Fans of internet radio might like to skip along to Radiopaq where beta testing for their new internet radio portal is under way.
To access the many thousands of radio streams directly linked by the site you’ll need to have the right RealPlayer and Windows Media Player plug-ins installed, but once you’ve got them finding the right station is a breeze.
By default the portal is set to the UK, but it’s possible to change this from a drop-down menu to browse streams from around the globe or from individual countries outside of the UK. It’s also possible to select a genre, with just about everything from ‘smooth jazz’ to ‘Christian contemporary’ covered.
That said, more obscure musical styles tend to fall within their wider genre, so if you’re a fan of breakcore or neo-disco or even post-folk-ambient, you’ll need to look within the ‘dance’ or ‘alternative’ categories. However, if you just want golden oldies plus a bit of chit-chat, or Top 40 chart hits, or even generic hard trance then you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Not just about music
The Radiopaq portal also links to podcasts - although this is presently limited to BBC content at present. There’s even a ‘What’s Hot’ option for anyone overwhelmed by the range of choice and unable to make a decision.
One area where the portal does stand out - in addition to the sheer number of stations available - is in its ability to search for a specific station. We have to say we were a little disappointed that Radiopaq hadn’t heard of Soma fm or Dubstep fm, but then maybe that’s just us being obscure.
All in all, Radiopaq is worth a look. As a bookmarked page on your favourites list, it could well make navigating the maze of internet radio a whole lot easier than faffing around with iTunes.
It’s still in beta stage, so hopefully most of the current flaws will be sorted out before the site goes live in March. Techradar has also been told that the site’s core functions will remain free to use, although other, perhaps more premium, services will have to be purchased at a later date.