Internet Radio isn’t really new. It’s been here for years. Anyhow, somehow I started listening to Internet radio some weeks ago and find it quite enjoyable.
The good thing about Internet radio compared to the normal radio is that there are many specialized Internet radio stations around. So if I want to hear some psytrance, I just tune in on “Digitally Imported - Goa and Psychedelic Trance” and get just that. And there’s no silly jokes here and nearly no adverts. Want some ambient music to chill out after a long days work, tune in on “Blue Mars”.
So now the question is, what program to use as an Internet radio tuner. On the Mac there is - AFAIK - only iTunes. iTunes is OK. There is a radio section in it and a good set of presets. On Windows there are many more alternatives. iTunes is also available for Windows, but it’s a bit over-sized if all you want is an Internet radio tuner. It consumes many resources. Windows Media Player doesn’t seem to know anything about Internet radio.
On Windows I find Screamer Radio to be the best application for this task. It also contains a good set of presets sorted by genre, region and network. It has a very simple UI and uses very few system resources. So it doesn’t have any negative effects on the performance of the system when running in the background. It can be minimized into the tray and the icon menu provides all the functions available in this application - such as changing the radio station.