Listening to the World

I want to tell you about an app I’ve found to be a lot of fun. It’s called Radio Garden. Odd name, but it is a cool app. It allows you to listen to digital radio stations all over the world, live. I use it on my Android phone, and there is an iPhone version as well.

You can also listen to it on your computer at which would be the thing to do if you have your computer hooked up to good speakers. However, I find that it is harder to navigate on the desktop version, and it keeps sending me back to the Voice of Vashon, of all the stations in all the world.

It starts out by planting “sound seeds” all over the rotating globe. Then you click on a green dot in some country and it zeroes in on a radio station. Hop around and listen to what’s playing in Albania or Alaska. From Azerbaijian or Argentina to Zanzibar or Zagreb. Towns with more than one radio station will choose one at random and you can check out the others by clicking on one of the others in the list in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Some stations seem to exist to stream American advertising, so you have to bop around till you find authentic stuff to listen to. It’s a great way to learn what the rest of the world is listening to. You can hear what different languages sound like, and how radio ads sound very similar in most any language. Shine up your foreign language skills!

Mercifully, there is not the non-stop assault and parsing of inane and insane tweets coming from the White House.

There’s a whole planet out there. Just listen.

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Catch the radio waves