In this time of geo-blocks, filters and internet censorship it’s great to find a website that embodies the traditional ideals of the internet. Something that genuinely promotes communication and open access to anyone in the world irrespective of who they are or where they happen to be. A website that you don’t need a VPN or proxy to hide your identity or bypass any of these tedious blocks, it’s completely free for everyone.
It’s called Radio Garden and it’s something I discovered a few years ago and have used ever since. It’s basically a huge database of radio stations from around the world compiled and presented on a huge clickable global map.
Here you can see the interface which has been developed for the website. Here’s their mission statement –
Radio Garden invites you to tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe.
By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places. From its very beginning, radio signals have crossed borders. Radio makers and listeners have imagined both connecting with distant cultures, as well as re-connecting with people from ‘home’ from thousands of miles away.
The Radio Garden was set up in 2016 by a group in Amsterdam. It was initially an exhibition project commissioned by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision under a project entitled Transitional Radio Encounters. It has been converted into a small independent company in 2019. In 2018 they expanded by launching mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can find these in the App Store and Google Play under ‘Radio Garden’. The apps and the site have been continually developed with one of the most useful features being added in 2019 allowing people to search for their favorite stations and locations rather than just using the map directly.
How to Listen to Free Radio Stations Online
Here’s a quick video demonstration of how to listen to Free radio stations online with Radio Garden in action.
It’s really easy to use and the mobile applications are just as good, perhaps even better. You can access literally thousands of radio stations all over the world with just a single click. My personal favorites are the various ‘Talk radio’ stations which you can find, they’re especially good for keeping up with local news that doesn’t always reach the mainstream media sites. What’s more these are all completely free radio stations which don’t require any payment or proxy trickery to access.
It’s difficult to fault, it’s an incredible resource which really opens up radio access across the world. My only slight disappointment was that I’d heard there was a North Korean radio station available on the platform but it seems to have gone. Mind you I probably wouldn’t have been able to understand a word of it anyway, but still would have been interesting to hear it.
There are supposedly lots of plans to further develop the application which is reassuring, although the commercial viability is always a worry. Great resources like this do costs money and I would expect some sort of advertising is inevitable and to be fair perfectly acceptable.