Over the last few decades, rather than radio disappearing into the abyss and being fully replaced by streaming services and digital downloads, it has survived, albeit in new forms. Gone are the days of those crackling, tinny, and painfully unreliable FM signals we all remember from the 90s (those of us old enough to, anyway).
Now, in its place, we have radio services that offer listeners the opportunity to tune into a veritable smorgasbord of music, sports, and talk radio options. All with impeccably sharp and consistent sound quality and reception.
We’re not even just talking about DAB, which is still incredibly popular, but internet radio.
It’s possible you have used internet radio and not really given it much thought. Understanding how it works can help you appreciate what you need to look for when trying to choose the best portable internet radio. For the ever-curious of you, that’s what we are going to tackle in this post. How internet radio works.
How, Then, Does Internet Radio Actually Work?
It will come as no surprise really that to benefit from internet radio, you need some kind of internet connection, such as broadband, whether it is Wi-Fi or a wired connection. Radio stations all over the world that offer internet radio beam their broadcasts out online, enabling users to tune in and enjoy their content.
It’s not just pre-recorded shows that stations make available online, as many stations make their live streams available so you can listen to a particular show or number of different shows as they go out.
Different Ways to Listen to Internet Radio
When internet radio was a fresh new thing, it was only available to you if you had a computer. Nowadays, though, things are a lot different and as most modern DAB devices benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity, they can pick up and play internet radio in addition to the digital radio stations that you can already access using them.
You will even find that these are built with ethernet ports that allow you to connect them directly to your modem or router. This is just one way you can connect to internet radio, though.
It doesn’t matter where you are, if you are at home, commuting, travelling or at work, you can access internet radio through any kind of device. So even if you do not have access to a computer, or never use one, if you have a tablet or a smartphone, you can simply go to the radio station’s site, and find out if they provide a live stream or not.
Advantages of Internet Radio Over the Alternatives
If you still really need convincing that internet radio might be the best way to enjoy your favorite medium, then we have highlighted some of the main benefits below.
- Reliable Signal – surely the quality of the reception is one of the most important factors when choosing a radio service. When you used to use an FM or even AM/MW radio, you probably spent some time finding the stations that your radio picked up the best and then listened to those.
Now, thanks to the technology, you can benefit from a consistently reliable signal whether you are listening to that golden oldie show or your favorite talk radio phone-in.
- Greater Variety – something that has played a big part in just how successful radio has been as a medium is the variety of stations and shows it offers. However, whereas DAB and FM have been limited by their technology, this is not a problem internet radio has.
To give you an idea of what’s available it is thought that there maybe somewhere in the region of 30,000 internet stations accessible across the world. You’ll never have a hard time finding something you like if you choose internet radio.