This book is a guide to the most interesting radio programs in the world. Such a guide was never necessary before, because you couldnt get all the radio stations in the world, only the dozen or so in your town. Now the Internet, as it has changed so much else, is changing that. If you are one of the millions of people who have already checked out Internet radio, you know what an astonishing variety of great radio is out there. You could get lost forever exploring it all. This book is designed to help you find radio you love, and reduce the time you spend stumbling around looking for it. If you have never tried Internet radio, this book is also a getting-started guide, showing you, step by step, how to get connected.
The potential of Internet radio is amazing. Every day more stations come onto the Net, every day their streams improve, every day they figure out how to make their web sites more helpful to listeners. Every day you can find some great new radio program you never knew was out there, and fall in love with radio all over again. Radio is changing into something completely new, more powerful, more various, and more useful. The change is not complete. Those of us lucky to live in high-bandwidth neighborhoods feel it first, while computer users in the United Kingdom, for example, not only have limited bandwidth, but mostly still pay for it by the minute, holding back the day when it becomes practical for use as radio. But if the timing of the change is yet to be seen, its shape is already clear.
The one great limitation constraining radio throughout its history has been geography. Except for a few hobbyist "DXers," trying to catch skipping signals in the night, listeners have been mostly limited to radio stations in their own neighborhoods. You may remember a great radio station in the town where you used to live, or one you heard on vacation, but you could never listen to them from where you are now. Well now you can. That is exactly what Internet radio allows.
So it is no wonder that both the number of listeners and the number of stations on Internet radio is exploding. Every day, 200,000 new listeners tune in. Most broadcast stations have found their way to the Internet by now, so if you remember a program you once heard in Paris, it is probably on the Net. Far more exciting than the sheer numbers is the breadth and depth of the programming. Freed from the economic and legal restraints that limit what is on the airwaves, Internet radio offers something for nearly everyone.
Whether youre interested in learning Portuguese, scoping out the latest in African music before it hits the stores, or getting first-hand news from the latest flash point of confrontation, there is a radio station broadcasting live right now to bring you just what youre looking for. And in addition to broadcast stations that extend their signal over the Internet, the ease of Internet radio has also led to a boom of Net-only stations, such as the poetry-intensive station a professor hosts from his office in an English department.