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On my Radio(paq)

I really want Radiopaq to be awesome. And on the most basic level, it is. It allows you to search for and listen to Internet radio stations, but it needs more work

I really want Radiopaq to be awesome. And on the most basic level, it is. Radiopaq, now out of beta, is an Internet radio portal that allows you to search for and listen to Internet radio stations.

The choice is incredible. I've had a listen to what's rocking Slovenia, Sweden, San Marino... and that's just the places beginning with S. But with this much choice, we need better station search filters, and a more sophisticated genre/keyword search. There's no indie, just 'soft rock', 'rock' or 'hard rock'. It also requires plugins and doesn't have a volume control. And tells you to visit its 'techincal pages'.

Radiopaq seemed the perfect match with Prism, a project from Mozilla -- you may know them from such hits as Firefox and Thunderbird -- that creates desktop apps from Web sites. It essentially launches online mail, calendar, your Flickr account or whatever you want as a standalone application with none of the browser clutter. Sadly, Radiopaq and Prism won't play with each other.

Searching for an alternative I headed for Live365, which has everything I wanted in the interface: real-time tracklisting, decent search, a desktop mini-player and a volume control. Sadly it didn't have the BBC, so no 6 Music for me. The replacement of top duffer Gideon Coe with the endlessly irritating George Lamb softened that particular blow, however.

At home I have a BBC radio widget, but that doesn't do tracklisting or stations from around the world. I can't win. If you've got online radio sussed, tell us about it in the forums.

Live365 also bombards you with ads. Still, at least it introduced me to Whomix.trilete.net, a Web site consisting entirely of fan-made remixes of the Doctor Who theme tune. Who needs radio after all?