My previous post talked about the Pulitzer prize-winning book All the Light We Cannot See. Radio and radio waves play as important a role in this book as the major characters. The book shows how the Radio waves transcend boundaries and bring distant people together.
Yesterday, I came across a website that beautifully presents this idea of radio waves breaking all borders. All you got to do on it is to roam around the world with your fingertips and listen to the music of the distant lands. This delightful service is called the Radio Garden.
(I found out about this service via WhatsApp message that said it is developed by ISRO. But as always, when I googled, I found it to be incorrect. That is why I say, never trust social media. )
What is Radio Garden?
Radio Garden is a free service that brings the live streams of radio stations from all over the world to your computer or smartphone. It is produced by Studio Puckey in coordination with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
Of course, there are numerous apps and websites that serve national and international music stations. But the user interface of the Radio Garden makes it unique. It is much like the Google Earth. In Google Earth, you can explore the virtual globe and see sights of distant places. Radio Garden has the same virtual globe. You can move this globe or world map in any direction and click on any radio station of any country to hear its live streaming. These radio stations are represented in the form of green dots. Click on any green dot and start listening to its radio station. One thing I liked a lot is that you can favourite any radio station without having to register at the website.
Options it offers:
Radio Garden also has options to listen to some historical broadcasts, and jingles running on radio stations. However, these are very few. It does not have volume controls, but a Mute button is there.
Radio Garden has smartphone app too. But it does not have many additional features. So, if you just add the site’s bookmark on your phone’s home screen, that will work as well. The service works as well on a phone as on a computer.
No registration or download required:
Radio Garden website does not require any registration or download. Just launch it on your computer or phone. Once you hit the Play button, it will automatically start playing a Radio station near you. But you can easily move around and listen to any radio station of any country. All you need is a computer or smartphone and an internet connection. It is a lot of fun to browse around the globe and check out different radio stations. A side benefit is that if you use it often enough, it will also improve your knowledge of the globe.
Where it falls short compared to other radio apps and websites:
One major drawback of Radio Garden is that you cannot browse the radio stations by categories. Other popular radio apps and websites make it easy to listen to the radio matching your preference and taste. But Radio Garden is more a fun way to explore the radio stations of the world. Of course, as it lets you favourite the stations you like, you can develop a list of stations matching your taste. However, as there is no user account to save these preferences, the favourites are available to you only as long as you use the same browser. And if you clear your browsing data, this list gets deleted too.
Nevertheless, Radio Garden is a fun way to check out the radio stations of the world. It can be very relaxing too. So, if you’d like you explore the music of distant lands, check out the Radio Garden at http://radio.garden/live/ . It costs nothing!
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