Tutorial Thursday

I’ve always enjoyed listening to Internet radio stations because I don’t have to worry about putting together my own playlists of music. iTunes has a decent selection of these radio stations available, but Apple has full control over what appears in that section of the media player. Fortunately that doesn’t mean you can’t add some of your own favorite radio streams to iTunes.

There are two caveats to the trick I’m about to show you:

  • The radio streams that get added to iTunes won’t appear in the Radio section. Instead they’ll be showing up under the Playlist section, which may or may not be something that you want. Personally I like not having to go to the Radio section because it can be time consuming trying to find a particular radio station. This method will give you fast and easy access to your favorite stations.
  • In order to add online radio stations to iTunes the stream will need to be available in a playlist (.PLS) format.

This makes Shoutcast a perfect example since they use the PLS format for their radio streams. Here are the needed instructions for setting up one of those streams in iTunes:

  1. Visit and find a radio station you want to add to iTunes.
  2. Right-click on the Tune In button, and choose the option to save the link/file to your computer.
    shoutcast tune in.png
  3. Now you should have a .PLS file saved somewhere on your computer. Find the location of the file, and drag it into the sidebar in iTunes.
    itunes drag playlist-1.png
  4. The radio station station should now appear under the Playlist section, and it can be renamed to anything you like. To start enjoying the streaming music all you have to do to is select the playlist that was just added, and choose from one of the available connections.
    itunes streaming radio-1.png

See, it’s easy. The only trick is finding the radio stations that are available in playlist (.PLS) format. Shoutcast is one of the only sites I know of with a vast directory of stations in this format, but I’m sure some of you probably know a few as well. Let us know about any of these sites in the comments, and enjoy listening to your favorite radio stations in iTunes!