How-To Geek

Play Thousands of Online Radio Stations with Shoutcast in VLC

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

Are you looking for more variety from your radio stations? Today we’ll take a look at how to easily stream thousands of radio stations to your desktop with VLC media player.

Editor Note: At the time this article was published, Shoutcast worked with VLC. However, as of now it doesn’t seem to work. We are looking into the issue and will update you when we have confirmation on this.

Update: According to the VLC forums… it looks as if Shoutcast support has been discontinued.

Getting Started

Select Media from the menu, go to Services Discovery, and click Shoutcast radio listings.


Next, select View from the menu and click Playlist.


Or, click on the Show Playlist button


In the Playlist window, click on Shoutcast radio listings in the left pane.


You should then see a very long list of Titles displayed on the right. Scroll though the list to find a music genre or topic that interests you. Double-click to expand the list of station options.


Select one of the channel listings from the list and double click to begin playing.


Looking for a specific station? Type a search term into the search filter box to see if it is available.


That’s it. Sit back and enjoy listening to your favorite Internet radio programming.


If you are a music or talk radio fan, you aren’t likely to run out of listening options in VLC.

Want to find some more uses for VLC? Check out our articles on how to copy a DVD, convert video files to MP3, and how to set a video as your desktop wallpaper.

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Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 06/7/10

Comments (26)

  1. Modar

    Thanx a lot, I did that, but when clicking on “Shoutcast radio listing”, nothing appears on the playlist.
    How to solve that?
    Thanx in advance..

  2. jrudolf

    I did the same thing, I clicked “Shoutcast radio listing” and there was nothing listed.

  3. Chappers

    I have the same problem.

  4. Anth

    Same here. Help.

  5. mike

    does this one works with windows7, as am having the same problem as Modar & Chappers

  6. Alocasia

    Same problem here as well.

  7. DigitalGeekery

    Not sure what the issue is, but I’m having the same problem myself now…

  8. ledhie

    Hi same problem here, there’s comment :
    Your input can’t be opened:
    VLC is unable to open the MRL ‘http/shout-winamp://’.
    Check the log for details.

    Any suggest?

  9. Roy Freeman

    Same problem here. Nothing on any station list.

  10. komeni

    nothing appears on the right pane when i click “Shoutcast radio listing”

  11. Glenn

    VLC 1.x no longer supports streaming Shoutcast, well, more specifically accessing the Shoutcast [server] directory (through Services Discovery) due to changes in Shoutcast affiliate policies–no ads, no play I presume. Of course, if you know the URL (socket), then you can still stream the station(s). (This isn’t all that recent a change.)

  12. GMcG

    No radio playlist appears with either windows7 or ubuntu 10.04.

  13. Roberto1

    I do not have even “Shoutcast radio listings” to click – only Playlist and Media Library. ??????

  14. what!

    Your input can’t be opened:
    VLC is unable to open the MRL ‘http/shout-winamp://’. Check the log for details.

  15. Green04

    Its a mute point, since the latest VLC version, 1.1.0-rc – The luggage, does not even have a Media Menu item called “Services Directory” and I assume that the next current version won’t have it. It is a shame that this popular capable player has such poor documentation that it is almost useless to the all but geek users who have the time to play with it.

  16. Glenn

    @Green04: FWIW, that would be “moot” point. (“Mute” has quite a different meaning–especially for VLC [and other players]. :D)

  17. DigitalGeekery

    Sorry everyone… This was working great for us last week and all of a sudden it seems to be down or broken or something. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure at this point if this is a temporary issue or not.

  18. Glenn

    @DigitalGeekery: Alternatives–(a) install an older, pre-1.x version of VLC (a portable one, for instance– has ’em)–might work (though I’m not totally sure about that), (b) another player: Songbird has an add-on for Shoutcast (though the search needs to be improved), Spider Player (small and “portable” w/ good search capability), and, of course, Winamp (the actual Shoutcast guys… you know, the ones who don’t really want you to use VLC [/gripe]).

  19. R3SiEViL

    Nice article, although I’m having the same issue as “Modar”
    If anyone knows why this is happening I’d love to try this out

  20. SteveB

    Thank you, man! This was very helpful (& simple).

  21. Roberta

    This is working now……
    (Note: It wasn’t working before)

    Thank You Very Much,

  22. Roman Berry

    Shoutcast is working for me just fine. Running VLC 1.05.

  23. Modar

    It’s working now. VLC Player 1.0.5 :)

  24. Glenn

    And the lesson here: if you’re running a VLC version prior to 1.1.x, then don’t upgrade if you’re concerned about playing Shoutcast stations.

  25. Glenn


    Press Release about Shoutcast Removal in VLC

  26. premasru

    How-to Geek people, you are soooo helpful. Thank you :D)

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