With the advent of cheap and/or unlimited data plans, good coverage and the increasing presence of Internet radio stations, the importance of listening to streaming radio stations have become much bigger than ever. In this Bible, I mostly elaborate on practices that
- may make the sound quality much better using the same bandwidth, and/or
- may save you tens or hundreds of bucks a month by heavily reducing data usage, while providing the same (or even better!) sound quality should you not be able to access any unlimited data plan (Canada with its ridiculous data rates comes into mind), and/or
- may heavily increase your battery life by letting you “falling back” to the much more battery-friendly 2.(7)5G Internet access technologies instead of the power-hungry 3(.5)G ones, and/or
- in cases, may even let you listen to some radio stations you would never have thought of because of the network / operating system restrictions, and/or
- makes the central administration of your radio station favorites much easier – no need to switch between different radio programs if there’s a difference between the protocols / formats they use.
This article is part of my “Multimedia Bible” series and will, eventually, be incorporated in some way in the final version of Multimedia Bible, which, hopefully, will be published this month. Note that I'll also elaborate on TV (video) streaming and transcoding in a later Bible. We’ll use many of the tools / technologies introduced in this Bible in there; most importantly, Orb and VLC.
This Bible, as with my last multimedia-related articles, multiplatform. Don’t get offended by this if you're a fanboy of either of the platforms and just hate everything related to the other: both Windows Mobile and Symbian software developers need to know what the other operating system offers so that they can improve on their products. In addition, should you have devices of both operating systems, you'll be able to optimize the usage of these devices. Just an example: I mostly use the Nokia N95 as my main entertainment and light Web browser / mailer / communicator device because of its, compared to any Windows Mobile device, superior A2DP quality, built-in, stereo speakers, acceptable battery life and lightweight (120g), small body. Therefore, when I know I won't need a Pocket PC (and its high-resolution VGA screen), I know I can safely leave my comparatively heavy and "brick" HTC Universal at home, and go to, say, a quick walk with my N95 only. And, of course, when I do know I will need a Pocket PC and/or a high-resolution screen (for example, to do some serious (!) Web browsing or remote desktop access/control), I take my Universal with me too. (For phoning purposes, I still use my HTC Oxygen (s310) WM5 MS Smartphone because it's cheap - no problem if I'm robbed / it's stolen -, very sturdy and is ...