CyberNotes
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 Shoutcast.com 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!

There Are 14 Comments

  1. Great, thanks.

    Unfortunately (but probably not surprisingly) the playlist doesn’t sync to an iPhone or iPod, presumably they don’t support streaming playlists…

    Having it as a playlist makes it much easier to find your favourite stations than the Radio section, even if the station is in there (somewhere).

  2. What happened to Cybernetnew. The homepage is replaced by weird characters?

  3. Conchur wrote:
    Unfortunately (but probably not surprisingly) the playlist doesn’t sync to an iPhone or iPod, presumably they don’t support streaming playlists…

    That would have been cool if it did work. But yeah, I’m not surprised it doesn’t.

    Reader wrote:
    What happened to Cybernetnew. The homepage is replaced by weird characters?

    Hmmmm… it looks okay to me?

  4. Yeah it is okie now but it was showing weird characters in IE8, Mozilla 3.1 and Chrome.

  5. It works perfectly. Thanks a lot!

  6. When I “Save As” it creates a .jsp file and that type of file will not copy to iTunes. I tried chaging it to a .pls but that did not work. I am running Vista Ultimate and using Firefox. Any suggestions?

  7. Bill is right, it saves it as a .jps file? now what?

  8. This is great! Thanks for the article. ShoutCast is an excellent way to find for stations playable in itunes.

    As an alternative to saving the file, you can right-click on the link, select “copy shortcut”, then in Itunes, click on Advanced, Open Audio Stream, then paste in the radio stations URL (e.g. [yp.shoutcast.com]). (this works on Windows, I don’t know about macs).

  9. Question: What if im a radio station, and I want to publish my urls in itunes radio stations, instead of playlists?

    Also does anyone know how to bypass browsers requiring to download a file and just stream directly to the winamp, or windows media player -

  10. cheers… works great..

  11. Thx. Worked great for me.

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