According to an ARD study on the “potential of a new distribution channel for radio programs”, the web radio “sneaked in”. More and more consumers are listening to the radio via the Internet. There are an estimated 16,000 stations worldwide. Not all, but many, can only be received on the network. And they always stream in FM quality, whether basic radio from Gotteszell, an alternative web radio in Eastern Bavaria or Wackenradio from Doerpstedt with its heavy metal focus.
- As with a laptop, the device searches for nearby wireless routers the first time it is switched on.
- Web radio devices are now also available from retail discounters at affordable prices.
- Alternatively, web radios can also be received via a PC or laptop.
Listen to wireless radio
While reception was tied to a PC or laptop at the beginning of development, there is now a large selection of special devices for this purpose. They’re actually small computers, but they look like radios. They are also called WLAN radios because they can be connected wirelessly to the home network.
Web radios automatically search for radio networks
Operation is child’s play: As with a laptop, the device searches for the nearby WiFi router when it is switched on for the first time . If you enter the access code for the home network , the radio connects to the Internet. Newer generation web radios bundle and sort the many offers according to country, genre, music or word and station code. You can also create lists of favorites. This is how the pearls can be fished out of the net. A good half of the web radio listeners surveyed for the ARD study found the number of programs “just right”, after all, every third party said it was “too many”.
Web radio devices are now also available from retail discounters at affordable prices. Soon they will move into households in larger numbers. Because web radios make it much easier to use radio over the Internet; they are now almost considered “normal” radio use. There are hardly any problems with finding the programs or the sound quality, but the installation is often more complex.
The prices for web radios vary depending on the equipment. A transistor-style device is currently available for around 40 euros. The price range is wide: devices with larger boxes and elegant designs can also cost 1,000 euros. Most web radios have a socket for a network cable. If the radio is always in one place, it can also be connected to the internet router.
Many devices also offer FM radio as an option. When buying, you should make sure that the device can play all common formats such as mp3 , wav, wma, AAC and Real Audio, but also ogg (a common streaming format) and m3u (so-called “playlist files”, i.e. compiled files) and playlists saved in a single file).
Web radio can also be received on a PC or laptop. You can find them in directories such as www.radio.de or www.rm.fm. It is worth looking for a good list of links because the directories are not always up-to-date. Because the broadcasters finance themselves primarily through advertising, the website often also opens a series of advertising windows.