Skip to content

Radio Tray Puts Internet Radio On Your Linux Desktop

Are you fan of Pandora, but don’t like having a web interface or using a dedicated music player when it comes to listening to your favorite radio stations? Have you ever hoped for a simple, minimal, unobtrusive interface that would allow you to change the radio station(s) with one click? If so, then let me show you Radio Tray!

While I do have an extensive music collection, I often never actually listen to it or use a music player anymore (e.g. Windows Media Player, iTunes, Rhythmbox, etc). This is mainly because I found Radio Tray and since then, I’ve solely listened to online radio while doing anything on the computer for long periods of time. Being a fan of classical, jazz, and instrumental music, I find that Radio Tray mixes up the music very well for me and I don’t have to manually create a playlist from my own collection to achieve the same thing. On top of that, Radio Tray has such a simple and elegant solution to online radio that I’ve abandoned both Pandora and Grooveshark altogether.

So what is Radio Tray? According to their site:

Radio Tray is an online radio streaming player that runs on a Linux system tray. Its goal is to have the minimum interface possible, making it very straightforward to use.
Radio Tray is not a full featured music player, there are plenty of excellent music players already. However, there was a need for a simple application with minimal interface just to listen to online radios. And that’s the sole purpose of Radio Tray.Radio Tray is Free Software, licensed under the GPL.

Here’s a look at what I’m talking about:

Radio Tray does support a pretty good list of formats, so you shouldn’t have trouble streaming whatever type of music or other content you would like. As you can tell, the interface is very true to its word and is simple, which is exactly why I love the program. Not only that, but this program will allow you to hear radio streams from other online radio sites like Pandora,, and so on. If you want to know more about how this works and how to setup Radio Tray to listen to other radio sites, have a look at this guide on Lifehacker.

Installation of the program is fairly straight forward, if you’re on any type of Ubuntu system (or Debian for that matter), you can download the Ubuntu package from their website, which is a .deb package. Another method would be to check the Synaptic Package Manager and install it from Ubuntu’s repositories; this would allow for future updates automatically as the system would handle the installation itself and so on.

If you choose the first method, download the file from Radio Tray’s website, locate the downloaded file and double click. Ubuntu will automatically do the rest for you and you should now have Radio Tray installed. To double check, go to the Applications menu, then choose the Sound sub-category and you should find Radio Tray. When you launch it, you’ll see a system tray icon on your notification panel and from there, you can begin to enjoy online radio without having to open a browser or restort to a dedicated music player.

Enjoy listening to your favorite online radio streams with Radio Tray! For our Windows users, you can try some of these alternatives to Radio Tray.