Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Want to find back that one song?
Or get the feeling of listening to the radio like it was when you were a kid?
Today, Cool Websites and Apps brings you five sites that let radio listeners travel through time and space.
I grew up on a farm in rural Ontario, and one of the only ways to make physical labor interesting was to turn on the radio. I’ve got so many vivid memories of specific songs, and specific segments, from the early 2000s, mostly related to cold weather and moving hay around – but good memories nonetheless. Can I find some of those back?
It turns out yes, and I can do a lot more. We’ve shown you where to find unlimited online radio; here’s how to travel in time through that free radio and find exactly what you’re looking for. Let’s get started.
OnRad.io: Some Station Somewhere Is Playing Your Song
Somewhere on this planet, one of any hundreds of thousands of radio stations is playing your favorite song. It might be in Alabama, it might be in Zimbabwe, but odds are it’s playing somewhere. OnRadio lets you find out where that station is, and start listening right now.
A few years back we featured Radio Search Engine. OnRadio is the latest incarnation of that same service, this time with a refined interface that works well on mobile.
The idea is simple: search for a song, hear it instantly from some radio station somewhere. You won’t hear that track from the beginning, but you’ll typically hear most of it. You can leave the station on, if you’d like – odds are you’ll hear something you like and learn a little about the world while you’re at it. Or you can just search for another song, if you prefer.
You can copy any song’s URL and share it, if you’d like, or set up notifications so you can find out when a particular song is playing somewhere.
Radiooooo: Music from Any Decade/Nation Combination
Instantly travelling to where your favorite song is playing is cool and all, but you were promised time travel. Let’s start delivering on that, shall we?
Radiooooo gives you a map and a panel for selecting a decade. Just click a decade, then click a country, to hear a song from that particular place and time.
There is a wide world of music to explore here, so go ahead and dive in. I recommend pre-revolutionary Cuba as a place to start, but I’d love to know which gems you discover – and where. Leave some tips in the comments below, okay?
Rewind Radio: Travel to Radio Stations from Past Decades
Radio sucks these days – kids listening to their rap/pop/whatever-it-is-you-don’t-like just don’t realize what they’re missing. Back in the 90’s/80’s/whenever-you-grew-up, everything was way better.
If you feel that way, congratulations: you’re old! It’s okay, it happens to all of us eventually (and it is better than the alternative). Just know that there’s a remedy for your radio problem: Rewind Radio. This service uses Spotify’s catalog of songs to re-create radio playlists from any year – and even season.
Just find the exact time you last found radio to be appealing, then turn the volume up.
Remember: you’re not out of touch. It’s the children who are wrong.
Magic Transistor Radio: Open and Enjoy Some Early Rock [Broken Link Removed]
Magic Transistor is a podcast that looks into the early history of what we today call rock and roll. They also offer an interactive online radio, and it’s totally worth checking out if you want some great music you’ve never heard before.
Just open the site and start listening – you can change the station if something you don’t love comes on. There are some really great deep cuts here, so fire it up and enjoy.
Old Radio World: Archive of Old Radio Shows and Broadcasts
Radio wasn’t always all about music and news: it used to be full of dramas, comedies, and all sorts of things we now use TV for (or did use TV for, until we started replacing that with the web, but that’s another article entirely). Old Radio World is a great archive for finding out what some of that sounded like.
For the MakeUseOf crowd, I recommend diving into the science fiction stories. It’s amazing how far that genre has come, but there’s still something charming about its early broadcast roots (Flash Gordon!). History buffs shouldn’t miss the WWII archive.
There are lots of ways to find amazing free audio dramas, but this site offers a great starting point. Dive into the early days of radio!
What Radio Era Would You Like to Travel to?
Do you have any fond radio memories? Let’s talk about those in the comments below, along with any resources for bringing them back.
Or, if nothing here satisfies you, why not start your own online radio station and create something that does? I’d love to hear from you, should you get something going. Let’s chat below!