How to Listen to SHOUTcast Radio Stations

Woman relaxing and listening to radio at home.
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As well as being a great software media player for playback of audio and video files, Winamp excels at accessing thousands of Internet radio stations. SHOUTcast radio, which is built into Winamp, is a large directory of SHOUTcast servers that stream audio over the Internet (Web radio).

Setup Procedure

Because SHOUTcast is built into Winamp, getting started with Internet radio is straightforward:

  1. Ensure that the Media Library tab is selected to display Winamp's options. In the left pane, click the triangle next to Online Services to open this category. Click the SHOUTcast Radio option to switch Winamp to radio mode—you should now see the SHOUTcast Radio Directory displayed in the main screen.
  2. To choose a radio station genre, click the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the screen and choose an option. Use the + symbol next to each one to expand the root genre to see more sub-categories. Alternatively, search for a particular station or genre using the text box on the left-hand side of the main screen—type a keyword in the text box and click the Search button.
  3. To listen to a SHOUTcast radio station, click the Tune IN! button. To get more details about the particular broadcast, click the down-arrow button underneath the Tune IN! icon. To change stations, click the Tune In! button next to another station.
  4. When you find a radio station that you like, bookmark it so you don't have to go through the process of finding it again. To add the station to your bookmarks folder, click the small icon that appears at the end of the station name. Alternatively, click File > Play Bookmark > Add Current As Bookmark or use the shortcut CTRL+ALT+B
  1. To check that your station has been added to the Bookmarks folder, click the Bookmarks option in the left pane. You should see all the stations you have added.

Considerations

Internet radio requires a reliable high-speed Internet connection—dial-up or a congested public Wi-Fi connection will lead to skips, buffer pauses, and related irritations.

If you use a portable version of Winamp, ensure that your bookmark files travel with you so that you don't lose the stations you love when you switch devices.