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Internet Radio: Musical rut buster

Jim Richardson is the managing editor for home audio/video and pro audio learning content on

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April, 1964. That's when I fell in love with radio. Billboard magazine listed five Beatles songs at the top of the Hot 100 pop chart. I vividly recall sitting transfixed in front of my father's Bogen hi-fi, wowed by one sensational sound after the next.

In those days, mainstream radio was still a good place to discover new music. It was free, unlike the only alternatives (record stores and concerts). And local deejays or program directors still had some say in what went on the air.

Over the years, corporate radio playlists became tighter and much less likely to surprise or delight. The older I got, it seemed, the less I cared for the music I was hearing on the air.

Eventually, my local record/CD stores lost their mojo, too, and I found myself in a deep musical rut. The rest of the civilized world moved on to downloads, but that bug never did bite me in a big way.

Then along came satellite radio. For the price of one CD a month, I could listen to what, at the time, seemed like a vast universe of tunes not found on the FM dial. I was in love with radio again, and out of my musical rut.

A while later, I discovered Rhapsody®, which offered even greater musical variety. Rhapsody isn't radio per se, but it served much the same purpose for me. It became my primary tool for finding new music.

Now I'm in love with another boundless source for music discovery — Internet radio.

What's so great about Internet radio?
That's what this series of Internet Radio posts will show you. We'll talk about what's not so great, too. You'll see reviews of Internet radio stations and the hardware you can use to receive them. We'll focus on sound quality, mobile reception, multi-room applications, user interfaces, industry trends and ... whatever else you'd like to talk about. Submit a comment to start a discussion. Ralph and I will do our best to keep up with you.

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