Getting rid of the annoyances with internet radio on Windows and Linux
- Bulky player interfaces (I'm looking at you, Pandora - linux users, see Pithos for a great desktop interface to Pandora's service, Mac users, see PianoPub.).
- Too many stations when I just want to start a damn stream (I'm looking at Shoutcast and Icecast here)
- Lack of support for the playlists, so when a server moves, my desktop client's bookmark simply times out, and we're back to #2... (This is my major gripe about playing streams in Clementine, which is otherwise my music player of choice - and cross-platform, too!)
- Only supports a few incoming formats. WMP is the worst about this, obviously. Last time I tried a few years ago, it couldn't play streaming MP3 out of the box. Really? Really?
For Linux, I like RadioTray. Yes, you have to manually add stations - but I think that's a good thing. I usually only listen to a few stations (see #2 above), so I don't need a whole directory. It's very lightweight, and now that I have AAC decoders installed, I can use the super-lightweight 32k AAC streams from Digitally Imported. (Handy tip: right click the "click to play", and "copy link location". That link - which ends in .pls - can be used as the station, so issue #3 isn't a problem.) Because RadioTray uses gstreamer, so any codecs you have installed there (howto) will play, so #4 is a non-issue.
What to listen to? Aside from the Shoutcast and Icecast directories, Screamer has a great searchable directory of internet radio streams for anybody to peruse.
Overall, these two applications fill my Windows and Linux streaming radio needs. I just recently found about FStream for the Mac, which has very similar characteristics (lightweight, plays streams, leaves you alone, and free).
What do you like listening to?