There’s a world of independent ‘radio’ stations to listen to, but where to find them? Years ago, a shortwave and AM radio receiver was the best bet to stumble upon something new or unusual.
Until recently, TuneIn.com was the go-to site to discover internet broadcasters, but a couple of years ago – for reasons that are not 100% clear – it started to remove some stations while refusing to add any new ones. Speculation on radio forums is that music companies put pressure on the firm.
Still, TuneIn.com remains home to a fair selection of internet stations as well as podcasts galore.
While you can also visit a broadcaster’s website to listen to them, if you want to hear what’s going on around the world then my new favourite destination is www.Radio.Garden.
The website does one thing and one thing only. It has mapped thousands of internet stations by location and provides a search function. You can spin the globe and zoom in on a green dot.
This week I’ve been listening to LBC and TalkRADIO out of London, Talk Radio Europe in Spain, a few talkback stations in New York, as well as dance and jazz music stations in France, Canada, and the UK.
Radio Garden is based in Amsterdam and started out in 2016 as an exhibition project commissioned by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It was created, designed and developed by Studio Puckey (Jonathan Puckey) & Moniker.
After taking care of the site for a few years Jonathan turned Radio Garden into an independent company in 2019 and early in 2020 the website was rebuilt, improving it for smartphones.
In New Zealand it is easy to forget there is a whole world out there…yes, many of us get to hear bits and bobs from friends and family abroad – but hearing what people have to say on talkback abroad and what’s making the news around the world provides a wider perspective on international affairs and issues. Quite refreshing really.
So the next time you have time on your hands and want to hear something different give Radio Garden a spin and explore a world of chat and music (all free). It’s a bit like the old shortwave radio days really.