It was in the 1990s when we first heard about the Internet radio. The first broadcast was that of a live band known as Sky Cries Mary. The Rolling Stones followed suit; and then traditional radio stations started broadcasting special shows on the Internet – live. Today, Internet radios have multiplied in number and the people using them have doubled (maybe even tripled) as well. These stations have become the alternative choice of music lovers and musicians all over the world because of many reasons.

Some prefer the Internet radio over traditional radio stations because it allows them to enjoy real-time live music. It also offers more in terms of music flexibility as one can listen to music from other countries; this means that your music choices are not limited to just one genre. Internet radio also allows one to listen to music without a lot of commercial interruptions. What’s more, since it is streamed, the music keeps playing even when the weather is bad.

Since Internet radio stations make use of streaming technology, music is transmitted directly into the computer. The music is played in real-time. Of course, one will need to have a reliable Internet connection in order to make use of their services.

There are a lot of Internet radio stations that offer their services for free. Although there are those that are offsets of traditional stations, there are a lot of independent ones, as well. Some stations work according to user recommendations. They base the music they play on the songs requested or indicated by the user. This is how most of the popular stations, like Pandora and Last fm, work.

If it is your first time to experience the wonders of listening to non-stop music online, and if you do not want to go the traditional way and use Pandora or any other popular option, here are the top three alternative choices you might want to consider:

• Maestro is perfect for you if you want the idea of being able to connect with your fellow music lovers. It works like a social network as it not only connects music, but people as well. You and your music Maestro friends can share and trade music and talk endlessly about your favorite songs, singers or bands. All your music is kept inside a remote storage.

The first thing that you have to do is create an account with Maestro. Then you are to connect your music library with the account through the Maestro Connector. Of course, you will need to download the Maestro Connector, first. This is what you need to be able to remotely access and stream music. Use the Connector, too, to scan your library. Once done, you will be ready to listen to all your favorite tunes and add playlists no matter where you are.

• If you use your mood to choose the music you want to listen to, then Musicovery is the best option for you. Its most interesting feature is a “mood pad” that you can use for picking music. Different moods are indicated in the pad and when you click one, you’ll be taken to a page that shows your song or music options. For example, if you click on “Positive”, you’ll have songs like Bob Marley’s Is This Love, George Michael’s Faith and Boyz 2 Men’s Beautiful Women.

Musicovery’s concept is a combination of two great ideas: the mood pad by Vincent Castaignet and the Liveplasma of Frederic Vavrille.

• Pirate Radio is another alternative Internet Radio Station you can consider. You can choose to listen to music in two ways with this selection. You can download a special player or you can use a web tuner. Either way, you get the music you want as Pirate Radio has a comprehensive playlist that usually includes new music.

Aside from good Internet connection, you also need to use a Windows-based PC. You should also have a reliable player, like the Destiny Media Player, which is what you need to connect to different broadcasters via the Pirate Radio Network.

The most interesting feature of Pirate Radio is the fact that you can create your own Internet radio station with the aid of an easy-to-download software.

These are just three options; there’s more online. To make sure that you choose the right one, do a little research first. The most important thing to remember, however, is that your choice should depend on what you really want – not on what’s popular and trending.

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