Streaming ambient music

update: 2024-04-27 Martin Bays wrote in with a link to the gemini-hosted Internet Radio Stations Database, added as a link.


I find it annoying jumping back and forth from Spotify, to Soundcloud, to Bandcamp, to wherever else to find music to match a mood or preference. About 10 years ago I got deeper and deeper into listening to radio via the internet. The nice thing about radio is you can just switch it on or off, or flick to another station if you don't like what's currently playing.

I listen to a large range of genres and styles and artists, but I particularly love ambient music. Thankfully, there are a large number of ambient stations, and this music is great for relaxing at home, as well as reading, writing and coding along to.

Most streaming radio stations you listen to via its website, or you can listen through music streaming playing software. Some stations list their stream URLs so you can plug it into your radio playing software. Others hide the URL, making it accessible only via digging through the DOM after Javascript has kicked in. To find a hidden stream URL, the website RadioBrowser has a user-submitted list of thousands of internet radio stations and their stream URLs. The collected data is public domain. You can also browse the Internet Radio Stations Directory via gemini.


Internet Radio Stations Directory

Rhythmbox is a GUI Linux program that works well for users, and across distros. But I use the pyradio CLI program to stream internet radio. It has vimkey and arrow key control, persistent color themes, easily stores a playlist and launches radio stations instantly when I hit enter. It also has a number of advanced features I don't need, but I've been using the software for about a decade so far, on many different Linux distros, and it's easy to use and starts up instantly fast. Basically, as soon as I think I want to listen to music I hotkey launch pyradio. You can start it up and have it automatically play a random station, or open it and navigate to a station to launch or press R to instantly start playing a a random station. Like I said, it's incredibly fast, as fast as tuning the radio on a car radio. Below I'm listing a number of the stations I have in my pyradio stations.csv list, which is my default list of radio stations. I'm only listing ambient music to make this a manageable listing.

Rhythmbox Music Player software site

pyradio github repo

Stations is run by "A Strangely Isolated Place" and runs all kinds of ambient music, particurlarly previously recorded live mixes and sets. You can listen via their website, iOS and Android apps, and they list the stream URL for loading in your own radio software. It started during the pandemic I believe. In addition to prerecorded sets there are occasional live weekend streams. Though I don't think there are ever spoken announcements.

NTS Radio infinite mixtapes

The Infinite Mixtapes are a way to hear 24-7 continuous stream of previously played music on London-based internet station NTS. They currently operate a dozen+ of these streams. Two of their "infinite mixtapes" that fit the bill for relaxing and background music are their stations Slow Focus and Field Recordings. Slow Focus plays ambient, drone and ragas. Field Recordings is "listener-submitted archive of field recordings, featuring the sounds of your homes, suburbs, cities, gardens and jungles." NTS definitely wants you to listen through their iOS app or website, but you can also find the direct URL via Radio Browser.

Slow Focus from NTS Radio

Field Recordings from NTS Radio

You Are Listening To...

This is a weird one for me, and I've been aware of it for over a decade but rarely listen to it on its own anymore. It combines playing streaming ambient music off soundcloud (found via tag) with police scanner radio. Far from sounding like the experimental British experimental musician Scanner I sometimes hear scary police scanners calls come in, so this doesn't work like the background ambient they suggest in their description. But they also have a large number of mixes (by city) and a "Build Your Own." My favorites have been the You are Listening to...The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. You Are Listening To can be listened to through its website, occasionally streamed via NTS, or you can attempt to suss out a Stream URL direct.

You Are Listening To website

You Are Listening to The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross

Drone Zone on

Drone Zone is a station on the Soma FM network of stations. Soma is operated out of San Francisco, with a dozen stations. I like a few of their stations, but Drone Zone is a nice occasional listen for me. It skews a bit more obscure and new age-y than the station, but this has even less chance of beats or distractions. You can listen on their website or in your player of choice with the listed stream URL.

Drone Zone on Soma FM

Sleepbot Environment Broadcast

Music collected by dfoley. This site last listed new music being added in 2008 (!), but what the heck, it seems to stream okay, and I rarely hear the same music twice. This stream is particularly aimed at those looking for minimalist sound to get you into sleep state.

Sleepbot Environmental Broadcast

You may also enjoy the very web 1.0 website for its creator, dfoley. And the sleepbot site landing URL even has 83x31 banners and a link to Pokey the Penguin, so a very 2006 website indeed.

dfoley website (dated 1996-2006)


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I saw your link to . Do you know there's also gemini:// which does much the same thing? (Hosted by me, written by louis77)

Internet Radio Stations Directory

--Martin Bays