Tired of Your Local Shock Jockeys?
Give Free Global Radio A Try Instead
Listening to free, global radio stations is a great way to broaden your horizons and liven up your listen to habits. It’s also a lot easier than you may think.
Why Listen to Global Radio?
Many people are saying that radio is dead, but that’s not true at all. It has morphed into something much greater than it once was. Today, many of us have friends and family living in other countries, which is why someone might want to listen to a radio station in Hong Kong. There is a wide range of other reasons as well. Maybe you grew up in the Philippines and just want to keep up with what’s going on in your hometown. Tuning into one of their local radio stations is a great way to do this.
Say you just moved from Seattle to New York, but maybe you’d like to continue getting daily news from Seattle. Or maybe you might be thinking of moving to New Zealand. What better way to find out what life is really like there than by listening to local radio stations?
Get Local News & Weather
You can get local news, weather and other fun, interesting or weird information by tuning into radio stations in other parts of the world. The best part about this is that there are now several services that offer you the ability to listen to dozens of different radio stations from Ireland to Australia. Many of these services allow you to browse by station or by country. Let’s say you want to listen to a radio station in Latvia.
Latvia is a small country on the western border of Russia. Estonia lies to the north, while Belarus lies to the south. In spite of this being a small remote nation, one global radio service offers 19 different radio stations in Latvia. Some of these stations are broadcast in Russian while some are broadcast in Latvian or other Baltic languages. If you’re trying to learn to speak Russian, listening to a Russian radio station would enhance your efforts.
Whether you were born in France and yearn to hear the language spoken by French people or you are trying to learn about a new culture, listening to a French radio station would make your efforts more enjoyable. As mentioned above, access to global radio stations is free on many websites. Most of these sites give you choices as to what you’d like to listen to. You can listen to talk radio shows, local news, and weather for any city, sports news for any country or city, or just music from the city or country of your choosing.
How to Get Started
Search for internet radio stations or services that provide multiple choices. Good search phrases for this include:
- Listen to radio stations worldwide
- Global radio stations
- Internet radio
Multiple choices will come up depending on exactly what you typed in the browser. Some of these will be paid services like Amazon Music Unlimited. Though they do offer 30 days of free music, at some point you’ll have to start paying to listen. Of course, a paid service will offer other perks like being able to listen using your Echo device. These are Alexa voice-controlled devices that make it easy to hear your favorite tunes from Spain, India or anyplace in the world.
If you’re not ready to sign up for a paid service, you’ll also find many free services like Pandora, Screamer, TuneIn, and Jango. Most of these allow you to search for your favorite artist, search by genre, or search by specific song/artist titles. You might be looking for the latest Hip Hop music or some good music for your workout routine. Simply click on something that peaks your interests and listens. If you don’t like what you hear, use the back button to return to the original page.
At Pandora, you create your own personal “station” by choosing favorite artists or genres of music such as country music. You can add favorite tunes or artists as you desire. Pandora offers ad-free listening for around $5 per month. This type of “radio station” does not include local news and weather; it’s just music.
Tips for Success
With so much cultural, musical, and lifestyle information available through radio stations, there’s no reason not to become an avid listener. You can broaden your musical tastes or just find out what’s going on today in Rome simply by tuning into an Internet radio station. However, there are many other reasons to listen – become better informed about what’s going on in the world, or track new emerging technology in Southeast Asia.
Since there are so many choices now available, select a station or service based on what you’d like to accomplish. If you simply want to listen to music, then Pandora or Jango are both good choices. If you want to listen to an actual radio station, then Screamer and TuneIn are good ideas. Most stations and services offer ad-free content for an additional charge. You may have to pay extra for specific content, such as comedy programming.
The interface for many worldwide radio stations will allow you to manage volume control, play, stop or resume listening. They may also have an information box that will tell you what song/artist is currently playing. You can tag a song or a station as a “favorite” so that it’s easy to return there.
Improving your Sound Quality
With music, sound quality is usually important. That’s where many computers and laptops fall short. You may have to spend over $1,000 to get a computer with a decent sound card. If you are unable to afford this, there are workarounds. Amazon and other online sellers, offer devices that allow you to hook your computer up to external speakers.
To find out more about this, simply search online for “how to hook up my computer to external speakers” and other similar phrases. Usually, it’s just a matter of wiring your computer to a device like a Lepai LP2020 amplifier and then wiring that device to your external speakers. You can also purchase external speakers made specifically for this purpose. These speakers will have a 3.5mm jack or USB plug that can be plugged directly into the laptop or computer.
Of course, all computers have a headphone jack. For about $100 you can buy headphones with amazing sound quality. This will make your listening experience more personal and intimate. This is a good idea when you have others in the family or home who may not want to listen to, say, Latvian Folk Music.