How to stream radio w/o the bandwidth?
February 23, 2009 6:25 PM   Subscribe

How can I enjoy streaming radio at work without hogging bandwidth?

I just got the email - no more streaming radio/video due to bandwidth issues at my work. Is there anything I can do?

I usually listen to or Pandora, and I am now finding it painful to live without it. I thought about maybe using or some other remote access program to access my computer at home, but doesn't that hog bandwidth too?

Are the latest Blackberries (Curve, etc) able to stream music?

Thanks in advance...
posted by jaseaco to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you have an iPhone and Simplify Media, you can stream all your music from your iTunes library at home via 3G/edge/wifi.

You can also listen to Pandora and on the iPhone via their respective apps.
posted by mullingitover at 6:34 PM on February 23, 2009

The iPhone is a good option for this if you're either an AT&T wireless customer or you're no longer under contract with your current wireless provider.

It's an expensive solution, but there are literally hundreds of streaming radio apps including one from Pandora.

I recently downloaded an app that plays over 200 streaming NPR stations from all over the US and another that offers nearly every terrestrial radio station in the world, streaming over 3G (and some even streaming at a lower bit-rate over EDGE).

Of course, these apps are power-hungry, so you'll either want to be plugged in or you'll need to recharge every 4 or 5 hours of constant use.
posted by plasticbugs at 6:37 PM on February 23, 2009

Your phone is probably the only way around it since any other way would be using the existing work internet connection, and you already know that stinks.

If you had an iPhone there are a lot of options including Pandora and There is Flycast for the Backberry, but I've never used the application or the service to know if it's any good.
posted by Ookseer at 6:39 PM on February 23, 2009

Slacker! Basically, it's a mp3 player that downloads a few hours of traditional and pandora-ish internet radio (including custom artist-seeded stations) to itself whenever you sync it. So you'd use your bandwidth at home to fill it up, and then listen in work. Pricey, but does the trick.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:40 PM on February 23, 2009

And in answer to your other question, any remote access program that lets you stream audio (VNC or similar) is going to also be a bandwidth hog.

Other obvious options include: getting an MP3 player and loading it with songs that you've downloaded or bringing a simple FM radio into work (local radio can't be that bad).

If you want your MP3 player to feel like Pandora (where you're always getting new music). Download a "stream ripping" application. It records songs from streaming radio (like Pandora) as MP3s so that you can port them to your MP3 player. Let it run overnight (or over a weekend) - you'll have more music than you'll know what to do with.

Of course, these stream rippers may be a "terms of service" violation, so exercise caution and make sure you read that EULA.
posted by plasticbugs at 6:43 PM on February 23, 2009

Besides iPhone, you can also subscribe to one of those wireless broadband via USB thing, and just plug it into your computer.
posted by applesurf at 7:12 PM on February 23, 2009

I just thought I'd chime in here. I'm a sysadmin for a small office, and we're badly bandwith-constrained with 30 people on a single T-1. As much as it does suck to have to kick everyone off of pandora, even a handful of people getting the high-quality 128k stream can seriously choke our connection, and even the low-quality 64k stream will kill us.
posted by Oktober at 7:57 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Be careful with the wireless broadband. I have Verizon's mobile broadband, and streaming is prohibited! This is because you may go over their 5 GB per month allotment. They can check your bandwidth use and if they notice a high amount of use for more than one hour they will assume you are in violation of their "prohibited" activities list and they will SHUT YOU DOWN. Shop around!
posted by Piscean at 8:14 PM on February 23, 2009

Hmm sounds like my gfs lawfirm who just sent out an email with the same thing. Yeah your kinda stuck. Maybe invest in satellite radio?
posted by majortom1981 at 4:50 AM on February 24, 2009

but doesn't that hog bandwidth too?

Yes, unless you carry it in on a drive its using bandwidth.

You can set your home computer to listen to pandora all night and record it using audacity. That should give you an 8 hour mp3 of music you can plug into an ipod and listen. No worries about getting a data plan for your phone, streaming reception, bandwidth limits, etc.

Or you can buy a portable satellite radio, but that comes at some risk. You may not have any reception in your office.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:50 AM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I was in the same boat and this was yet another reason that getting an iPhone was the best purchase I've made in a long time. The music listening options it opens up are almost innumerable. In addition to the ones mentioned above, I really like the AOL Radio app.
posted by jluce50 at 7:38 AM on February 24, 2009

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