Internet Radio Sans Computer

by on November 11, 2007

An Into Tomorrow listener submitted the following question!

Q: I see all sort of wireless radios that play Internet radio stations. I want one but it doesn’t need to be wireless because I am not wireless. I’d like to plug something into the router with the computer off and listen to the Internet radio because they have some dynamite stations on the Internet.

A: There are thousands of radio stations streaming over the Internet. Internet radio stations carry an incredible variety of audio, making it possible to hear music or talk programs from other corners of the globe. Most Internet radio stations are free; the only associated cost is that of the hardware.

Standalone Listening Devices

Internet radio devices are hardware devices that receive and play audio from Internet radio stations. Devices commonly support MPEG1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) streaming audio, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and ASF. Additionally, there are a few devices supporting the less-popular RealAudio, Ogg, and ACC formats.

Internet radio devices generally have:

  • A broadband connection (Ethernet and/or WiFi connection)
  • USB port for connecting a keyboard, to move between stations
  • LCD display
  • AUX port to connect additional speakers or other components
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Ability to save pre-set radio stations (similar to your car’s radio)

Common Internet Radio Devices

There are several stand-alone devices that can be used to listen to Internet radio. Companies manufacturing these devices include: Squeezebox, Reciva, SoundBridge, and Streamit. Many of these devices look similar to traditional radios, making them a good choice for the newcomer to the Internet radio world.

Visit any of the manufacturers’ websites to purchase these devices, or visit one of the electronics big-box stores such as BestBuy or CircuitCity.

I hope this information helps.