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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Free Internet radio

Pick a genre (or four)

Fine-tune your station

Playback

Search for your favorites

Add more music

Donations keep it going

At first glance, Radical.FM seems like just another music streaming service just like Pandora or Rdio. The twist is that the service is 100 percent free, and doesn't rely on ads.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

To get started, you create a streaming radio station by picking the genres of music you like. Your choices range from "Today's Club Hits" to opera. You can have as many genres as you want in one station.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

After you've created a station, and given it a name, you can fine-tune the music selection. You can pick how much of each genre plays, and even add new genres whenever you want.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Above is the now-playing screen, which appears every time you open the app, and immediately after you create a new station. The current song's album art is at the top, followed by controls to play, pause, and skip the track.

There are also options to like the current song, and to block the song or artist so neither play in that station again.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

If your stations aren't playing a particular song you want, you can search for individual tracks to add. You just swipe left from the now playing screen and search by artist or track.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Every song you search for and add to your stations, gets saved into a list that you can access from the app's main menu.

The list is nothing more than a running tally of the songs you've added -- you can't play any of the full songs from it.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Radical.FM is a free service, and to keep it free, it relies on donations. You can make a one-time or monthly donation from the app whenever you want.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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