My current favourite internet radio streaming software is Radio Tray. It’s “free as in freedom”, free as in free beer, small and doesn’t get in your way. I’ve written a longer blogpost about it over here.
But if you aren’t a GNU/Linux user and need a “do everything” media player, the next best thing is VLC Media Player. VLC handles pretty much any audio or video format you can throw at it.
VLC Media Player is available for Windows, MacOSX, GNU/Linux, various versions of Unix, Android, IOS, Syllable, QNX and even OS/2! Nothing else is available on more platforms. VLC is a “must have” software application on any computer. It’s also “free as in freedom” and “free as in free beer”. If you don’t have it on your machine, install it today!
Yes there are many proprietary media players like Windows Media Player, iTunes, Real Player etc., but all of them have problems playing certain media formats “out of the box”, often phone home to the mother ship to report on what you are playing and/or are used to try to sell you stuff.
You don’t need them.
Many streaming audio sites use Adobe’s proprietary Flashplayer on their site. I have spent some time “dissecting” the actual audio streams from the in-browser Flashplayer streams and posted them on this site where I could figure them out. (Some I haven’t yet figured out).
To make sure I had the stream right, I used VLC Media Player as my test tool. So, any audio link you find on this site will work on VLC Media Player unless of course it’s out of date.