Since the '90s, people have been trying to pitch internet radio as the next big tech innovation. They've mostly stopped since streaming services and their playlists became the new normal. But radio still holds an old-fashioned charm to a lot of nostalgists. Before we had the internet, before we had television, this is how people connected with one another. Until now, however, few online platforms have been able to recreate that analogue charm.
Enter Radio Garden, a remarkably simple little web tool that manages to be fascinating, relaxing, quaint and innovative, all at once. An interactive map of live radio stations all over the world, Radio Garden lets you spin the globe and tune into live radio wherever you land (complete with static). It's just a map littered with green dots, but it provides hours of entertainment.
Just now in the last few minutes, I spun over to Reykjavik for some Sia, then over to Seoul for some K-Pop, found "Starboy" in Athens, and then stumbled into a Jesus sermon in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania. Back here in Toronto, I found some sports guys talking about the Raptors.
Radio Garden is a project by by Golo Föllmer at Martin-Luther University Halle. “By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places," says the tool's "info" section. It also lets you listen to a whole lot of Christmas music and ads for local hardware stores.
Click around for awhile, see what you find.