Today, if you’re a radio, music or podcast enthusiast who just got a Chromecast then you’re in great shape. The device is a fantastically simple way to turn your TV into an internet radio that can do much more than that.
Chromecast has come a long way since it was first introduced eighteen months ago. In fact, when I first wrote about how my Chromecast is an internet radio there were only two radio apps. Now there are more than ninety.
Below are my recommendations for Chromecast radio and music apps. Because you control your Chromecast using a mobile device or computer, using these apps means either installing them on your device or using the associated website in your computer’s Chrome browser, which should give you the option to send audio directly to your Chromecast.
Using the Chrome browser on your computer or using an Android device running version 4.4.2 or later you can simply mirror any browser tab or app directly to your Chromecast. However, doing this requires you keep that tab or app open. When using a Chromecast-compatible app, your Chromecast takes over the audio stream directly, freeing up your browser or device to do other things.
Recommended Chromecast Apps for Radio Listening
- Pandora – Still one of the best and most popular ways to create and share custom stations of music based on what you like.
- TuneIn Radio – Arguably the most comprehensive database of radio stations available online, it includes broadcast stations, internet-only stations and podcasts.
- 8tracks – This service focuses on human-curated playlists and stations. The 8tracks mobile app is Android-only, but you can play 8tracks Radio from your Chrome browser. For some listening suggestions, Matthew recommends classical playlists and ones inspired by Welcome to Night Vale.
- NPR One – This app is great for when you want to get a stream of updated news and talk programming. Learn more about NPR One in my review.
- last.soma – Soma.fm is a great independent internet radio broadcaster in San Francisco that offers 32 eclectic and interesting commercial-free music stations. Learn more about Soma.fm in Matthew’s review.
- Songza – Another great service for human-curated music stations that was one of the original two radio apps on Chromecast.
Recommended Chromecast Apps for Podcast Listening
- Beyondpod – This is one of the most popular podcast apps for Android, but it is Android-only.
- Pocket Casts – This one is available on both Android and iOS, and is also a perennial favorite.
- TuneIn Radio – Also lets you search for and play a wide selection of podcasts, although its catalog is smaller than the other podcast apps.
Recommended Chromecast Apps for Streaming Music
There aren’t a lot of choices in this category. The world’s most popular service, Spotify, is notable for not having Chromecast app support. Last April Rhapsody announced Chromecast support, but it’s not currently listed by Google, and I’m not a user, so I can’t confirm. However, the two choices here are solid, and a good choice if you don’t already subscribe to another service.
- Rdio – This is a fine service, and a particularly good choice if Chromecast support is important to you.
- Google Play Music – This service should come as no surprise, and it’s a good choice if you’re a big user of Google services.
Not Really Radio
- YouTube – Obviously, this really isn’t radio. But because YouTube has become the internet’s default depository for all manner of media content, there’s a ton of great music and concerts, as well as podcasts, interviews and other stuff that is really more auditory than visual. Much of it comes from radio stations. It’s all on YouTube simply because the platform is still the easiest place to upload and share.
- Vevo – This is the MTV of our time, with both curated playlists of music video and the ability to make your own selections.