If you found out too late about an interesting interview on Radio New Zealand, you may be able to still listen to it, for free, and without the bother of cassette tapes or CDs.
Radio NZ now makes it possible for you to listen to live radio via the Internet, and to download certain programmes from the website.
The software is free
Windows users will need the free Windows Media Player, while Mac users should use the free VLC media player. Windows and Mac users will find Apple’s free iTunes software useful for downloaded MP3 files and for podcasts.
Live streaming audio
If you know a programme’s coming up and want to listen live via the Internet, rather than using an actual radio visit the Radio NZ website and click on the Audio link at the left of the header.
When you click on the link for the programme you wish to hear, a small file, for example
national.asx.asf, is downloaded to your computer. Next your audio software should start up and play the live stream for you. This requires you to be connected to the Internet while you listen.
If the programme doesn’t start playing automatically and you have the correct software installed, try double-clicking the downloaded file.
Listen to older audio
You may want to catch up on an item that was recently broadcast on Radio NZ. You have two options:
- listen to an audio file streaming from the programme page.
- download the podcast and listen to it later.
Set a format
Radio NZ can sometimes provide audio in two different formats: Windows Media Audio and MP3. Choose your preferred option from the Preferences page.
Programmes online (streaming)
Use the Programmes page to find the item you want to listen to.
Once you’ve located the programme click on the link. Again, a small
.mp3 file downloads, and you can listen to the programme as it streams from the server.
Streaming isn’t very convenient though if you wish to listen later on your computer, or put the file on an iPod to listen to on the bus.
Radio NZ are making more and more programmes available as podcasts. [Update: January 2008: go to the podcast section in the iTunes Store and search for Radio New Zealand.]
Find a podcast that interests you and right-click (Mac users: Control click) on it. Choose the option to copy the address of the link. Next open iTunes, go to the Advanced menu and choose Subscribe to podcast…. Paste in the Address and click OK. iTunes adds the podcast to its list of podcasts and starts to download the most recent item.
For more information about how iTunes works with podcasts see these Tips.
Don’t be slow
Radio NZ doesn’t keep old programmes around for long — some may be gone within days. If you realise you’ve missed a programme check the website as soon as you can.
Large file alert
If you listen to radio live via the Internet or download audio files, check your Internet plan carefully for what it will cost. Visit your ISP’s Help Pages to find out how to keep track of usage: in New Zealand, exceeding your monthly limit can be very costly.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, September 2006. This article may have been modified from the original.