Japanese Internet radios tested
Good Japanese Internet radios are hard to find. So I thought to offer you a hand. Listening Japanese radio can be really nice and fun way to learn Japanese. Besides, it's significally hard to catch good transmission from Japan through ordinary AM/FM radio.
Finding the Internet radios
First of all, I'll take a little look of channels provided. When I searched with Google, with keyword "Japanese +internet +radio" the first site was RCN Telecommunications site and second was Internet News which both didn't provide Japanese internet radios for us. Third link brought me to: NYJAPAN.COM. It provides well working list of all major Japanese radios that broadcast via internet, but this is mostly based on those residing on USA. The style varies from J-rock to J-Pop. I was able to find also NHK's Radio Japan and Indies come true 9 in first 5 minutes by using Google.
I recommend following searches:
Japanese +internet +radio
Japanese +online +radio
Japanese +web +radio
However this isn't the most easy way. Websites of radiostations are often hard to understand for those who can't speak Japanese well, plus the stations are using different programs. Therefore better and often easiest way is to use Microsoft's Radio Channel search.
I clicked the arrow next to the search bar in "Windows Media" and chose Japan to the specific country field. This produced listing of 19 channels. I did this using Microsoft IE6 of WinXP. It should be very similar in earlier versions. The sound quality is rather good and the selection extends wider than J-pop and anime music.
The points given in next listing represents the quality of the streaming as well as user interface of the website provided and the availability. Some of these stations cannot be found from Microsoft Radio Channel search so then please click the link which I wrote and open the stream from the website. Annoyingly the website pops up after selecting it from Microsoft Radio Channel Search.
(Note the stream information is based on the information WindowsMedia gave me. If you want better stream, you should find from the link I provide.)
|Name/Link:||Type / Content||Transmit||Format||Location||Reliability||Shima Points|
|ABC Webio||news||AM / FM / net||WMP, Realplayer [28k]||Osaka||poor||NO POINTS!|
|The radio was unavalable at the time.|
|radiat.net||sports /?||net||WMP, Realplayer [28k]||Tokyo||medium|
|User interface was difficult and sound quality was only 22khz MONO.|
|AVEX Internet Radio||dance music||net||WMP [28k]||Japan (?)||good|
|Announcer spoke little English, sound quality was adequate. Pretty good.|
|Eaststreet music||techno||net||WMP, Realplayer||Tokyo||not tested yet|
|Announcer spoke English! Sound quality was good.|
|FM Osaka Hit Radio||modern / rock||85.1FM /net||WMP[28k]||Osaka||average|
|Sound quality was adequate. Quality lacks because [28k]|
|IndiesMusic.com||alternative||net||WMP [28k]||Akasaka, Minato-ku||poor|
|Radio was unavailable at the time.|
|J-wave||dance music||81.3FM /net||WMP[56k]||Tokyo||not tested yet|
|Announcer spoke English/ Japanese. Sound quality was good since [56k]|
|NHK||news / generic||shortwave||WMP, Real Player (English only RealPlayer)||good|
|Uncached, no problems found at [56k]|
|Sometimes synchronisation problems occur. Plays cached blocks one after other|
|Tampa||sports/other||3925AM /net||WMP [28k]||Japan||poor||NO POINTS!|
|The radio was unavailable at the time.|
|TBS 954AM||news||954AM /net||WMP, Realplayer, [28k]||Tokyo||good|
|Sound was clear and the stream was real tie. Good! I recommend.|
|Tokyo FM||alternative||80FM /net||WMP [28k] cached||Japan||good|
|Sound was clear and the user interface of website is very clear.|
|Yomiuri News||news||net||WMP, Realplayer [56k]||Japan||average|
|Short news in Japanese. Too small cache and difficult website|
|Nack 5||modern||79.5FM /net||WMP, Reaplayer [56k]||Urawa, Tokyo||good|
|Speech quality is a bit amateurish, [56k] should allow better|
|Sound quality is OK. Plays cached blocks one after other.|
Well, first you need fast connection. Faster is always better, and it never can be too fast. Nowadays ADSL and Cable modems have became very decent prize, and before you can enjoy fully of these webradios, I suggest you to get one. With ISDN and 56Modem you can always try, but I cannot give guarantees that it will work, at least you might have to wait first that the content loads to local machine.
Then you need to have software. After IE6 there is no longer IE radio bar. Windows Media Playeer (WMP) has replaced IE5 radio bar.
All of the radios in the list I provided work with WMP. With WIN98 or XP you will get also decent version of Mediaplayer. however you should update to the latest version to assure that radios work well. If you have problems with the software (it will crash or you lose stream) you can try solving it by getting latest versions.
You can get all necessarily software for free.
Realplayer seems not to work as well with the radios, not at least what I tried. All radios in the list worked much better with IE5 or Mediaplayer. However, some radiostations require it.
Though WinAmp has plenty of easy to use and well working music radio stations, it provides only three Anime and J-POP music channels, that's why it cannot took seriously for those who want news and other content.
Until yesterday, I have been tuning in to J wave music streaming site, but it is now serving domestic listeners only starting today, too bad...it is a lovely station
I'm a 74 year old grandmother, living in California and all my children and grandchildren live in Japan. I would like to listen to my son's radio program on 89.9 KISS FM KOBE - Kobe Cruising Cafe from 2 to 4:00 pm Tursdays, Japan time.
I have an iMac, Mac OS X Version 10.6.4
Can anyone advise me if it is possible to listen live and if so, what must I do?
I would be so grateful to hear from you.
Thank you so much.