Tag Archives: WiFi Radio

Internet Radio and Global Time Travel

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kim Elliott, who shares this brilliant article from The Paris Review:

On The Radio, It’s Always Midnight

By Seb Emina

“Ultimately, we don’t belong in the world governed by time,” says Michael Cremo, a guest on KNWZ, a radio station in Palm Springs, California. “As beings of pure consciousness, we are essentially timeless.” It is around two thirty A.M. in Palm Springs and around eleven thirty A.M. in Paris, where I am tidying my apartment. Cremo is talking about the end-time, which he thinks could well be imminent, but his point is relevant to the experience of listening to local radio from somewhere I am not. I love listening to radio, but sometimes I don’t want to listen to a particular station, genre, or category. Sometimes I want to listen to a time of day. Which is, of course, entirely possible thanks to the rise of online streaming at the expense of older analogue broadcast methods. If I am feeling afternoony in the morning, I can leave the world that is “governed by time” and join whichever community of radio listeners—in Mumbai, Perth, or Hong Kong—is currently experiencing three P.M. The optimism of a morning show somewhere to my west offers a fresh beginning to a day that’s become lousy by midafternoon, whereas the broadcasts of early evening, burbling across the towns and cities to my east, can turn my morning shower into a kind of short-haul time machine past those hours in which I’m expected to be productive. But for the loosest and strangest of broadcast atmospheres, I am drawn most often to the dead of night, to the so-called graveyard shift. That low-budget menagerie of voices and music is concocted to serve an unlikely fellowship of insomniacs, police officers, teenagers, and bakers—and cheats like me, tuning in from afar to behold radio’s closest equivalent to the Arctic Circle.

“When you listen to radio, you are a witness of the everlasting war between idea and appearance, between time and eternity, between the human and the divine,” Herman Hesse writes.[…]

Continue reading the full article at The Paris Review.

It’s rare that I read something in the press that so directly speaks to my own personal relationship with radio.

While, of course, I still prefer listening to shortwave radio, international broadcasts are designed with a global audience in mind; in a sense, they’re timeless and gloss over our global time zones.

Internet radio streaming brings in the local and actually provides more community context. And, of course, while a country might only have one international broadcaster, it could literally have hundreds of local stations–some catering to very small communities.

I’m certainly guilty of time zone surfing with WiFi/Internet radio, I just didn’t realize others did it too! Even in the mornings (since the demise of my shortwave staple Radio Australia), I typically listen to CBC St. John’s, Newfoundland. They’ve got an excellent morning show and they’re 1.5 hours ahead of my time. When I wake at 5:00 AM, I listen to the world report and the CBC local staff are pulling out some of their best morning programs.

Then anytime between 3:00 or 6:00 PM, I’ll tune through one of a number of New Zealand or Australian stations. Because it’s morning there, the presenters seem to have a spring in their step.

If you read the full article in The Paris Review, you’ll also note that the author Seb Emina and the artist Daniel John Jones created “a perpetual morning-radio aggregator” called Global Breakfast Radio.

You can stream Global Breakfast Radio at globalbreakfastradio.com. I highly recommend it!

Post readers: Any other time zone surfers out there?  Please comment!

Not familiar with Internet Radio? Check out the first part of our Internet Radio primer by clicking here.

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“Broadcast Isolation in Japan”–no workarounds?

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader @medmouad who recently shared a link to the following article by Kenji Rikitake at Medium.com:

I’m sure Japan is one of those countries which implement the worst online broadcasting policies.

You cannot listen to Japanese internet radio stations from outside the nation, thanks to the geotagging technology for the IPv4 address; most of the major broadcasting stations do not allow access to their streaming feed outside Japan. This is a huge disservice to the expats, but the broadcasters seem not to care about it at all.

Japan’s geotagging policy against streaming broadcast is even worse within the nation; the telecom ministry enforces prefectural border limits for licensing the broadcast stations, though in some rare cases wider limits are allowed. Japan is regionally divided into 47 prefectures. So you cannot listen to Tokyo radio stations for free when you are in Osaka over internet. And vice versa. Recently a consortium of private broadcast stations, radiko.jp, announced a paid service for cross-prefectural listening of JPY300 (about USD3) per month. Isn’t this a ripoff? And it’s still not accessible from outside Japan.

Japan has a weird article in the copyright law too; the copyright owner can claim the right of making the contents being able and ready to be publicly transmitted. This right is applicable to all transmission media including internet and airwaves. So when you buy a CD, you cannot transmit without the permission of the copyright holder, usually the publisher.

[…]I hope someday I can listen to Japanese radio outside Japan over internet. The day, however, will not come soon.

Continue reading the full article at Medium.com.

If you’re an SWLing Post reader, I’m willing to bet you’re thinking: “Yeah…this is one of the downfalls of radio over the Internet.” We never have this issue with shortwave radio broadcasts since they’re built upon a medium that has, at its very core, no regard for national borders.

Of course, this article focuses on local/regional FM outlets in Japan and the firewalls that keep their online streams neatly contained.

I can’t help but think that there must be workarounds to defeat IPv4 address geotagging within Japan. Perhaps I’m wrong.

