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Listening to the radio on the internet!? Yes, my phone bills are obscene! Apart from my own listening pleasure, does it have any practical application in the classroom? The following is just an idea:

Instead of trying to tell my students what a House of Commons debate might be like, with shouts of "Hear, hear!!" or "Shocking!!" and Madam Speaker demanding "Order!", I have wanted for years to play back a recording of one of these debates. Thanks to the BBC Today in Parliament feature at the BBC Parliament site I can now do that. If you do not have RealAudio installed, you will be prompted to download it when you click to listen. The no-frills version is freeware. One small inconvenience is that RealAudio does not allow recording. I therefore have to hook up my computer to my stereo and record the debate on a regular audio cassette. I know this is so copyright can be protected, but doesn't my recording for this purpose fall within "fair use"? At least, if there are any angry lawyers out there ready to sue, give me a chance to quietly remove this file from my website ...

My favorite radio station in the US, National Public Radio, offers most of their programs on the internet shortly after they have been broadcast live. Intelligent, in-depth coverage of US and world affairs!

For a listing of online radio and TV stations, see realguide.

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