I can remember the days when accessing a website outside the U.S. often resulted in frustratingly slow surfing, but things sure have improved these days.
There are numerous radio stations available on the net, and probably more coming online every day. Rock Radio 1 is a U.K.-based internet radio station that has been broadcasting a little over a year. I decided to check the station out recently and see how much of my favorite music they were playing.
Although they advertise "Hard Rock & Heavy Metal from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s," most of what I heard was indeed from the 60’s through the 80’s, and that’s a good thing, since I have difficulty thinking of the 90’s as part of the classic rock era, but that may be a reflection of my status as someone who might be referred to as "middle aged," which at this point, gives me some hope that I’ll live to see 100 one day.
The sound quality of Rock Radio 1’s 192kbps streams was excellent and I experienced no drop-out or interruptions of any kind. Although is would be impossible for any radio station to play only music that I like — unless I was the DJ of course — I did hear quite a few of my favorites on Rock Radio 1, including Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Jethro Tull and Van Halen.
Some of the best features of the site include the ability to make requests from their library of over 3,500 tracks, the "Currently Playing" icon that refreshes automatically to let you know what’s playing – very useful if you decide to mute your player during a track you don’t care for, allowing you to crank it back up when one of your favorites shows up at the top of the screen.
The station also offers a "Recently played songs" list that shows what has previously aired, as well as a "Coming up" section so listeners know what tracks to expect next.
Rock Radio 1’s "Top 20 Requests" list suggested that there are a lot of heavy metal fans tuned in, with groups like Guns N’ Roses and Metallica well represented. Other top 20 groups included Rainbow, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen, so there’s a good bit of music that some of us more, ahem, "mature" types would enjoy.
Last but certainly not least, Rock Radio 1 is 100% commercial-free and there is also no DJ banter — it’s all music with just the occasional station ID.
Rock Radio 1 is definitely something classic rock fans should check out. With so many of us spending so much time in front of our computers these days, internet radio is a nice change of pace. Just be sure you don’t crank it up too loud if you happen to listen at work, or use headphones if that type of thing is permitted on the job.
You can give Rock Radio 1 a look (and a listen) by clicking the link or the logo above.