Monday, May 02, 2005

Radio Paradise: The best web radio

Just a quick post as I write Part III on Strauss -- for all of you who don't know much about Strauss or, worse, who don't care about Strauss, I appreciate your patience, and I hope you keep checking back daily. As always, I aim for breadth, given my diverse interests, and I'll be returning to non-Strauss posts soon enough. But, hey, does it get any better than Stewie Griffin?

In the past couple of years, I've gotten into web radio -- in part, I suspect, because Toronto's radio stations are so utterly mediocre, but also because it's just so much better for true music lovers than commercial radio.

My recommendation: check out Radio Paradise. It defies easy categorization, but, generally, the focus is on eclectic classic and modern rock... but even that doesn't do it justice. Right now -- to my pleasant surprise -- it's Pink Floyd ("Fat Old Sun"), but the playlist covers everything from Led Zeppelin to Patty Griffin to Oasis to Chris Isaak to Massive Attack to Jefferson Airplane to Peter Gabriel to Beck to Philip Glass to the Barenaked Ladies to Suzanne Vega to Sonic Youth to Isaac "Shaft" Hayes. And that's just a sampling from the past few hours. Plus, it's all free and listener-supported. And that's good.

Radio Paradise plays on Windows Media or Real Player, but I prefer to listen to it on Winamp (free download), which supports a new CD-quality audio compression format called aacPlus. It works really well (and better than MP3) even with dial-up, but with high-speed broadband (which, thankfully, I have) it offers 5.1 channel surround sound. For more on this new format, click here. For other stations that use aacPlus, check out Tuner2 (heavy on electronica, but a diverse offering nonetheless).

Good listening.

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