How to Use Internet Radio with OS X Mavericks

You can use OS X Maverick to stream audio is delivered over the Internet in real time. Think of streaming audio as being “just like radio” but using the Internet rather than the airwaves as its delivery medium.

iTunes offers two ways to listen to streaming Internet radio stations: the old way and the new way. The old way is the same bunch of Internet radio stations that have been included with iTunes since time immemorial.

The new way, introduced in iTunes 11, lets you create your own radio station by specifying one or more artists, songs, or genres you like. If you think that sounds suspiciously like Pandora Radio, you’re right. But this is Apple’s rendition of it, and it’s not too bad for a first effort. If hearing music you’re likely to enjoy appeals to you, give it a try.

How to stream Internet radio with OS X Mavericks

To listen to streaming Internet radio, first click Music in the Sidebar and then click the Internet tab.

iTunes has hundreds of Internet radio stations built right in. They’re even organized into convenient categories such as Alt/Modern Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, Public, Top 40/Pop, Urban, and many more.

To listen to one of the included Internet radio stations, click the disclosure triangle to the left of the category name to reveal the stations in that category.

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You can also find Internet radio stations on your own by surfing or searching the web — using Safari (or another web browser). When you find an Internet radio station you’d like to listen to using iTunes, here’s how to get it into iTunes:

  1. Copy its address (its URL) by highlighting it and choosing Edit→Copy (shortcut: Command+C).

  2. Switch to (or launch) iTunes.

  3. Choose File→Open Stream (shortcut: @@cmd+U).

  4. Choose Edit→Paste (shortcut: @@cmd+V).

  5. Click OK.

    The station appears in your iTunes Library.

How to use iTunes radio with OS X Mavericks

To listen to new-style iTunes radio, first click Music in the Sidebar and then click the Radio tab.

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Click any station to listen to it. What’s that you say? You only have Apple’s canned stations and don’t have any “My Stations” yet? Well, that’s easy enough to remedy . . .

To start your own station from the Radio tab, click the + button next to my Stations.

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Or, to start your own station while you’re listening to music — iTunes Radio or any track in your Music Library — click the little angle bracket-in-a-circle to the right of the song name to reveal an extremely useful little pop-up menu.

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If you don’t see the angle bracket at the top of the window, hover your cursor over the Info area, and it will magically manifest itself.

But creating a station is only the beginning. You can help the station play more songs you like by telling it which songs you like or dislike by clicking the angle bracket while a track is playing on any iTunes Radio station.

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You can also train your radio stations from the Radio tab. Click the big + buttons to add songs or artists to play more of or to never play.

The more data you provide to a station, the more likely that station will play a song you like next. So if you hear a song you love or hate, be sure to inform iTunes. Remember the GIGO axiom (Garbage In – Garbage Out). The more songs you rate, the better your station gets at playing mostly music you enjoy.

Just do it.

Last but not least, to delete a station, press Delete or Backspace, or right-click and choose Delete Station.

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