Commercial Free, No Charge, High Def Streaming Classical Music
I'm doing a quicky post just to share something that I recently got working and am really enjoying. My local public radio station, which does news and talk during the day and classical music at night, recently started a 24 hour classical music streaming service called WNYC2. Go to that webpage and click on the "Listen to WNYC2 24/7" link to try it. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and couldn't get it to work one of my computers. It turns out that the link downloads a .PLS file that Windows Media Player (WMP) doesn't recognize.
Being an IT person, this bugged me, so I did some research and found out that .PLS files are Shoutcast Playlist files, and lots of other audio programs do play them. If you have iTunes installed, you're in business. But I don't use iTunes and it seemed silly to install it just to listen to streaming audio, so I found an open license utility that will parse the PLS file into something else that WMP does handle. You can read about and use the download link here.
The download includes an installer and the utility works like a charm. There's nothing to run either. After it's installed, anytime you download a PLS file it will just start playing in WMP.
If you're listening and want to find out the name of the piece, go to the webpage linked above and click on the "Now Playing" link on the left side of the page and a little window will open and show you the title, composer, start time and end time of the piece, and the principle musicians. Note that the window does not refresh itself automatically - you have to click the link again to get the current information if the piece playing has changed.
As for the music, what I've heard so far is a very nice mix of standard repertoire and some newer, more avant guard stuff that has been very interesting. And it's free, and commercial free too.
So listen, enjoy, and expand your musical horizons a bit.