November 13th, 2007 by Maria Moriarty
Another useful application that makes the web more accessible to learners is audio streaming. Audio streaming is the method of delivering audio files over an Internet connection in real time. These files can be accessed from any location, as long as there is a working Internet connection. This allows for people to access audio from any location in the world, often for no cost!
There are many different uses for audio streaming. A popular option is online radio broadcasts. Most radio stations simultaneously broadcast their shows over the airwaves and on the Internet. Past shows can also be accessed, and many stations have shows that are available for streaming that are not available over the radio. A popular station that offers many different types of online radio is BBC International Radio: choose from world news, talk radio, popular music, sports, and more.
Audio streaming is also available for books that have been recorded: pick your favourite novel and listen to it online! Listen to a reading of a new bestseller, or read along with the audio for help with a classic. Sites like Audible offer a very wide range of audio for a fee, or try a free service like LibriVox which recruits volunteers to read public domain books.
Accessing the files requires them to be downloaded from the website, or subscribed to through a service such as iTunes. After downloading, the files can be opened in a media player like iTunes, Windows Media Player, or RealPlayer. Plug in your speakers or headphones and enjoy!