I've decided to shut down my SHOUTcast radio stream. The bottom line is it had become too much of a burden to run it, plus with the Sound Exchange nonsense regarding internet radio royalty rates, I figured it was time to get out. I can't tell you how many people emailed me thanking me for the stream, and for turning them on to music and guitarists they had not heard before. I think that's so cool. I originally started this site so I would have a homepage for the stream. Even though the name "The Guitar Channel" was a reference to the radio stream, I am not going to change the name of the site just because the "channel" is gone.
However, you can still listen to streaming music on my site! In place of the SHOUTcast radio stream, I have added a widget in the upper left that plays my Last.fm playlist. The playlist is mostly comprised of music I had in the SHOUTcast stream, but there's a lot of tunes that were not in the radio stream also. I even threw in a few songs that have no guitar at all (ie. from Billy Sheehan's band Niacin). The widget you see in the upper left-hand corner of the site is the small version (annoyingly, the full size version was too wide to fit in my sidebar). However, if you click the link below the player, you will get the full size widget, which includes the album art and track durations, in a pop up. (NOTE: if you click on a song title from the list, you will only hear a 30sec preview. The only way to hear the songs in their entirety is to let the player shuffle on it's own.) There were a lot of artists in my stream that are not available on Last.fm yet, but I'm a big fan of their site and will continue to add new music to this playlist (which currently has about 120 songs). One thing I noticed is when the playlist is shuffling (which, from what I can tell, is the only way to play it), it will sometimes repeat a song that was previously played even though it has not finished the whole playlist yet. Something to keep in mind when you are listening. Anyway, I wanted to keep some sort of streaming music on my site, and I think the Last.fm playlist is a pretty cool alternative.