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Scooting around the internet, looking for something else (as usual) and ran across a website called “Internet Radio Stations” which is a veritable cornucopia of links to various internet radio stations.  This website allows you to search by musical genre, which helps you get to the kind of music you like more quickly, and you can either stream content from their website or go to the source website.  You can play IRS’s content via Flash Player, Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTunes, or RealPlayer.  Since I love to listen to music while I’m reading, working on my computer and/or working, I spent a whole afternoon romping about this site to see what I could turn up.

Here are some I gleaned for the new age music lovers:

Radio Gaia — which allows users to stream directly from their website through Real Player, iTunes,  Winamp, Window Media Player, or Quicktime.  Since the bilingual website is in Portuguese, it’s either out of Portugal or Brazil, but probably Brazil. A lady comes on periodically to tell you in Portuguese that you are listening to Radio Gaia, which is somewhat intrusive.

Trancemission.FM  — also allows users to stream directly from their website, but only through Winamp, iTunes, or XMMS.   However, if you go through the Internet Radio Stations website here you can stream through their player choices.  They also offer a “Meditation” channel and a “World” channel, which you can also access through the Internet Radio Stations link.  It appears to be listener supported, and commercial free.

Zen Radio offers melodic ambient/spa/relaxation/newage type music that is fairly “mainstream” as the genre goes. Its website is in French, so one would suppose it is probably in France.  (It is apparently a new station, and their website is still under construction, so the other language choices, and some web pages are not yet available.)  You can stream content through iTunes, Winamp, or Windows Media Player (the page that tells you how is in French, however).  The in-browser player wants Windows Media Player version 11, which I’m not using.  You can also access the stream from Internet Radio Stations website here and use their player choices.  A lady comes on periodically to tell you in French  that you are listening to Zen Radio, which is somewhat intrusive.  At the bottom of their website, they sport a logo that announces LGBTA friendly.

I found some nice ambient/meditation/relaxation music at these stations:

Nirvana Radio  — It offers three channels:  Music for meditation, Music for Relaxation, and Ambient.  I could not stream from their website (and they don’t say which player they use), but I was able to stream all three channels here by going through the Internet Radio Website and using their player choices.  It appears to be a listener supported, commercial free site.

MajorUrsa Radio is a European based site that streams ambient content that’s a bit more hard core.  You can stream directly from the website using Winamp, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player (the icons are in the upper right corner of the webpage)  or you can stream from the Internet Radio Stations site here and use their player choices.  (edit:  I’ve noticed some sound quality issues that make be related to the fact that this station is based in Europe, and the Sandy-affected  area is between me and them.)

And here’s some for the spacey “woo-woo” drone/ambient crowd:

StillStream is a US based station that offers only a single stream, but it is listener supported, free, commercial free music.  It bills itself as “We subscribe to the Wikipedia definition of ambient music, and love all forms of it, not just one subgenre or another.”  You can listen via your iPhone, or you can listen on your PC through iTunes, Winamp, Flash Player, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player.  To listen, choose your player from the “Listen” drop down menu under the logo at the top of the page.

Blue Mars offers three channels:  “Music for the Space Traveler,” “Cryosleep – Zero Beat Guaranteed,” and “Voices from Within.”  You can stream directly from the website using iTunes, QuickTime, RealPlayer, and Winamp, or you can stream from the Internet Radio Station website here and use their player choices.  It appears to be commercial free.

Mind Potion Radio is a UK based internet radio station which, as you may suspect, offers meditation music.  You can stream directly from the website on Winamp, iTunes, Windows Media Player, or RealPlayer.   They only have one channel but they stream in either “regular” or high definition.  Their stream is listener funded, free, and commercial free.

Some multichannel stations I’ve discovered through Internet Radio Station are:

Digitally Imported bills itself as “Addictive Electronic Music 24/7” and says it is a sister station to Sky.FM (which has at least one commercial per hour, and that annoyingly perky Sky.FM lady), and it has the same setup, but it has several commercials an hour,  more than Sky.FM does.   One nice thing, if you have already opened an account with Sky.FM, you can use it to sign on to Digitally Imported as well.  They also offer a “Premium” subscription stream for $4.99 a month, which gives you access to commercial free streaming from both Digitally Imported and Sky.FM as well which, considering how many channels are available from each station, gives you access to a humongous amount of music of an extremely wide variety for only five bucks per month.  Digitally Imported has a wide selection of subgenres — nearly 50!

Chromaradio is listener funded, and thus commercial free.  It offers several pop, jazz, and two Greek (!) music channels, as well as a new age channel and a nature sounds channel.  It provides an in-browser player, as well as streaming through iTunes, Winamp and RealPlayer.  Again you can access its various channels through Internet Radio Stations website here and use their choices of players.

181.FM offers multiple channels of pop, jazz, classical, rock, urban, oldies, etc., and even has an all Beatles channel.  It has an in-browser player here, and a links page here for Winamp and iTunes links to each channel.  It may be commercial free, but I doubt it.

Amazon has a free Winamp app for Android which I assume works on the Kindle Fire, so I may try streaming some of these stations on my Kindle, since a lot of them use Winamp as one of their player choices.  I’ll get back to you on how it works.

One note:  If you find a station you like, and want to listen to it often, and you use Windows Media Player, you can right click on the link you would click on to start listening, choose the “Save Link As” option and save it to your desktop.  You can then rename the link so you will know what station it belongs to, being careful not to write over the file suffix (.m3u, .asx, etc.)  This will create a shortcut link that you just click on to bring up the Windows Media Player, and start playing that stream.  This is a lot faster than using bookmarks, where you have to open your browser, find the bookmark, go to the website, and click on the icon to start the stream.  If you have several shortcut links, you can then position your mouse on your desktop, right click, choose “New”  and then “Folder” and create a desktop folder to collect all your shortcut links in.  Then, when you want to listen to a stream, just open the folder and click on that shortcut link.  Needless to say, I have about a gazillion links in my folder.

Since I have a wide screen monitor, I have adjusted the windows of all my programs to reveal a narrow, about two-inch wide strip down the left-hand side of the monitor where I have all my program shorcut icons.  I have them arranged to leave a little space at the bottom, because I use a skin for my Windows Media Player like this or this or this (you can find a all kinds of skins here) which I can position in the space.  That way I can access the media player without having to juggling windows back and forth or hunt up the right window on the task bar.

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