Streaming Real Radio Stations In iTunes

iTunes has always had the ability to stream real live radio stations, but this feature is hard to find in the latest versions of iTunes. Once you enable it, you can browse through a huge list of radio stations from around the world. You can also save stations to the iTunes sidebar. Even if a station isn't listed, you can often find the streaming address on their website and use that in iTunes too.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Streaming Real Radio Stations In iTunes.

So I've heard, in more than one place recently, that you can no longer stream radio stations using iTunes. But this just isn't true. The current version of iTunes in Mac OS Mojave version 12.9.2.5 still has this functionality. It's never gone away. But you do have to go and look for it. So, to give you a heads up if you're not familiar with this you can stream actual radio stations, like real radio stations that are broadcasting in cities around the world. Some that actually don't even broadcast. They only stream online. So these are real streams with real people talking on the other end, playing music, that kind of thing. This isn't the kind of streaming like with Pandora where songs are played specifically for you. These are actual radio stations.

iTunes has always had this functionality built in to it. So here's how you find it in the current version of iTunes. The first thing you want to do is you want to make sure you're looking at Music. You have the ability to switch between Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Audiobooks. So you want to make sure you're in Music. You can also go to View, Media, Kind, Music and it takes you there. Once you're in Music you want to go to Library. You'll see things like For You and Browse which apply to Apple Music. You'll see Radio which is something that's also part of Apple Music and kind of misleading. It's not what you're looking for in the case of streaming radio stations and the Store for buying things.

But you want to be at Library. When you're at Library look on the left here and you're going to see, under Library, a list of things. This is where you would normally find the internet radio station except it's not there. But if you move your cursor over from where it says Library at the top Click Edit you see you can customize this. So, for instance, if I didn't want to see Genres there I can get rid of Genres. One of the things I can add is Internet Radio. So I'm going to add that and hit Done. Now that I have that added I can click Internet Radio and you can see a familiar list here which has been around in iTunes forever.

So you can now go by Genre here and see different types of radio stations from around the world. For instance if you wanted to listen to just classic rock here you can open this up and you can see these different classic rock radio stations. Click on one and it will start streaming, live, and you will be able to listen to it. There are tons of these different radio stations in here. So you can have a lot of fun playing around. It's a great way to discover music that you may not discover just poking around in Apple Music by yourself or looking in a record store. So you can go through all of this.

If you find a radio station that you like, let's take the very first on here, you can drag it over to the left sidebar and add it. Now you can actually click there instead of having to go and find it again. Now you can also, I'm going to Control click here and delete it from the left sidebar there. You can also go and find your own. So if you go to a website for a radio station, if they have streaming component, usually they list it on the radio station.

Now today radio station websites are pretty comprehensive and there's all sorts of things. Like for this one, for a local station here, there's tons of ways to listen to it. There's podcasts, links, there's apps, everything. But sure enough if I look closely enough I do find a link for streaming. I can see streaming here. I can see there's several different streams. Obviously Windows Media Player is not what I want. The Built-In Site Player will allow me to listen on the web here. But I can see two here that will most likely work with iTunes. As a matter of fact it even says here iTunes for the MP3 stream. It has a higher quality one as well. I'm going to go and do that.

I can click listen and it's going to download a file. I could also Control click on it and copy the link to the file. So either one. So let's Hide that there. Now if I wanted to actually stream the station I have a couple of options. Now one is I can go into Downloads and find that file there. You can see it even has an iTunes icon on it. I click it and it will start streaming that station. I could also go and Open it. So I can Open Stream under File, Open Stream and I can paste that URL, the one that I just copied, by Control clicking and it will do the same thing.

So you have those options if you want that radio station to be more readily available to you. You can drag and drop it to the left sidebar as shown before. You can click it there. So that's how you can listen to internet streaming radio from around the world using the iTunes app on your Mac.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Streaming Real Radio Stations In iTunes”

    Russ Tolman
    3 weeks ago

    Do need to have Apple Music for the Radio Station option to appear?

    3 weeks ago

    Russ: No. Try it.

    Kurt Papke
    3 weeks ago

    I don’t believe this option is available for the iPhone, it is iTunes only. There’s like 5 stations available on the iPhone Music App if I have it right: Beats, NPR, CBS and ESPN and Bloomberg. Correct?

    3 weeks ago

    Kurt: Yes, what I am showing is for iTunes on a Mac. For the iPhone, those things you mention are streaming Apple Music stations. Very different. I’m talking about actual real radio stations here. On the iPhone you can usually stream them with the station’s app, or an app that streams multiple stations. Usually the station’s website will tell you which apps it is on. Or, many stations just let you stream right from their site.

    Bill Sinclair
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Gary, good, useful post as usual. Started listening to live radio on MacBook Pro eight years ago — would switch back and forth between BBC Radio 3, (classical music and some talk) Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Radio — Non-stop performances by the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra all day long (a lot of Mahler). However, since Mojave BBC Radio 3 is no longer available. So, with Apple Music I now mostly listen to playlists all day long. Any idea why they dropped BBC Radio 3?

    3 weeks ago

    Bill: I don’t know, but it seems you can listen on their website.

    Russ Tolman
    3 weeks ago

    Can any one verify that you need to have Apple Music subscription for this to work. I have repeatedly tried to list sent to radio and it asks me every time to sign up for the free three month and then be charged after that. I not able to do this without signing up.

    3 weeks ago

    Russ: This is not part of Apple Music. I am doing this on an account that isn’t using Apple Music. Just make sure you are going to the right place. I show you in the video.

    Russ Tolman
    3 weeks ago

    How can I send you a screen you screen shot. I must have something set wrong in iTunes.

    Russ Tolman
    3 weeks ago

    found out that I had internet Radio disabled in Restrictions in iTunes Preferences.

    3 weeks ago

    Russ: Interesting.

    Brian 81
    3 weeks ago

    A million thank yous. I wrongly assumed Apple had taken that function away from me in order to sell me the same service. Fantabulous info.

    Lorenz Rychner
    3 weeks ago

    Nice to see you using our Denver station as a demo – also found our KUVO Jazz station. Wanted to play ABC Jazz (Australian Broadcast Commission) and got a stentorial voice saying it is “not available in your country”. Didn’t know there were such boundaries – did anyone build a wall?

    3 weeks ago

    Lorenz: Could be licensing issues, or maybe it is like BBC TV where since it is government funded they only want to broadcast inside the country.

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