February 13, was World Radio Day, celebrated to mark the importance of the medium which is considered an easy way to reach remote spots. It is a bit ironic that while the Internet catches on, the magic world of the radio that falls between text and video is not talked about too much.
As smartphones get better, a broadband connection that gives you jerky video can give you crystal-clear sound and transport you to different places across the planet. The screen-size becomes irrelevant. There is practically no subject that your Internet radio cannot get you.
My Nokia smartphone has a pre-classified choice of thousands of Internet stations, from which I have listened to music from Peru and Malagasy. Then there are specialist stations like 4 Eva Floyd that plays only Pink Floyd songs, and Inception Radio Network that specialises in supernatural stuff!
Google's Chrome store, and app (application) stores for Windows, Android and iOS (Apple) phones give you access to dozens of radio apps. Some are paid and many are free.
Popular apps include TuneIn on which you can enjoy 70,000 live stations and 2 million podcasts. There are personalised Internet radio sites like Pandora (www.pandora.com) and Jango (www.jango.com) that also offer apps that intelligently offer stuff to match your taste.
For Indian specialities there are sites like Saavn.com (www.saavn.com) and Radiowalla (www.radiowalla.in). Saregama.com has brought back the now-defunct WorldSpace satellite radio as iOS and Android apps.
If you have not been radio-surfing on the Net, you may be missing something.