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Free Radio Music - How to Find the Best Free Radio Music

finding free radio music today free radio music online

“Today’s radio sucks.” People say it all the time, but is it true? Sure, too many radio stations have been taken over by faceless corporations, the same ones that own all the live music venues and promote only a handful of artists. It may be hard to find anything new to listen to. Good radio seems to exist only on expensive satellite subscriptions. But there are exceptions. Real radio stations, run by and for actual humans, still exist!

Finding Free Radio Music Today

There are plenty of music radio stations on the FM dial. Depending on what kind of music you enjoy you should be able to find good free radio music with ease.

You can use the internet to search for stations in your area. Or if your mp3 player has a radio built in, turn it on and do a scan. Most FM stations play current pop hits, oldies and classic rock, country, adult contemporary music or hip-hop and rap which is known as “urban” format. But it’s not too difficult to find stations that play jazz, world music and even classical music, especially if you live in or near a large city or a university town. Public radio stations often specialize in these types of music.

Don’t neglect the AM band. While most of AM is now given over to right-wing talk shows and sports coverage, there are still some AM stations that play music.

In the past, radio stations were usually owned by local businesses, often department stores or newspapers. FM rock stations in the 1970s were often programmed by the DJs themselves. They might play whole album sides or create setlists from the station’s huge record libraries, even bringing their personal collections into the studio to play them on the air.

Today national corporations own most stations. Clear Channel alone owns over 850 stations in the U.S. and keeps tight control over station sound and music playlists. Corporate owners don’t always practice this kind of micromanagement and some of the best stations in the country are owned by smaller companies that know the value of allowing radio to be run by those who know and love the business.

But for the most part the intimate sound of local radio has given way to a homogenized listening experience that is often not even produced in the cities from which you supposedly hear it. The men who own these stations don’t care about your town, your school, your local bands or who is playing where — let alone traffic and weather reports or any of the other little touches that gave local radio a warm, welcoming feel.

Corporate ownership often goes with very small playlists and promotion of a small cadre of artists whose record labels are often owned by the same corporation. This can make it difficult to hear new or independently produced music, let alone local artists and bands. But if you’re interested, look for college radio stations and “alternative radio” — this is not the same as the music genre now called alternative. Search for community, freeform or independent radio stations. A few small local companies still own stations, and even some corporate owners believe in promoting local musicians and independent concept formatting.

To make sure a station is really local, call them and ask to talk to the program director. The station’s web site should tell you more about the owners and programming policy.

Free Radio Music Online

Thanks to the internet your choices in free radio music are no longer limited to what you can get on the dial. Many on-air AM and FM stations now netcast — they carry a live internet audio stream, allowing you to choose from thousands of stations across the country and overseas. You can keep up with your home town radio station or discover new favorites. www.shoutcast.com and www.live365.com list both broadcast and internet-only stations that you can listen to for free on your computer or mobile device. These stations offer you the chance to experience artists and styles you might not encounter on the broadcast FM band. You can also start your own Shoutcast station with a few simple program tools.

You can listen to internet-only radio in your car if you have a mobile device and your car stereo has either an AUX input or supports Bluetooth technology. Failing that, buy an inexpensive FM transmitter, plug it into your mobile device and tune it and your car radio to an unused FM frequency. The sound quality might not be as good, but you’ll still have the music you want in your car.

Some individuals have started internet-only radio stations specifically for the purpose of bringing back the personal touch of the old FM stations. Airstream plays 1950s easy listening tracks, while Radio Paradise specializes in freeform programming, blending music of many genres and eras.

Free radio music is alive and well! Tell your friends and support the stations.

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