Right now, the best place to stream online radio shows is Mixcloud.
The U.K.-based service is an online music streaming platform like Soundcloud or Spotify, but its main audience is DJs and people making radio shows.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the radio shows, but I’m sure anyone that likes DJ mixes and EDM sets will enjoy the app as well.
The app isn’t laid out in the most appealing way, but it still works well, and it’s really all about the content you get through it,
How to use the app
The app’s Home screen is set up like a social media feed, but instead of posts from friends, you’ll see new mixes from the creators you follow.
At the top of the screen, you’ll see options to select your ‘Feed’ or ‘New Shows.’ The app defaults users to the Feed, but I find the New Shows section cleaner and easier to use.
Moving left along the app’s bottom menu bar takes us to the ‘Library’ section. Here you can see any creators you follow, your listening history, favourites, playlists and more. The layout here could be a little better but like the rest of the app, it works on iOS and Android without significant issues.
The magnifying glass icon on the bottom bar brings you to the ‘Browse section.’ This is both where the app recommends content to its users and where search is located. Like the other parts of the app, this uses a pretty basic layout, and it’s really not great at recommending content to people. This means you need to spend a lot of time trying to find content for yourself, which can be daunting.
The second last section is called ‘Live,’ where artists can present live shows or mixes. Some of these are events you need to buy tickets for and others are simply user uploaded shows. Like a small-time jazz show at a festival or a homemade DJ set.
The ‘Select’ page is the final option. Its purpose is to explain the platform’s unique subscription model. Instead of paying for the app, you pay your favourite creators for unlimited access to their content. That means you don’t get ads on those channels, and you can download their shows for offline listening. Generally, it looks like people charge between $3 and $4 for their channels.
Where it stands for now
As of right now, Mixcloud is the best place besides YouTube that I’ve found to get cool music mixes and radio shows online. That said, Spotify recently released an update that allows creators on its platform to very easily construct radio shows out of all the music it has a streaming license for.
While this won’t replace things EDM or DJ mixes on Mixcloud, I worry that it will replace the radio show option for better or worse as more creators migrate to Spotify since it has a larger audience.
Still, if you want to catch up on a missed Sonos Sound System episode or you’re looking for a different way outside of Spotify and Apple Music to discover new songs, this could be your new favourite app.
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