How to Use iTunes as an Internet Radio Player

Listen to live radio stations for free on your computer.

The main iTunes Radio screen

 Lifewire

Internet radio streams are online versions of radio stations. You no longer have to use a car radio or AM/FM tuner to listen to stations. If a station broadcasts online, you can probably also listen to it on iTunes. Like most other media players, iTunes can stream live music, weather, news, police radio, or podcasts.

Once a stream is added, it is placed in its own playlist called Internet Songs and works like any other playlist in your iTunes library.

Some radio streams may be identified as regular music files and placed in the Library section of iTunes, with the time listed as "Continuous."

How to Add Radio Stations to iTunes

Not all radio stations put a live stream on their website, but there are sources for finding radio stations that do. Once you've found one, copy the URL for that stream.

  1. With iTunes open, navigate to File > Open Stream. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Command+U on a Mac, or Ctrl+U on a PC.

  2. Paste the URL of the online radio station into the field provided.

  3. Select OK to add the station to iTunes.

    To remove a custom radio station, right-click it and select Delete from Library.

Where to Find Internet Radio Streams

Below are two examples of websites that have large collections of free internet streams with direct links to the URLs you can copy and add to iTunes. However, your favorite radio station may have a link posted on its website, so if you're after a specific station you should look there first.

  • Radio? Sure!: Select active from the drop-down list next to "Status" in the stations listing and then search for a keyword that can be used to help find the station you're after. Select the table headings to sort the results by name, genre, country, language, and the date it was last updated. After you open the stream you want, copy the link from the Source section and paste it into iTunes as directed above.
  • Icecast directory: Search by keyword or browse by genre. Right-click the M3U link next to the stream and paste it into iTunes.

Radio streams are sometimes in a regular file format like MP3, but others may be in playlist formats like PLS or M3U. No matter the format, try inserting it into iTunes as described. If it works, it will begin playing within seconds. If it doesn't work, it may be added to iTunes but never actually play.