VLC HowTo/Listen to online radio

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This page describes how to listen to online radio in VLC through Icecast. Other "how to" pages

The current version is 3.0.12.

For the Qt Interface on 3.0.6:

  1. If not already visible, open the playlist sidebar through ViewPlaylist
  2. Scroll down the sidebar, if necessary, to the section Internet
  3. Click the entry Icecast Radio Directory
  4. Select a listing
  5. Start listening

Old guides


You can of course always simply find a link to a radiostream and then open it as you would any other network stream in VLC. But if you would like to browse a list of online radios, you can try the list of shoutcast radio stations VLC can download for you:

  • First you need to open the playlist window: View->Playlist.
  • Once you have the playlist window open choose: Manage->Service discovery->Shoutcast radio listings. After 10 seconds or so the playlist should have become populated by radio station entries. You obviously require an Internet connection for this to work!
  • If you want the stations sorted alphabetically, you can choose: Sort->Sort by title. Also note shoutcast have many thousands of streams available, per default in 0.8.2 250 stations are downloaded, this can be changed in the preferences under: Playlist->Service discovery->Shoutcast.
    Note that the more stations you want to add, the longer delay you will see when the station list is downloaded, parsed, and added to the playlist.
    Also note you should see 2 "Folder nodes" in the playlist under shoutcast called Genres and bitrate where the stations will be listed under their respective areas. Note that most stations claim to be multi-genre, so a station might be listed under both Top40, pop and rock.


For VLC 1.0.2 "Goldeneye" under Linux, I got the Shoutcast listing by (from the VLC tools) Media/Services Discovery/Shoutcast Radio listings. After checking that option, the playlist was populated with the Shoutcast list.


For version 1.1.11 the following works fine:

  • If not already visible, open the playlist window through View->Playlist. On the left side you see the Media Browser on the right side the Playlist window which is probably empty.
  • In the Media Browser double-click the entry Internet which will unfold a few options, one them being the Icecast Directory. Of course, using any of these Internet options requires an active Internet connection.
  • Double-click the entry Icecast Directory and after a few seconds a list of radio stations will be displayed in the Playlist window, which now has been renamed to Icecast Directory.

The other Internet-related stream sources work similarly, except the Podcasts which require you to enter the URL of a podcast you wish to subscribe to.