I don’t listen to the radio that often, but when I do it’s certainly not in the traditional way.

Unlike Spotify or Last.fm there’s no sign-up or subscription with internet radio

Like many, I listen to internet radio on my PC using a Linux radio app. A small selection of such players are available. They range from fully featured radio managers like Gradio, to lightweight and stripped back radio stream players like (the now defunct) Radiotray.

Radio is super convenient; tune in and you get a continuous stream of music (and sometimes chat) for hours on end.

Unlike Spotify or Last.fm or Apple Music there’s no sign-up or subscription with internet radio. You don’t need to log your interests, nor is what’s played some auto-assembled playlist that tries to (and usually fails to) intelligently match your tastes.

Plus, the sheer number of and variety of stations out there means there’s something for (almost) everyone. A genre-specific station, be it classic music or talk radio, can be background noise while you focus in on something else.

Goodvibes is an Ubuntu internet radio player

goodvibes radio app

Goodvibes is a lightweight internet radio player for Linux. It integrates neatly with most desktop environments, including Unity, GNOME Shell, and Budgie. Heck, it even plays nice under Openbox and Tint2!

So how did the app come about? Well, after a stalled effort to contribute to (the now defunct) RadioTray, developer Arnaud R., decided to writing a lightweight radio player of his own. Goodvibes is the result of that effort.

“Once your radio stations are configured, Goodvibes get out of the way. You can close the UI, and let it run in the background, kind of “daemon mode”. You can even launch it without ui (`–without-ui`), convenient if you want to auto-launch it at startup. Actually, 95% of the time, you don’t need the UI, since the desktop already provides an mpris2 applet to play the stations — and that’s the best feature for me.”

Goodvibes compliments Gradio rather that competes with it. Look at it this way: Gradio is the LibreOffice to Goodvibe’s AbiWord; both apps do the same end job (play radio stations) but each takes a different approach to it.

Goodvibes: Features

Despite being “lightweight” the app has a decent little set of features, including:

  • Ability to, edit and remove radio stations
  • Media key support
  • Sound Menu integration
  • Native notifications, including song metadata (where available)
  • Sleep inhibition during playback
  • Command-line client with no GUI
  • Console output 

Using the app is pretty straightforward too: You open it, choose a station and play it.

Goodvibes comes pre-loaded with a small set of popular French radio stations. Naturally these won’t suit everyone. To edit or remove a station just right-click on it. To add an audio station that you listen to regularly, right-click and select ‘Add new station’.

The app can’t (currently) open .pls files like Rhythmbox can, nor does it offer a way to browse for and quickly add radio stations. It’s literally a radio player, designed to play audio streams, not a radio station browser (a service which Gradio does offer). The app relies on you knowing (or being able to find) the URL stream of the station(s) you want to listen to.

Honestly, this isn’t much effort. A number of websites list radio stream URLs for mainstream and niche stations, including Community Radio BrowserShoutcast and others.

Download Goodvibes for Ubuntu

Goodvibes is free, open-source software.  You can visit the Goodvibes wiki on Github to learn more about the app and how it works.

To download and try the app for yourself on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (64-bit) you can use the official installer:

Download Goodvibes for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Apps goodvibes gradio radio