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Old 12-17-2006, 01:39 AM   #1
dnewhous
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Default Internet radio has really grown - headbangers rejoice

I was once really thrilled to discover KQLZ online because its 64 kbps AAC+ broadcast was higher quality than XM satellite radio (which in turn has higher sound quality than Sirius). They also use a lot Aphex Aural Exciters and such to enhance the sound before it gets encoded.

But the competition has caught up.

In order of bit rate -

At the top of the list is Play Rock UK. They have a 128 kbps mp3 stream, and 2 128 kbps AAC+ streams! (You will have to find the highest bit rate streams via the Shoutcast links in Winamp, if you just go to their website and click on the link you get a 64 kbps AAC+ stream, which isn't bad but not all they offer.) The earliest commercially available AAC+ encoder came with Nero, and it limited you to 96 kbps AAC+. I used a 3rd party front end on the dll's to force create a high bit rate AAC+ file, and it sounded terrible. I went to Hydrogen Audio and learned that the "+" part of AAC+ (or the "HE" in HE-AAC if you will) rendered it unusable for higher bit rate files. Well, I compared the two streams on Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under" and the AAC+ stream does sound better. I now see that Winamp comes with an AAC+ encoder that goes up to 128kbps and if you pay for Winamp Pro you can make AAC+ files that go higher than that. I don't know what they've done - I suspect they simply roll off the spectral band replication at higher bit rates and that high bit rate AAC+ files are nigh indistinguishable from AAC files.

Liquid Metal fans may want to give this station a try - some of the content on that channel is highly appropriate for them.

Stickman Radio - 128 kbps mp3. When I first discovered this channel they were proud of themselves for just upgrading to 64 kbps mp3. They are the home of the "Classic Metal Show" which introduced me to the Iron Maidens.

KQLZ - 128 kbps mp3, but it's subscription at $3 a month. The best free stream is now a lame 64 kbps mp3. The sound on the free stream is no better than XM online. The subscription might be worth it if the content were better. They used to be very broad and got harder at night. Now they are the haispray station. If you are into 80's pop metal the subscription would probably be worth it to you. They host the Hairball John radio show which is the best part about them, but you can listen to it for free at Stickman Radio at the same quality.

Radio Free Colorado - 128 kbps mp3 - a much softer rock station than the others, but you're more likely to hear Pink Floyd here than anywhere else. Police, Eagles, Steppenwolf, etc. I'd rather listen to this than hairspray.

4urocknmetal.com - 96 kbps AAC+ - My very favorite station. They put more emphasis on guitar hereos and prog rock (Dream Theater, they used to overdose on Dream Theater) than other stations. They are based in France so they have a strong Euro metal bent (which suits my tastes just fine). They do take donations, and I would gladly subscribe to this channel.

Just after I wrote this I was reminded of another reason I love this station. They guy who runs it is obviously a collector of laserdiscs like myself. I once heard a live version of "Running Free" that was from the laserdisc version of Live after Death, which features Bruce invoking the audience of Long Beach, CA to ruin his hearing. And I just heard a live version of "Bark at the Moon" that is from Live and Loud, and I don't think he used the video tape as his source.

Hard Radio - 56 kbps AAC+ - from message boards I've read it seams this channel has a big following amongst the low bandwidth crowd; now it offers a listenable stream.

Special mention -
KNAC, famous from the golden age of LA before it was reconquered by Mexico. Well, first off I don't like the content at all. Then there's the streams, 97 kbps WMA or 32 kbps RealAudio. And they're subscription. However, this is where Eddie Trunk broadcasts on the internet if you don't have XM. There are free 24 kbps streams, but I can't stand to listen to them due to either content or sound quality. However, there probably isn't another internet radio station that could even conceive of affording Eddie Trunk.

Winamp - you can bookmark internet radio channels and switch between them trivially. Makes internet radio addictive.

Oh, yeah. Other than google the best source of finding new radio stations is Tuner2 at yahoo. http://www.tuner2.com/
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Last edited by dnewhous; 12-17-2006 at 02:06 AM..
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:13 PM   #2
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Dude this is the same post you wrote over at xm411.com
what is your agenda in posting this at the sbs and xm411 sites
http://www.xm411.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=29346
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTMC
Dude this is the same post you wrote over at xm411.com
what is your agenda in posting this at the sbs and xm411 sites
http://www.xm411.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=29346
SPAM, SPAM, eggs and SPAM.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:10 PM   #4
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by KTMC
Dude this is the same post you wrote over at xm411.com
what is your agenda in posting this at the sbs and xm411 sites
http://www.xm411.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=29346
Isn't dnehous just giving some information?

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Old 12-17-2006, 05:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goreds2
Isn't dnehous just giving some information?

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Speaking of SPAM, here's gored with his daily XM commercial- or should I say tri-daily.
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTMC
Dude this is the same post you wrote over at xm411.com
what is your agenda in posting this at the sbs and xm411 sites
http://www.xm411.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=29346
If you could point me to a good site for the pure discussion of internet radio, I wouldn't bother with either. Posting on only one would be favoritism. I thought that "agenda" would be obvious.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmotherfarker
SPAM, SPAM, eggs and SPAM.
Nah, dude's been on these boards for years. He's not spamming.
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Old 12-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #8
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Don't care if it's spam or not, it's a good post with useful information. hardradio has a following because it was the first free radio stream of metal I can remember. That shit has been playing since the web first got off the ground.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:34 PM   #9
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Internet radio is great. I recently got a Roku SoundBridge and can now pick up stations anywhere within range of my wireless router. It was pretty difficult to set up, but it's a great little device. I've got my hopes set that there will someday be a receiver that picks up Internet radio in the car.

To add to your list of metal stations, there is snakenetmetalradio.com. It's metal radio station that I listen to regularly.
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