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'Listen live' online

By Chris Guld
Geeks on Tour

Do you have a favorite radio station at home that you miss when you’re on the road? Did you know that you can listen to just about anything you want right from your computer online?

It’s true. Hundreds of radio stations in the United States and around the world broadcast over the Internet at the same time that they broadcast over the airways. You can go to the Web site for your radio station and look for a button, or menu item, to “Listen Live.”

If you can’t find a Web site for your radio station, browse on over to a Web radio directory and look up your station by its call letters. Check it out. It puts a smile on your face to listen to the drive-time traffic report on your big city home radio station while you’re camped in a wilderness national park!

Or, maybe you don’t care about listening to live radio, but you have a particular show you like. I am a fan of “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” a National Public Radio show that broadcasts on Saturday.

I might not think of it until the following Tuesday, but that’s no problem. I just go to www.NPR.org, scroll down until I see their list of programs in the left menu, and click on Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me. Then I have choices. I can listen to last week’s show, or I can listen to a past show. I can also choose to download the show as an .mp3 file and listen to it later, maybe while we’re driving.

I’ll either need headphones to be able to hear my computer, or I’ll need a connection to play the computer’s output through the radio. I don’t have a separate .mp3 player, but that would probably be the best option.
Check it out and enjoy! But if you’re using your cellular data card or a satellite dish for your Internet connection, don’t get carried away. While you’re listening, those megabytes are streaming through your connection and counting against your daily or monthly maximums.

How many megabytes? Well, that depends on the station and what settings they use. Generally speaking, you can count on 30 to 60 megabytes per hour. So, do the math and don’t get caught over your limit.

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