Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

10.18. How can I listen to Internet Talk Radio?

Once you've downloaded some Talk Radio files to your computer, you'll need the right program to listen to them. If you use a Sun workstation (you lucky devil) you need only the system's audiotool program to listen in.

Listening on a PC requires SoundBlaster or some other audio gadgetry, plus a program that plays .au files or converts them to Windows' own .wav files. I don't use an IBM-PC compatible, so I'll steal from the FAQ: If you use SOX, you can easily convert the files to a .wav file and play them using any of your standard sound utilities. Another approach is to bring the native files straight down (no conversion) and use PLANY. This clever little program will handle pretty much any sound format on a SoundBlaster card. The software is widely mirrored, but one source is the following:
Macintosh users need a program to convert .au to "audio IFF" format, or a program that can play ITR's native .au files. As a Mac person myself, I highly recommend Sound Machine, a great freeware program that I grabbed using anonymous FTP.
No matter what computer you use, you will need enough disk space and memory to hold the five- to ten-megabyte chunks of the programs.

Note: As compression technology advances, ITR (and its eventual copycats) will be able to stuff longer programs into less space. This may be essential to the proliferation of the medium. At about half a minute of sound per megabyte, ITR doesn't have time to waste.

For more information on the service and listening to the programs on your particular machine, send electronic mail to You'll automatically receive the Internet Talk Radio FAQ list, which explains all the interesting bits about ITR and the Internet Multicasting Service. For a list of FTP sites that carry ITR shows, send e-mail to

The latest information, including program schedules, questions, and answers is available on the Usenet group

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