>If the local FM stations aren’t your cup of tea, the Internet is bound to have something more appealing…
For radio aficionados, the local FM channels may seem sadly lacking in variety and unfortunately high on the nonsense quotient. You may even find yourself ruing the good old days of Vividh Bharati, when some ‘real’ music was played. If so, technology has a solution for you, in the form of Internet or online radio.
How it works
The technology behind Internet radio is not new. It involves using an audio codec (coder-decoder) to transfer audio files over the Internet. The job of the codec is to use the minimum number of bits for the high-fidelity audio signal, without losing too much on quality. This makes it easier to transmit over the given bandwidth and saves on storage space. Most codecs work with one or more multimedia players, such as Windows Media Player.
On your end, you need a broadband connection to listen to radio with good audio quality and few breaks. Once you’re online, you need to visit the music site and select the channel that you want to listen to. Some sites also allow you to create your own playlists. The player on the site will stream music once you hit the Play button.
Internet radio sites
There are scores of sites that offer Internet radio. Apart from Hindi film music, you can listen to film music in regional languages, such as Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, and so on. Channels playing Hindustani classical and Carnatic music are also available. Moreover, you can tune in to BBC’s online radio services, as well as world music and radio stations from other countries.
Internet radio channels stream ads along with music, but you’re spared the non-stop babbling and giggling that some RJs on local FM channels are known for.
To begin with, http://radiostation india.com has an enviable collection of radio channels in various Indian languages. You can select the language and channel of your choice and listen to hours of non-stop music. For a variety of international news channels and music channels by genre, you can browse http://www.trumix.com or http://www.penguinradio. com.
BBC’s radio channels are available through http://www.bbc.co.uk. You can also access their videos and podcasts from here. Similarly, radio channels are available from countries such as the USA, Australia, France, Italy, Middle Eastern countries, China, Hong Kong, and so on.
Most of these sites play music much like radio—you have no control over what is being broadcast. In some cases, radio channels are genre-specific, so that you can select the genre of music you’d like to listen to.
At Raaga, you can listen to non-stop channels based on your language and genre preferences. You can further specify the type of channel, based on music directors, singers, or actors. In addition, you can build and save your own playlists by selecting songs from Raaga’s extensive film and non-film indexes for various languages and genres. This site has a lot of Indian film and classical music on offer, including Sanskrit shlokas, spiritual music and world music.