After radio was invented way back in the 19th century, few likely imagined they would eventually listen to the innovation on a computer (whats that?) or from the other popular invention, the telephone. Radio has evolved from sitting in front of a large wooden box to listening to what you want, when you want, wherever you want. These are the technical innovations that are pushing the medium into the 21st century.
Thanks to the internet, radio lovers are no longer confined to the stations in their area. Sites like TUN3R.com and RadioBeta let users choose from radio stations all over the world and listen to a variety of genres and styles. RadioBeta wins out for its sheer ease of use, allowing the user to control any of the selected radio stations in a player at the top of the page, as well as bookmark favorite stations.
Seattle’s KEXP 90.3 FM has been ushered into the new millenium with KEXP Music Explorer, a site that aims to help listeners find out more about the music they are listening to. Like most radio stations, KEXPlorer lists the song currently playing, but also lists recently played and the most spun songs and encourages users to tag songs they like or don’t like. And of course, anyone can listen to the station live from their browser.
The interns have taken over National Public Radio! Considering interns can be some of the most creative members of the newsroom, it definitely makes NPR Intern Edition a must-listen. Aside from traditional news stories, the interns have also put together photo slideshows and maintain both a blog and a Twitter account.
If you prefer your NPR on the go, use NPR Road Trip to get travel directions and find out which NPR stations you can listen to on the way. For example on a trip from Manhattan to Hackensack, New Jersey one will be in the range of 13 member stations on the way. NPR Road Trip is limited to travelers in the United States.
With the iPhone came thousands of applications and with them the ability to listen to the radio on a mobile phone. Music radio applications like Pandora remain popular, but for those who prefer to listen to actual stations, the AOL Radio app has you covered. The free application gives users access to hundreds of music, news and talk radio stations from their handheld iPhone. News radio fans will also love Stitcher (previously covered here), which makes radio stories available on demand.
Radio fans/iPhone owners should also check out College Radio Tuner, an application that puts college radio stations from across the U.S. in the palm of your hand, and stay tuned for news of an iPhone app from satellite radio giant Sirius.
Other mobile phone users aren’t out of luck. Blackberry, Palm, Nokia and Windows Mobile users can download Mundu Radio, an application for listening to the music on the go.
Thanks to sites like Blip.fm, Twitter users have turned the microblogging service into their own personal radio station. An easy sign-up process lets anyone share their favorite tunes with their Twitter friends and followers.
Because there are so many tweeps sharing music, it was only a matter of time until Twisten.FM was created. The site tracks the music people are listening on Twitter and makes each song available for listening, all on one page.
Twadio takes the music sharing concept to an unforeseen level. Instead of sharing a song on Twitter, the @tweejay simply tweets a popular song and if you’re familiar with it, the song is supposed to start playing in your head. Of course, if you forget how it goes, you can also listen to the song in the sidebar of the site. Best of all, Twadio is interactive and list the tweets of people who either love or hate the song.
Of course, Twitter can be used for more professional and educational purposes. There are ton of radio stations on Twitter and many public radio stations are listed in this handy wiki. Thanks to Twitter you no longer have to call in to tell the DJ to play your song, especially if that DJ is thousands of miles away.
For more on the future of radio, check out Radio 2020 and radiocreativeland.
Also on 10,000 Words:
• 6 Sites that are changing the way you follow the news
• Set up your own online call-in radio show in minutes
• Where to find free sound effects and royalty-free music
• 10 Essential iPhone apps for bloggers and reporters
• How to create, edit and embed audio for free