Live audio streaming on the internet has long given us the ability to listen to different types of always connected devices with this including a huge amount of online shortwave receivers. With the latest SDR technology now being added alongside the more traditional receivers the range of signals available online makes me wonder if owning a shortwave receiver of our own will become redundant in years to come.
As more recent audio streaming and receiver control is made available online it has added to the older technology and created 3 broad based ways of listening to shortwave radio transmissions online.
Live and Recorded Streaming Audio
These are the simplest receivers you can listen to and need very little in the way of additional software to use, chances are that if you watch videos on or offline then you already have everything you need. Usually operating on a fixed frequency the simplicity of these audio streams can be very handy for quickly checking band conditions in various parts of the world.
Some of this shortwave kit has been connected to the internet for many years and some sites have lots of historical audio files that can be listened to.
Controllable Shortwave Receivers
Offering a lot more flexibility than basic streaming these receivers can be controlled by a webpage based application or by downloading a simple piece of client software to run on your computer. With the ability to change mode and frequency it can be just like having a shortwave radio in many other parts of the world.
Software Defined Shortwave Receivers
SDR or software defined receivers are the latest way to listen to any RF transmissions. The technology is perfect for making a shortwave radio available online because the nature of the software allows for monitoring of a wide slice of the radio spectrum at the same time and unlike the other two older options can serve a great number of users at the same time.
If you’ve never used any data decoding software the control interface may seem a little weird at first but can be mastered with a little practice and well worth the effort especially if you eventually move into using SDR technology at home.
Where to Find Online Shortwave Receivers
To save time searching the web for individuals shortwave audio feeds some radio enthusiast websites have created portals full of links to online radio feeds.
Here are some that we use.
Some of the web based Java applications needed to control the tuning of these online radios did cause my firewall to wobble a bit and throw up a few warnings but with so many to choose from if you don’t feel like letting these programs on your computer you can use another audio feed.