James Marshall's Radio Page

Radio can always be used for listening to music, news, etc., but here I have in mind some other aspects of this form of audio entertainment: old time radio, shortwave radio, and radio scanning. A bit related to music and such is at the bottom in the other radio section.

Old Time Radio

Many years ago the radio reigned supreme in home entertainment and there were some really great programs broadcast back then. There were tons, just like TV now, but a few of my favorite old time radio (OTR) programs include Suspense, Escape, X Minus One, Dimension X, Quiet Please (see also QuietPlease.org), The Whistler, The Mysterious Traveler, Lights Out, and other mystery/drama type shows. There were great comedy shows, too, but they're not my first choice. Many shows have entries at the Wikipedia's list of OTR programs. To get a feel for the kinds of stories OTR told, try OTR Plot Spot's plot archives (mainly sci-fi, horror, and adventure) or OTR Plot Summaries (mainly "Detectives, Mystery, Vigilantes, and Westerns"). A variety of sites have programs, but most don't have very many shows online. In general, I get my OTR from Antioch 1710 AM's online stream or by purchasing MP3 CDs from OTRcat. If you decide to order from them, please say that James Marshall from College Park recommended you. Thanks. The Old Time Radio Vault also has a good selection of shows available for purchase; you can get custom made CDs from them, but I prefer OTRcat's premade CDs for series. If you're looking for program logs, Vintage Radio Logs has tons of them available.

Shortwave Radio

I bought a shortwave radio back in 1999 so that I could listen to radio broadcasts from all around the world. It's interesting to hear what's happening in other areas of the world and sometimes you'll get a new perspective on the same news you get on the TV and radio. I selected the Radio Shack DX-398 a.k.a. Sangean ATS-909 and I'm quite happy with it. (There's an improved Sangean ATS-909X that I might consider upgrading to.) Here's the DX-398 FAQ for more info about this radio. It has pages of memory that allow you to store up to 261 shortwave frequencies in memory and it's also able to receive Radio Data System (RDS) signals/information. Since this isn't a major interest of mine right now, I don't have a lot of links to provide, but you can web search to find more.

Radio Scanning

After realizing that I was still missing out on a lot of radio action by not covering the frequencies above shortwave, I decided to purchase a scanner. In about 2000, I chose to go with the Sony ICF-SC1 Wavehawk, which has since been discontinued. Even cooler, it's possible to get (semi-weak) coverage of shortwave frequencies via a specific keypress sequence detailed in the Sony SC1 Wavehawk Yahoo Group, and it has nearly continuous coverage with the only real gap being the US cellular phone region. With this, I can now listen to a large variety of local radio broadcasts including police, aircraft, fire, EMS, weather, marine, military, government, FM radio, TV audio, utility companies, schools, colleges, stores, malls, hotels, trains, taxis, and probably more. Since these tend to be more like intermittent conversations and not continuous broadcasts, they're normally listened to by scanning across frequency ranges, hence my "radio scanning" header. I might get a new one though; more communications are digital now and my Wavehawk is starting to show its age. cityfreq lists frequencies by city (not always huge lists, but still not bad). There are some federal and state laws regarding scanners, so you might want to start reading up on the topic at this page about scanner laws in the US.

Other Radio

For reference, I thought I'd collect a few other radio, music, etc. resources I tend to use. Pandora is probably my top choice in personalized internet radio/music right now, and SHOUTcast is probably the main way I find streaming music to listen to (usually via the Winamp media player). Sometimes I use services like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Play Music to stream music from the cloud; purchases don't count against your quota at either location, both have some free music, and their prices are similar. Unless Google has a particularly good deal, I try to buy from Amazon and upload to Google, since Google lets you upload more songs for free than Amazon does. If anyone knows of a good, preferably free, way to stream music directly from your home computer instead of having to use a cloud service, let me know. I use to use Audiogalaxy for that, which was great, but it shut down when Dropbox bought them. TuneIn is a pretty good online radio service that gives good access to regular radio stations (e.g., FM radio) streams from around the world. While I often listen to a variety of music, I'll mention a few particular services I like: Digitally Imported has a good selection of electronic and dance music while its sister sites RadioTunes and JazzRadio.com are nice for a variety of genres and jazz, respectively, JPHiP and JPopSuki are pretty good for J-pop and similar music, and Antioch 1710 AM is my favorite source for streaming old time radio (also noted above in the OTR section). I also watch J-MELO, a Japanese music program, on NHK World on cable (these are their English language pages).


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James Marshall (e-mail me)
http://www.jmarshall.net/

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