By Peter Daley
There are large numbers of people who have moved to the Sunshine Coast and would like to have some sort of contact or information with their previous home. Well a good way to do this is to use Internet radio to listen to the local radio from your previous location in Australia or from Overseas.
You don't need a short wave radio to do this, or have to worry about weather conditions interfering with your reception. Plus you can have moved from pretty well anywhere in the world, and listen to your favourite radio station on your computer or wirelessly throughout your house. Be aware, depending on the download bit rate of the radio stream, it will come down at around 20 to 60 meg an hour. So you need a good download limit if you're going to listen for hours!
The easiest and least expensive way to do this is to simple use your broadband Internet connection to stream down the signal. In Australia you can find the major city FM radio stations signals here.
This site is very easy to use. It's divided up into three sections, and hardly needs any skill to get it working. Click on the tab for the city. This lists the stations available. Click in the station you want to play. Once you do this, the station's web address appears above. This is provided if you wish to go to the radio station's web address and find more info. The radio playback is built into the page. If you look to the top of the page, you will find the radio signal is now being buffered and downloading. It may take 30 to 60 seconds before the music will start to play.
Wireless option 1
If you want to stream this to your FM radio you have in the house, you can purchase an FM wireless transmitter that you plug into the speaker output of your computer. This sends the signal out at a set FM frequency throughout the house. These are often sold as accessories to you MP3 players so you can play the MP3 player music through your FM radio in your car. All you need to do is to tune the FM radios you already have in the house, to that frequency, and you can then listen to the Internet broadcast anywhere wirelessly in the house.
Wireless option 2
There are now a few dedicated Internet wireless devices that you can purchase from local suppliers Leading Edge Electronics (Device info http://www.reciva.com) or Dick Smith Electronics (Device info http://www.sagem-communications.com/ They work independently of your computer and look like a transistor radio, plus have normal clock radio functions. You simply plug these devices into the broadband connection and they will stream the signal, no computer necessary. They both have thousands of pre-programmed Internet stations, plus you can add more. Both these devices can work wirelessly, so you may also have the added expense of having to install a wireless router onto your broadband modem, if you don't already have one.
The sound quality of these devices is good, but the Slimdevices models are considered to be HiFi quality. http://www.slimdevices.com
I personally like to tune into the ABC radio at http://www.abc.net.au. Here you can tune into any of the nation wide ABC radio stations, national, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Country. I chill out listening to the Classic Drive on ABC Classic FM in the evening.
© Peter Daley 2009
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