Free radio stations and podcasts sans computer

Television and radio broadcasts used to be free. Stick an antenna in the air and that's still true even though much of it has now gone digital. As technology advanced, we got better delivery methods of those free signals such as cable and satellite TV. These methods brought better pictures and sound, more channels, more choices, more variety and more cost. Of course a lot of that programming such as HBO and other premium channels were never really free in the first place so I'm not counting those. But there's still a lot of that originally free content that you now must pay for but I guess that's the price we pay for that better delivery service. Fortunately there are still some exceptions out there.

Take radio for example. While it's true that technology has been encroaching upon this traditionally free broadcasting medium with such things as HD Radio and subscription satellite radio, it's nice to see technology throw us a freebie once in a while. If you have some kind of broadband Internet service, there's a good chance you've used your computer to tap into some of the many thousands of radio stations and podcasts that put their content out online.

Most radio stations today have found that if they put their local broadcasts online, they can instantly increase their listenership to a global scale and that translates into more advertising dollars, which is their lifeblood. However, listening to radio stations using your computer's browser isn't always easy. There are many audio standards and if you don't have the right software or codec installed, you may not be able to listen. Listening this way also has other drawbacks which may tie up your computer or at the very least bog it down. But Myine has come up with a better way to enjoy all of this free programming and you do all of it without a computer.

The from Myine is a small black rectangular unit that sports an easy to read blue LCD screen. An included remote control lets you easily operate the device. All you need is your Internet connection with a wireless setup and chances are that you more than likely already have that. Just take the Myine out of the box, plug it in and connect it to any stereo system and speakers. That's pretty much all you have to do.

The Myine Ira (Internet Radio Adapter) connects wirelessly to the company's servers where the online location of well over 11,000 radio stations and podcasts are maintained, and that number continues to grow. The screen displays different menus that let you search for content by genre, artist and more. And don't forget to check out the New Stations category as more programs are being constantly added. Once you find what you are looking for, you can save the station or podcast in a Favorites folder for easy, repeat connections.

And as I mentioned, there's no subscriptions with the Myine. Once you buy it, you never pay for anything else. So there you have it. The Myine gives you access to literally thousands of radio stations and podcasts from all over the globe and the content is absolutely free. The Myine itself costs $150 and includes everything you'll need to get started and begin enjoying all of that free content that's out there just waiting for you to hear.

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Craig Crossman is a national newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology.
(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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