Because many readers may be unaware of important sources of classical music available through the internet for computer owners, especially those who have high-speed internet access, I list some possibilities here. Perhaps most important is the http://shoutcast.com station. It provides thousands of free, mostly MP3, music streams in all genres. Included are about 100 all-classical stations, many that involve speeds of 128 KBps or even more, excellent fidelity. Many of these stations provide continuous music with only a few short announcements per hour. For information about stations, the site http://www.radio-locator.com is useful in locating NPR and other stations with classical programs, as is also www.classicalwebcast.com/onepage.html. Another valuable portal to streaming music, including classical, is Screamer Radio V.0.4.3, available for downloading from http://screamer-radio.com.
An alternative to listening to streaming audio on computer speakers is to use a music server. One useful device is the Slim Devices Transporter; see Gramophone, January 2007 issue, p. 126 (http://www.slimdevices.com). See also the Tivoli Audio Networks Internet Radio (http://tivoliaudio.com). A more expensive device is the Fireball (see http://www.escient.com), one that contains a large hard disk and connects by ethernet cable to the internet router and also directly to one’s music system. Mine allows one to rip over 1000 CDs onto the hard drive with full CD quality. When subsequently playing a stored CD on the server, it shows full track identification and other useful information. In addition, such a music server provides direct access to the internet and can include one’s list of favorite streaming internet stations. When one accesses a station, some information is shown on the server’s miniature screen and much more on one’s TV screen, including identification of the music currently playing for Shoutcast stations. Specific information listing the URLs of my current station selections is included on the next page.
Unfortunately, Shoutcast changes the URL’s of some of their stations from time to time and Escient or your server may not keep the URLs of all of your selected stations automatically updated. So if any of the Shoutcast ones listed below stop working, it will be necessary to replace old URLs with new ones. This is easiest to do if one is working with an Escient music server and has available their free Fireball-PC software and their PC Integration instructions. When in Shoutcast, navigate to a desired station and right-click on its “Tune-in” icon. Select: “copy link location” or “copy shortcut.” Then, using the PC program, open access to your Fireball while still on your computer, select a station and then Options. Then select “edit station,” delete its old URL and paste the new one in.
Alternatively, once in Shoutcast first pick “Classic Shoutcast Radio 1.0, find your desired station, right-click on the Tune-in icon, and select “Bookmark this link” to view the station URL address, listed under “Name”. Note the full address or select it to copy. To update, just note the new number of the station, such as 3655. Note also that the addresses on the next page can be used directly on your computer to access streaming audio classical music.
JRM classical music URLs as of 10/27/2009
AVRO Klassiek Het Beste 256
Classical Music Archives, Internet 96
Classical 24, Internet 128
Otto’s Baroque Musick, Internet 96
Otto’s Classical Music, Internet 96
Otto’s Opera House Internet 96
P XLTRAX, Internet 128
Sky-FM Mostly Classical Internet 96
Classical Minnesota NPR Twin Cities 128
WCPE, Chapel Hill, NC 96
WGBH, All Classical Internet 112 KBps
WMNR, NPR, Monroe, Conn. 56 KBps