By Jason Epstein
Radionomy, a France-based internet radio site is a free platform that allows you to listen to and create online radio stations. It’s accessible anywhere and features thousand of stations (run by both amateurs and pros), personalized profiles, social networking functions and the ability to promote and make your own station profitable (still for free though after your ad revenue reaches a certain threshold they will then take a share of the earnings). They boast 40 million listened hours per month across their 6,000+ radio stations. We took a look at the site from a listener’s perspective and reported back our findings.
First of all, it’s easy to tell that Radionomy is a French company as the site has some odd text in French from time to time (I ran across an error message and what looked to be like instructions) that seem like it needs to be translated to English. Use the site with Google Chrome in case you need an auto-translate.
Radionomy has sort of a “Google of the internet radio” homepage. It’s a smooth interface with large graphics and a simple search bar. Sign-up is quick and can be done through Facebook connect. After completing my registration, I typed in the name of a somewhat obscure melodic hardcore punk rock band (Ignite) and received “Ignite Christian Radio” in return. I figured I had just gone too deep and might have to scale back and search for something slightly more mainstream. So, I went to the other end of the spectrum and tried “U2″, expecting the search to produce a bunch of stations dedicated to the popular group, but receiving nothing in return this time. I altered my strategy and browsed through the site’s various radio categories and found loads of different types of music including a glut of Latin music genres (13 in total! Did you know there were that many?) and plenty of different metal genres including “Trash Metal” which had 24 stations alone. Yet, under “punk” I found no sub-categories like “hardcore punk” or “pop punk”. The top stations mostly provide relaxed music, with Baroque Classical, Bob Marley, and ambient music in the top 25.
I chose a station called “100% Hard Rock” (with the description “Radio spécialement dédiée au hard rock.Retrouvez les grands standards d’AC/DC , Led Zeppelin , Deep Purple , Def Leppard , Scorpions , Simple plan etc…”), pressed play and they immediately delivered on their promise, treating me to the wild strumming of AC/DC’s Angus Young with zero loading time. Right after the song was done, Foreigner’s “Luanne” came on. Under the player are sharing options for Facebook and Twitter and similar radio stations are displayed below the list of the station’s upcoming bands and songs.
The sound quality of the music was great and the stations are easy and fun to use. So, although it may not be easy to search for the initial stations you’re looking for, you’ll probably find what you want and when you do, you’ll have access to a great, 100% free internet radio that’s a solid alternative to Spotify or Pandora.