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The Results Are In: Our Most Popular Stations

Posted on January 24 2019

By Peter Skiera

 

 

We recently queried our customers through social media asking them to let us know their favorite Internet radio stations. Many responded with one of the stations that come preset with our models, but I was interested to know what stations customers enjoyed besides our preset stations. We received some interesting recommendations, some which included:

KEXP: Seattle, WA (University of Washington); Variety (128kbps, MP3)

YLE Klassinen: Internet-only; Classical (192kbps, WMA)

WJIB: Internet-only; Beautiful Music (128kbps, MP3)

Audiophile Jazz: Internet-only; Mainstream Jazz (320kbps, MP3)

WHRB: Harvard University; known for their “musical orgies” (96kbps, MP3)

WFAE: Charlotte, NC: NPR (64kbps, MP3)

BBC Radio 3: London, UK; Classical (97kbps, AAC)

Several listeners recommended WMVY (Martha’s Vineyard, MA: 96kbps, MP3), one of our preset stations. For those of you who like that station I’ll let you in on a little secret: they quietly launched a higher resolution stream (321kbps, AAC) which you’ll find by searching under “mvy radio Hi-Def”. Same station, even better sound.

I was also very curious as to what stations in general were popular amongst Como Audio listeners. To that end, I queried our Internet station aggregator in NY to compile the Top 30 stations Como Audio customers have been listening to this month. Here are the results:

1

Radio Swiss Jazz 98.1 FM

2

BBC Radio 6 Music

3

BBC World Service English News

4

WGBH Radio 99.5 FM WCRB

5

BBC Radio 4

6

Rás 1 RÚV 93.5 FM

7

mvyradio WMVY 88.7

8

Rás 2 RÚV 90.1 FM

9

Bylgjan 989

10

WQXR 105.9

11

Radio Italia

12

BBC Radio 3

13

France Inter

14

WNYC FM 93.9

15

Classic Jazz

16

Classic FM

17

Soma FM Left Coast 70s

18

Hi On Line Jazz

19

WBUR 90.9 FM

20

BBC Radio 2

21

NPO Radio 1

22

NPO Radio 2

23

VRT Radio 1 94.2 FM

24

Deutschlandfunk

25

NDR 1 NDS (Hannover)

26

FIP

27

ORF Ö1

28

Radio Paradise

29

NPO Radio 4

30

Ceol FM - Fiddle

 

I took the time to audition every one of the above 30 stations. I especially liked FIP’s (Paris, France: 192kbps, MP3) Jazzy-electronica-Calypso tunes, Radio Paradise’s (Internet-only: 192kbps, MP3) eclectic mix of modern rock and world music, and Ceol FM Fiddle’s (Internet-only: 192kbps, MP3) traditional Celtic music.


FIP radio: A liberal mix of funky sounds from our friends in France.

 

All of the stations our models come pre-set with made the list. For those of you who don’t own our Musica model which comes with two additional preset buttons, you may be unaware of those preset stations. Those two stations are Soma FM Left Coast 70’s and Hi On Line Jazz, which make the list at #17 and #18 respectively. Both stations stream at high quality (320kbps, MP3). Soma plays laid-back classic rock from the 1970’s. You’ll hear deep tracks that don’t get nearly as much airplay as the big hits, but are still most enjoyable. You’ll hear artists like Dan Fogelberg, George Harrison, Atlanta, Heart, Elton John, Linda Rondstadt, Al Stewart, Steely Dan, etc. On Line Jazz, on the other hand, is mainly dedicated to contemporary Jazz featuring well-known artists like Chuck Lobe, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, Richard Elliot, David Benoit, and Peter Cincotti, alongside enjoyable, but lesser-known artists. Every now and again they’ll sprinkle in a vintage mainstream Jazz track and nifty contemporary remixes of legendary vocalists. Not surprisingly, the most-listened to Internet station by our tens of thousands of customers is the station set to our #1 preset button on all of our models, Radio Swiss Jazz (128kbps, MP3). This is our go-to Internet station whenever we demonstrate our models because of its sound quality and great variety of straight-ahead Jazz from older and newer artists. If you’re not a fan of Jazz, this station just might win you over if you give it half a chance.

But what I had really been hoping for was a quirky, little-known station I never would have found on my own or even imagine existed. I ended up getting it in an unexpected way…from a prospective customer who emailed me wanting to know if the station was available in our station data base, which it was. Internet-only radio station Seeburg 1000 (128kbps, MP3) spotlights instrumental music played by the Seeburg 1000 Background Music System. This large microwave-sized phonograph from the early 1960’s played proprietary mono records that provided background music for retail, offices, factories, etc.

 
The Seeburg 1000 Background Music System circa 1963.

 

I can almost guarantee you won’t find music like this on any other station. It’s not quite as cheesy as elevator music, but there’s something cool about hearing music designed to keep you shopping or being productive at work from almost 60 years ago. You’ll find the station in your unit’s Station list menu > Stations > Search stations > Type in “SEEBURG” > OK.


Seeburg 1000 Internet radio: Talk about a blast from the past!

 

If there’s anything you take away from my article it should be that there’s a big bag of all sorts of free stations available to you, some of which you’d be enjoying right now if you had uncovered them. I hope this inspires you to take some time to explore the station data base in your unit. Refer to my November blog if you need some station search tips. You have a beautiful, superb-sounding Como Audio music system that you paid a premium for, so be sure you’re fully “enjoying the music”!

 

Peter Skiera lives in southern MA, worked in radio broadcasting throughout New England, and also worked for Cambridge SoundWorks, B&W Loudspeakers, and Tivoli Audio for 15 years before joining Como Audio as V.P. of Product Development in 2016. Peter can be reached directly at pskiera@comoaudio.com

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