Free Online Music Radio -- Getting Better All the Time

Have you noticed how much better sounding Internet radio is becoming

It's also becoming more stable, with fewer timeouts for re-buffering and fewer dropped streams.

Sure, technical glitches still happen, and listening to Internet radio is not yet quite as easy or as problem-free as switching on the FM tuner on your home stereo system or in your car. But it's getting there.

This steady and rapid improvement in streaming audio delivery is particularly welcome for those of us who love music. The wealth of music now being broadcast via Internet radio, and its astonishing diversity, are breathtaking.

Not that long ago, trying to listen to a music stream over one's computer was done more for the novelty of it than the enjoyment. When it worked at all, the quality was usually terrible, a tinny, stuttering sound being the norm rather than the exception.

Today, I can fire up my media player software, choose a radio station, and sit back at my computer (or work on other things) while beautiful, CD-quality music pours from my speakers or into my headphones.

The diversity of music genres is also gratifying. My own tastes are quite eclectic, but thanks to Internet radio, whenever I tire of reggae I can jump straight over to a Motown stream, or perhaps to an all-British Invasion station. Electronica, hip hop, bluegrass, r&b, Latin. honky tonk, easy listening, metal, doo wop, disco, folk, Americana, New Wave -- the musical spectrum can now be sliced as thin as anyone might desire.

There's also software available now to capture those music streams and save them to enjoy again and again. Not to mention devices that allow you to port your saved audio streams and mp3 files from your computer to your stereo system for an even better listening experience.

And so, speaking of the online music scene as it exists today Isn't the future wonderful

Stefan Smith is a radio junkie who writes on entertainment and related subjects for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Recently, he has written an extensive review of amazing new software anyone can use to capture music audio streams from Internet radio broadcasts and break them up into individual mp3 song files--a legal way to download virtually free music.