May 262011

Image by dklimke via Flickr

Want to know the real problem with the digital age? There’s not enough to listen to.

I mean, what is there, other than your iPod music, your phone, AM/FM radio, satellite radio, podcasts, Internet radio stations, Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, Slacker, Live365 and maybe one or two hundred other sources?

I kid, of course. The thing is, though, they’re all compromises. The free ones don’t let you choose exactly what you want to hear or when; the ones that do cost money.

But that’s about to change. One phrase should tell you all you need to know about the latest development: free TiVo for radio.

That’s the promise of, a Web site that lists every single radio show on every one of 1,800 AM and FM stations across the country. (It stands for Digital Audio Recorder.)

You can search, sort, slice and dice those listings any way you want: by genre, by radio station, by search phrase. It’s all here: NPR, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck. Music shows. Talk shows. Religion, sports, technology. Politics by the pound.

You don’t know or care when your show will actually be aired, or on what station. You only know that you’ve requested it. Shortly thereafter, an e-mail message lets you know that your freshly baked show is ready for listening.

You get every episode, automatically. And why not? It’s not your hard drive they’re filling up. You get two gigabytes of free storage, enough for about 100 hours of recorded shows. If you fill in the application page at, you get a free upgrade to 10 gigabytes. That’s 500 hours of radio, which is almost enough to cover your next layover at O’Hare.

And here’s the best part: you can listen absolutely anywhere. For starters, you can listen right there on the Web page. The page that lists your recordings wasn’t designed by, you know, Monet, but it gets the job done. You can pause, rewind and fast-forward through your recordings, and there are 30-second skip forward/skip backward buttons.

Actually, maybe this part is even better: Many radio stations transmit the names of the songs and bands they’re playing. captures that information and detects song breaks. In other words, if you record a day or so of a music station, you’ve suddenly got a tidy list of songs, identified (and sortable) by title or band. You can listen to individual songs, skip the turkeys and otherwise enjoy your totally free song collection. It’s crazy cool, like a hybrid of iTunes and satellite radio.

Read more . . .



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