iTunes Radio - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

Besides playing back your favorite audio files, iTunes can also tune in Internet radio stations from around the globe. You can listen to any of a large number of preset stations, seek out lesser-known stations not recognized by iTunes, or even add your favorite stations to your playlists.

Although it’s not a radio tuner in the strictest sense, iTunes Radio can locate virtual radio stations all over the world that send audio over the Internet — a process usually dubbed streaming amongst the “in” Internet crowd. iTunes can track down hundreds of Internet radio stations in a variety of styles with only a few clicks.

To begin listening to Internet radio with iTunes, click the Radio icon located beneath the Library icon in the Source list. The result is a list of more than 20 types of radio stations, organized by genre.

When you expand a Radio category by clicking its disclosure triangle, iTunes queries a tuning server and locates the name and address of dozens of radio stations for that category. Whether you like Elvis or not-Elvis (those passing fads, like new wave, classical, or alternative), something’s here for everyone. The Radio also offers news, sports, and talk radio.

After iTunes fetches the names and descriptions of radio stations, double-click one that you want to hear. iTunes immediately jumps into action, loads the station, and begins to play it.

Although iTunes offers you a large list of popular radio stations on the web, it’s by no means comprehensive. Eventually, you might run across a radio station that you’d like to hear, but it’s not listed in iTunes. Luckily, iTunes permits you to listen to other stations, too. To listen to a radio station that iTunes doesn’t list, you need the station’s web address.

In iTunes, choose Advanced→Open Audio Stream (or press Command+U). In the Open Stream dialog that appears, enter the URL of your desired radio station and then click OK. Within seconds, iTunes tunes in your station.