Web Chat: Internet radio will get rid of bad reception

Broadcasting through the airwaves may be a thing of the past for today's radio stations.

New technologies allow the same signals to be digitized and transmitted via telephone and cable lines, into the homes and businesses of willing consumers.

And taking advantage of Internet radio is not difficult. All the user needs is modern Web browser software (at least Microsoft Explorer 5.0 or Netscape Navigator 4.04), audio capabilities (such as a sound card and speakers) and a media player (available for free at www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer).

Thousands of amateurs as well as the biggest broadcast corporations in business felt their world shake a little when the Internet started its 1990s climb to the lofty position it holds today. And when the technology made Web broadcasting practical, it exploded. Now most syndicated talk shows are easy to find and easy to listen to, anywhere in the world.

www.rushlimbaugh.com: Everybody's favorite talk show host (OK, maybe not everybody's) was one of the first to realize the value of tapping into an audience that could tune in at work instead of just in the car. As a result, many of Rush's listeners listen to all three hours of his program daily and participate by calling, e-mailing and faxing. That interactive component gives listeners a better show.

Tune into the Web site and see what it takes to get his show live from noon to 3 p.m. eastern. Also available are audio excerpts from Rush's best shows (or worst, depending on your politics).

www.wamu.org/dr/: The Diane Rehm Show runs from 10 a.m. to noon eastern on National Public Radio. Her listeners are a mix of college students (She broadcasts from the campus of American University in Washington D.C.), and people active in politics, art and culture. Tune in for a live Web cast and links to other shows.

www.yep.com: This is one of the best directories I was able to find while searching for radio stations. Music and download sites from around the world adorn this site. For people who come from a different city or a different country, Yep.com might be the way to find those programs that you miss. Search by city, or subject, and find out how to access live Web feeds.

www.internetradiolist.com: This is a pretty comprehensive site for radio stations by genre. Also, it offers links to tons of Internet-only radio stations. These are stations that range from large operations to teenagers in the basement. It's fun to see what some of these people brew up.

www.hardradio.com: This site advertises itself as 24-hour, heavy metal. Also featured are interviews and, of course, ways to purchase your favorite music.

www.artbell.com: Art Bell was famed for his zany guests who deliberated the paranormal, extraterrestrial and otherwise weird phenomena floating around our world. Although he has retired (or been abducted), Mike Siegel, his hand-picked replacement, has done a good job of continuing his legacy.

Tune into the late night show and learn what is happening in alien pop culture. Mike Siegel is probably the only host willing to explore any possibility.

Ideas?Suggestions? e-mail at jimscripps@tahoe.com


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