Are you always the last person to hear about the latest news? Many people buy police and emergency scanner radios just so that they can be the first ones to hear about an accident, a fire, a fight or any other event in their city or town. In certain areas of the world, the radio traffic on police and emergency scanners can be more entertaining than prime time television.
I’ve always wanted a scanner at home, but I never got around to actually buying one. So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the Android Market has a very popular live police scanner application offered for free called Scanner Radio by Gordon Edwards.
People use a lot of tools to find out what’s happening locally, whether it’s local news sites, local newspaper resources as Saikat described, or sites for discovering local events like Steven mentioned. But if you really want to be in the loop and on top of breaking local news events, Scanner Radio provides live streaming audio from police, emergency and weather base stations all around the world.
You can search by the most popular scanners, or locate the ones nearest you. The streaming audio for each area is provided by gracious volunteers that stream their scanner audio via computer to RadioReference.com, Wunderground.com or . Any feeds uploaded to those sites will show up in the thousands of Scanner Radio listings.
Looking For Interesting Live Police Scanners
I have to warn you, this is one of the most addictive apps on the Android market. The cool thing about this app is that no matter where in the world you live, you can listen to local scanner radio traffic of any region where a kind volunteer is streaming the audio to the Internet. If you own a scanner in your part of the world, consider contributing to the cause!
Once you install the app, the main page lets you look for interesting scanners by region, “genre” (rail, marine, weather), or focused on one of the source websites listed above.
The other nice feature is that you can add an alert for any scanner you find. An alert is a setting where once the listener count reaches a certain limit, your phone will alert you. Usually when there’s a significant event going on, the listener count for that scanner spikes.
If you just want to listen, click on one of the scanners you find and the player will open up in its own window. Even if you close the app at this point, the player will still run in the background, so you’ll hear radio updates out of your phone speaker whenever they occur.
If you really want to listen to some major drama, more exciting than just about any reality show you’ll find on TV, check out the “Top 50 Scanners” option from the main menu. This list displays the scanners with the highest volume of listeners, which typically means the highest radio traffic as well.
When I clicked on the NYPD scanner, I was completely mesmerized for over an hour as police pulled over a drunk driver, broke up a serious gang fight, and investigated a domestic assault incident.
When I switched to the Chicago PD scanner, it was even more enthralling – gang fights, explosions and assorted criminals getting arrested. You can’t find this level of action anywhere else, and it’s all live!
If you click on the “Details” button at the bottom of a scanner, if the volunteer included any information on the scanner, you’ll find it there. For example, the NYPD details included the precincts covered by the scanner and a few of the most popular police 10 codes you’ll hear over the radio.
Download Radio Scanner with this code:
Supplement Your Scanner With Signals
Now that you’ve transformed your Android into a personal live police scanner, you’re going to start hearing a whole lot of conversations littered with strange codes. If you want to make it a lot easier to understand what’s going on, make sure to download Signals.
Signals is an insanely comprehensive list of symbols, signals and codes for things like marine, police, sign language, braille and even computer symbols! The police codes are pretty detailed – and the section that will help the most when you’re listening to your scanner is the Police Penal Codes page.
Beyond radio communications codes, Signals even helps you out with understanding electronic communications, like Text Messaging shorthand. If you think you know all of them, you won’t believe the crazy shorthand acronyms listed in this section.
Another entertaining reference is the Emoticons page – which features every emoticon under the sun.
So now, when you hear about an amazing breaking news event on your Android radio scanner, you can quickly fire off an appropriately brisk text message to a friend letting them know about the news, finished off with an intrigued emoticon.
You can download Signals here:
Are you a radio scanner listener? Do you listen to local radio traffic, or do you prefer live police scanners for other parts of the world? What resources do you use to listen to live police scanners on the web? Share your insight in the comments section below.
Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.