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How do I Choose the Best Internet Radio Player?

T. Webster
T. Webster

When choosing the best Internet radio player, you should consider audio quality, compatibility with your computer system or other devices, the number of radio stations you can access, ease of use and, of course, the cost. The popularity of Internet radio players stem from their ability to give the listener access to a wide array of music and stations from around the world. This includes traditional radio stations with websites that allow people to listen to their programming and radio stations that are solely Internet-based. Some Internet radio players are able to access music stored on your computer, as well.

Unlike traditional radio, Internet radio is not limited by the power and reach of its transmission equipment. When it first began in the late 1990s, Internet radio was available via a music player on a computer. Wireless technology has expanded the reach include Internet radio players, cell phones, car radios and MP3 players.

Some internet radio players allow you to access songs on your MP3 player.
Some internet radio players allow you to access songs on your MP3 player.

An Internet radio player allows you to access broadcast radio stations, Internet-only stations and websites that serve as portals for different radio stations. Many of these services are free, but some will require a fee. Some Internet radio players allow you to access songs on your computer or an MP3 music player. You can even create your own music playlists. To do this, the device must be compatible with the equipment where the music is stored.

When choosing an Internet radio player, listen to several different models, if possible, to determine which one has the best sound. Double-speaker devices generally sound better than single-speaker units. Also consider whether the player has built-in speakers or the capacity to play through a separate set of speakers or another stereo.

Another important factor to consider when choosing an Internet radio player is how easy it is to use. Look for displays that are easy to read and navigate. The player also should be simple to understand and allow for quick access to radio stations. Many players come with either an infrared remote control or WiFi remote control. Some remote controls offer the ability to view album covers or other graphics when selecting your favorite music.

Prices for Internet radio players generally start at about $160 US Dollars and go up from there, depending on the quality and features offered. Depending on the brand and model, an Internet radio player can even serve as an alarm clock. Some players also allow you to store personal photographs.

Discussion Comments


@SkyWhisperer - Actually, it’s not only wireless devices that fall into this category. There are Internet radio players that basically plug into your USB and offer thousands of stations, like MP3 players do songs.

You don’t need a wireless connection but of course you must always be plugged into your computer. Personally, if I were going that route, I’d just save my money and use the free online Internet radio player.


@Mammmood - It’s a separate device, and yes, it uses a wireless connection. So you would need to be in a Wi-Fi location in order to access the radio stations.

I don’t really understand the usefulness of this technology, frankly, because online stations don’t have the permanence and stability that regular broadcast towers do.

What happens if the website broadcasting that radio signal suddenly goes down? You’ve suddenly lost one radio station; that rarely happens with standard broadcast stations.


If I understand correctly, then, an Internet radio station player is a separate device that hooks up to the Internet wirelessly? Or are we talking about a software application that sits on your computer and connects to the radio stations online?

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    • Some internet radio players allow you to access songs on your MP3 player.
      By: Dominator
      Some internet radio players allow you to access songs on your MP3 player.