Zero-effort music for working.
I’ve recently (re)discovered the magic of internet radio. About a month ago, the fine folks over at The Iconfactory released Triode, a new app for streaming internet radio on iOS. There’s a Mac app, too, but I have no use for that (as of now).
Since then, I’ve basically stopped using Spotify to listen to music while I work. When I’m working, I need lots of music to play and with little to no input from me. Spotify requires too many choices to pick what I want. I could listen to albums, but those are short. Playlists also end. Spotify’s “radio” is terrible and is basically just a playlist (it ends, too). Back in college, I would use Pandora for this kind of listening.
Triode fills this need perfectly.
When I was using Apple Music, their radio option was actually really good for this.
It’s not a widely known fact, but radio is still HUGE. And most radio stations broadcast online, too. The best ones to listen to are the public stations. They make their streams available using standard protocols and have way fewer ads than commercial stations. But there are also some online-only stations that I’ve discovered. I know none of this is new, but I’ve never had a nice and convenient way of accessing this music. Now I do and a whole new world has opened up.
The best part about this is that these stations are always there, always playing. They play songs chosen by people who love and care about the music. And all I have to do is tap play. No other input. No rating songs to improve the station, no selecting the next album or playlist. Hit play, listen, and get to work.
Here are some of my favorite stations that I’ve found so far. I bounce between them on any given day.
- WQXR - Classical Public Radio from New York. Spotify’s classical selections are, well, terrible. Classical music, chosen by humans who love it, is the way to go. BBC Radio 3 is also a good choice, though I tend to like WQXR’s choices better.
- WBGO - Jazz Public Radio from New Jersey. Like before, Spotify’s choices and recommendations for Jazz leave me wanting more. WBGO is great, and they play plenty of Blues, too.
- Soma FM - Not a single station, but a collection of online-only stations. I listen mostly to Indie Pop Rocks, which plays a mix of Indie Pop and Indie Rock. I love CD102.5 in Columbus, but their sound quality has always been pretty lacking. Soma FM plays most of the same music, but at much higher quality.
- I did, through some digging, manage to get CD 102.5’s stream working through Triode. It’s not something I’ll post here, since they have some limits on their stream and want you to access it through their site so they can manage it. But deep down it uses the same protocols as other streams and can be imported. The sound quality is still pretty bad, though.
- Radio Paradise - Another online-only station. There’s no good way to describe Radio Paradise. It’s music. Lots of music, and lots of variety, chosen by two people with great taste.
There are many more stations available through Triode. The “Our Picks” tab is a great way to start finding new stations, but the search is expansive and vast. Internet radio isn’t new, it’s been around for decades now, but it’s still out there and still waiting for more people to discover it. I hope Triode gets more people listening to more stations.