I do know that I can easily listen to local AM/mediumwave broadcasters throughout Japan using one of many web SDRs on the KiwiSDR network. Surely the same could be done for FM using a network of web accessible RTL-SDR dongles–?

Has anyone found a workaround? Mark Fahey, you know I’m looking a you!

Please comment!

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Streaming radio: Ron recommends Radio Station World

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who writes:

Your recent Sangean HD review just brought this to mind:

http://radiostationworld.com

Just select your area, get the subs right off streaming…they’re all there.
He has shortwave broadcasters, too.

Enjoy!

Thanks for thew tip, Ron!  I like how the site is based on geographic regions.

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Ivan reviews the Sangean WRF-28 WiFi radio

The Sangean WFR-28 WiFi Radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ivan (NO2CW), who writes:

Hello, I posted on YouTube my review of the Sangean WFR-28 FM and Wifi Internet radio receiver.

In particular I was able to sideload my directory of English Language broadcast stations from over 100 countries using their “Favorites” menu. It now sounds like the good old days of shortwave …almost. I can listen to the morning traffic report in Singapore, local news from Guam, afternoon talk show from Gibraltar and a nighttime DJ from Uganda – all in English.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you for sharing this in-depth review, Ivan!

I’m still very pleased with the WFR-28 which I reviewed many months ago. For now, I believe the WFR-28 is the best value in WiFi radios (currently $115 on Amazon–affiliate link).

Of course, a number of personal assistant device like the Amazon Echo also stream radio via the TuneIn Radio aggregator, but since these devices rely on voice commands, some stations can be difficult to call up. I still prefer a proper WiFi radio/Internet appliance like the Sangean WFR-28 or Como Audio Solo.

Thanks again, Ivan!

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The Como Audio Amico and Musica via Kickstarter

The Como Audio Amico

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who writes:

Saw this and wanted you to know about it since you mentioned loving his past Kickstarter [for the Solo WiFi radio].

I backed the Musica model instead of the Amico since it still has 18 days left and it had a CD player in it but thought you would like the portable Amico

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/819585793/como-audio-amico-portable-multi-room-wifi-music-sy

Thanks for the tip, Tom!

If I didn’t already own the Como Audio Solo, I would grab the Amico. It appears to be nearly identical to the Solo–save, in a vertical orientation–and includes an internal rechargeable battery option.

Here’s a full list of its specifications and features:

  • Multi-room: play different sources in every room or sync them all together
  • Internet radio accessing 30,000+ stations
  • Spotify
  • Bluetooth with aptX
  • High performance FM Tuner 
  • DAB+ (International version only)  DAB+ upgrade and VAT is included in shipping cost
  • NFC Android Bluetooth connection
  • DLNA WIFI Music player allowing easy navigation and playback through a USB or network-shared library of music files including AAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC
  • High-Res inputs: 1 analog and 1 USB
  • Dual alarm clock functionality
  • Snooze function
  • Sleep Timer
  • 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier, <1% THD
  • 3″ woofer with four layer voice coil
  • 3/4″ dome tweeter
  • Independent Remote Control
  • Universal Switching Power Supply 110-240V

I continue to be very pleased with my Como Audio Solo–it pretty much lives in my radio shack and I use it daily to catch up on my favorite news and music sources. I distribute the Solo’s audio throughout the house with my SSTRAN AMT3000 AM transmitter–admittedly, an old school version of Como’s “multi-room audio sync”–!

When I need a battery-powered portable WiFi radio these days, I read for my Sangean WFR-28–thus, the Amico would be a pretty pricey impulse purchase for me at this point!

The Como Audio Musica

I find it fascinating Como has also introduced the Musica model which includes a CD player–somewhat of a unique feature in 2017.

Here are the Musica specifications and features:

  • Multi-Room: play different sources in every room or sync them all together
  • Internet radio accessing 30,000+ stations
  • Integrated music streaming services: Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Napster, Amazon Music* (*Available Winter 2017)
  • On-board single slot-loading CD player engineered to meet stringent car audio standards
  • Supported CD formats: CD, CD-R, CD-RW/MP3/WMA
  • Bluetooth with aptX & AAC
  • High performance FM Tuner
  • DAB+ (International version only) – DAB+ upgrade and VAT is included in shipping cost
  • NFC Android Bluetooth connection
  • DLNA WIFI Music player allowing easy navigation and playback through a USB or network-shared library of music files including AAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC
  • Ethernet connection
  • High-Res inputs: 2 analog, 1 optical
  • Dual alarm clock functionality
  • Snooze function
  • Sleep Timer
  • 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier, <1% THD
  • 2 X 3″ woofer with four layer voice coil
  • 2 X 3/4″ dome tweeter
  • Independent Remote Control
  • Universal Switching Power Supply 110-240V
  • Dimensions: 405 mm W x 143 mm H x 165.5mm D (including antenna)
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs, 4.21 kg

I still have (quite literally) hundreds of CDs. While many have been converted to AAC and MP3 formats, there’s still something to be said for CD audio fidelity and enjoying a proper album format.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a Como Audio device, you might consider the new Amico and Musica via Como’s Kickstarter campaign.

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