Listening to Web Radio with iTunes - dummies

By Tony Bove, Cheryl Rhodes

Now you can reach radio stations on the Internet that represent nearly every area of the world. You can tune into Japan-A-Radio for the top 40 hits in Japan, Cable Radio UK from the south coast of England, or Radio Darvish for Persian traditional music. You can also check out the local news and sports from your hometown, no matter where you are. You can listen to talk radio and music shows from all over the country and the world.

You can’t record or save a song from a radio broadcast without special software. But you can add your favorite stations to your music library or to a playlist to tune in quickly and easily. You can also tune in any Web radio or streaming broadcast if you know the Web address.

Streaming music from the Internet

Apple provides links within iTunes directly to radio stations on the Internet, so you may want to try these first. Follow these steps:

1. Click the Radio option in the Source list.

The iTunes window displays a list of categories of radio stations.

2. Click the Refresh button to retrieve the latest radio stations.

More Web radio stations are added all the time. The Refresh button in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window (taking the place of the Browse button) connects iTunes to the Internet to retrieve the latest list of radio stations for each category.

3. Click the triangle next to a category name to open the list of radio streams in that category.

Radio station broadcasts stream to your computer over the Internet — sections of the audio transfer and play while more sections transfer so that you hear it as a continual stream. Some large radio stations offer more than one stream.

4. Select a stream and click the Play button.

Within seconds, you hear live radio off the Web.

If you use a dialup modem connection to the Internet, you may want to choose a stream with a bit rate of less than 56 Kbps for best results. The Bit Rate column shows the bit rate for each stream.

Saving your favorite stations

Car radios offer preset stations that are activated when you press a button. Of course, you first need to tune in to the station of your choice to set that button. You can do the same with iTunes, and the process is just as easy. Follow these steps:

1. Select a radio station stream.

2. Create a playlist or scroll the Source list to an existing playlist.

3. Drag the stream name over the playlist name.

iTunes places the stream name in the playlist with a broadcast icon next to it. You can click the playlist name and rearrange the playlist as you want, dragging stream names as you would drag song names.

Drag as many streams as you like to as many playlists as you like. Radio streams in your playlists play only if you are connected to the Internet.

To quickly create a playlist from selected radio streams, first select the streams (by holding down Shift or the Command key to make multiple selections) and then choose File –> New Playlist from Selection.

Adding Web broadcasts

Millions of Web sites offer temporary streaming audio broadcasts. A rock group on tour may offer a broadcast of a special concert, available for only one day. You may want to tune in weekly or monthly broadcasts, such as high-tech talk shows, news programs, documentaries, or sporting events — the list is endless. You may even have access to private broadcasts such as corporate board meetings.

All you need to know is the Web address, also known as the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) — the global address of documents and other resources on the Web. You can find most URLs from a Web site or email about a broadcast. Follow these steps to add a Web broadcast to a playlist:

1. Choose Advanced –> Open Stream.

The Open Stream dialog box appears, with a URL text field for typing a Web address.

2. Type the exact, full URL of the stream.

Include the http:// prefix, as in

If you’re connected to the Internet, iTunes automatically retrieves the broadcast and places it at the end of your song list.

3. Click OK.