SomaFM an independent (i.e. not owned by ClearChannel) webcasting radio station, operating out of the San Francisco bay area, runs numerous (about 6 currently) channels at

These include:

  • Groove Salad - "A tasty plate of ambient beats and grooves. Takes the edge off work."
  • Secret Agent - "The soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For Spies and P.I.'s too!"
  • Drone Zone - "Served best chilled, safe wth most medications. Droning atmospheric textures with minimal beats."
  • indiepop rocks - "New and classic indie tracks."
  • cliqhop idm - "Blips'n'beeps backed mostly w/beats."
  • Beat Blender - "A late night blend of deep-house, downtempo and fuzed jazz."

They also currently are running Boot Liquor, for country-style tunes.

You can listen to the music in Winamp, XMMS, iTunes, etc. They provide nice little links to the websites to get said music programs at their website, and serve their music with ShoutCast.

For a while, they had about 12 channels, that was, until the RIAA found them. They are now paying off their debt to the RIAA, and still need to pay them a few thousand dollars US a year for royalties.

When I found SomaFM, I was enthralled. Here, I could get lots of different styles of music to listen to, and it was stuff that I hadn't heard before (for the most part)! For about three weeks now I've been listening almost entirely to SomaFM. My favorite channels are Secret Agent and Groove Salad, but that's just my personal music tastes.

However, unfortunately, they don't have unlimited bandwith. Groups of people donate servers and bandwith for them to use, but as their website becomes more popular, they are constantly in need of bandwith because more people are listening. This is a good thing, in the view that they are becoming more well-known, but it's also got the downside that now the music is rebuffering constantly at times and sometimes it's impossible to connect to the servers at all. But no fear, they are working on it and have even posted a guestbook where people can let them know when they are having connection problems.

I througholy enjoy this website. It's a beacon of hope to those of us who see crapola corporate mainstream music dominating the music scene, to see a website promoting and playing indie and non-mainstream music.