Internet Radio: A Sanctuary in the Rubbish Tip

The internet, it's a whole world of information and entertainment, but every day it fills up just that extra bit more with complete trash. At every corner, popups, banner ads, viruses, spyware, the list goes on, well I've had enough and I'm sure you share my opinion.

So, I hear you ask, what does the rubbish online have to do with internet radio. Absolutely nothing! It's a complete opposite. Back in November of 2004, every evening I sat at home bored to death writing English essays and completing Maths papers, and when I wasn't doing that you'd be guaranteed to find me plonked in front of the TV watching whatever rubbish the BBC scheduler had decided to inflict upon me that night, and don't even think about mentioning a social life, I didn't have an iota.

What changed? Later that month I overheard a friend talking about a radio show he regularly presented online, so I decided to have a listen. Well I enjoyed the show, but then I would, as would anyone hearing someone they knew as part of a broadcast, the strange thing was I enjoyed EVERY piece of music that was played. Now before then I was totally hooked on dance music, I just wouldn't listen to anything else, every time 'Top of the Pops 2' came on TV I'd change channel, any hint of 80's music and I'd be out of the room like a shot. I'd been converted without any explanation as to how.

However, there was something even stranger to follow. The station I had tuned into was an AMATEUR station made up of DJ's of all ages using their own talents and equipment to broadcast from around the UK & USA. Notice I stress the word amateur. Well, I kept listening for a while and it just kept getting better and I'm not joking. For the first time I was enjoying every bit of music I heard. My collection of dance CD's sat in the corner getting dusty and still, to this day haven't had the need to touch it.

But it wasn't just my music taste that had been changed by this experience, it was my whole life. I got involved, the usual shy me suddenly became part of an online family, the social flame inside me lit up for the first time. I was taking part, meeting new people and above all enjoying it! So what are you thinking now? Maybe that this article's just become an advert? Well in a way, yes, that's true. I've got so much out of this experience that I felt it was about time I spread the word, you just can't keep something so good to yourself.

So what am I doing now? Well, as I said, I got involved. Since way back in November I've had a go at presenting and production, and met more people than you could shake a stick at. Right now as I type this article I sit listening to the station that started this all off, and chatting to new friends I would never have met without this fantastic creation. So thanks to Marconi, Faraday, whoever it is that came up with combination of radio and the internet, it really is the best thing since sliced bread!

If you're surfing the net or doing chores about the house, give it a try, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Internet Radio, the clearing in the deep dark forest that is the WWW.

Andrew Bonney

Resources:
The station that made my life so much better, still thriving and growing each day: http://www.offthechartradio.co.uk The people who make Internet Radio so much easier and accessible, you can even start your own station: http://www.live365.com

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CNET

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The Guardian

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