currently playing, the bitrate of the audio and the number of listeners.
To play a station simply double-click on it. This sends the request to the default application for playing Internet Radio stations on your system. That's right, Shoutcast Explorer does not come with its own audio engine to play stations. While some of you may not like that, it should not be a problem for most users usually as programs like AIMP3, Winamp or even VLC Media Player are well equipped to play Internet Radio.
Shoutcast Explorer makes available two additional options in its interface. You can change the number of results that are presented to you from 50 to a maximum of 500, and filter all results by a specific genre, like Heavy Metal, Rock or Polka, that you are interested in. The genre filter lists many genres, some I have never heard of before (Klezmer or Dirty South for instance).
While many audio programs include at least one radio library that users can browse, some do not and others may not include the Shoutcast library. This is for instance the case for VLC Media Player which removed the Shoutcast radio library from the product some time ago due to licensing issues with AOL, the parent company that maintains the directory.
The program works fine for what it does. Sometimes, results would not appear in the listing but this was easily fixed by making the same selection again in the interface. An option to pick favorite stations would be useful but is missing right now. (via)
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.