Internet radio is a great alternative to terrestrial radio that offers several advantages to the listener. First, you have more choice when it comes to selecting a station that you want to listen to. Second, many stations concentrate on a music genre so that you know that the songs they play will be more to your liking. Third, stations exist for every niche imaginable. Four, you can easily record the music using programs such as StreamWriter or RarmaRadio.
There is another advantage that you can make use of: search. If you are interested in a particular artist or band, or a single song that you are dying to hear, you can use search engines to find out if any Internet radio station is currently offering that to you.
While you can use a search engine like Bing or DuckDuckGo for that, it is not the best of ideas as their indexes do not get updated in real-time which means that you will only find outdated information listed there.
One option that you have is to visit a radio directory such as Shoutcast directly and search for the information you are looking for. Just search for a station name, artist, genre or song using the search on top and you receive a listing of radio stations that match the query.
The Firefox extension Radio Search improves the process further. Instead of having to visit a radio directory manually, you can now search for highlighted text on any Internet website you visit.
Just mark the text, a band name, song name or radio station, and select the radio search option from the context menu and then one of the supported directories. There is unfortunately no option to search them all in one go.
The add-on supports several popular directories including Shoutcast, Icecast, Streema, TuneIn or Radio.com.
You are automatically redirected to the results page on the website of the service that you have selected for search, where all matching stations are displayed to you.
This works really well for radio stations, quite well for bands that you are interested in, and okay-ish for song names that you want to find. The reason here is that the majority of directories do not display the song that is currently playing, but the song that got recently played.
What this means is that you will only get stations in the results that played the song before, but not right now. Still, it is an indicator that it has played the song making it likely that it will be played again.
You may want to use the search option multiple times to search several of the directories if the first one did not provide you with the desired results.
If you stumble upon band or song names regularly while you are browsing the Internet and like to listen to the music you stumble upon, then Radio Search may help you do so. It is not as comfortable as searching on YouTube or other video hosting sites though, but if you prefer radio as it provides you with an endless stream of music that you can run in the background and in your favorite music player, then Radio Search is a helpful tool in that regard.
If you are not using Firefox, you can still search by visiting the supported sites directly in your browser of choice.
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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.