The Joys of Broadband

I’ve finally got linked up to a very fast broadband provider and have spent a good chunk of free time doing all (or most) of the things I couldn’t do online when I relied on that poor old 56k modem connection. It does change things doesn’t it?

So I’ve been watching those video clips of Christopher Hitchens interviews/ debate, which have been fascinating given that I’ve never heard the man speak before. I’ve been catching up on radio programmes that people mentioned to me ages ago (at last I can act when I get emails asking Did you hear that item on Today this morning?).

And with the foreign language stuff I can even relive those days of listening to shortwave radio from all manner of obscure locations – which can be dangerously addictive.

And not only obscure stuff, as I write I am listening to an internet radio station called Generation 80’s Retro – where else can you listen to New Order followed by The Human League and then Altered Images?

In fact there are over 600 Eighties Radio Stations broadcasting over the web and thousands more in other niches. I’m like a kid in a sweetshop at the moment.

I discover there is even such a thing as Internet Talk Radio and political radio stations. The best I have found so far is Labour Start, who provide worldwide news on the trade union movement and now have Radio Labour Start introduced by Eric Lee and which today offers a song which featured on our Greatest Political Songs collection A great 10-minute live version of “Joe Hill” peformed by Phil Ochs.

Apparently it is quite easy to start your own radio station. According to Labour Start all you need is:

A computer with a soundcard, speakers, microphone, and an Internet connection. A server that provides us with bandwidth and storage for our files, and that is able to broadcast (including live broadcasts) Content — music and other audio files

As more and more people get connected to hi-speed internet I wonder how long it will be before blogs start featuring audio or video sections? A frightening thought.

Don’t worry I’m not getting carried away though, The Harry Channel is not in the works but the technology does offer some potentially interesting opportunities doesn’t it?