BBC Radio 3 Goes HD Online
Of course the BBC is Britain's version of public radio. Its Radio 3 channel is strong in classical, jazz, world music, new music, and spoken-word drama.
According to Andrew Clements of The Guardian, "toggling between the HD service and the usual Radio 3 website broadcasts revealed greater definition and the more spacious, warmer sound of the new format. There was far more bloom on the tone of the instruments in the Brahms horn trio, and a real depth to the orchestral 'picture' for the Tchaikovsky, all of which really did seem comparable to Radio 3 FM, though still worlds away from what CDs or old-fashioned vinyl LPs can offer." Since we don't have access to Radio 3's FM or HD signals, we'll take his word for it.
A BBC press release says: "Initially, the stream will only be available for live programmes (not on demand) for UK listeners only." BOO! "It will be available through pages on radio networks' websites and special event sites, although the ambition is to integrate HD Sound into iPlayer and Radioplayer as the technology develops."
We checked Radio 3 HD on our New York-based web browser anyway and got a "not available in your area" message. The low-res online Radio 3 was available, however. Our Tivoli Audio NetWorks Radio display said the stream was running at 48 kbps. Even without comparing, we're pretty sure 320kbps would be a huge improvement.
Fortunately there is some internet radio running at 320kbps. The Tivoli people recommend Linn Jazz, which streams through the NetWorks along with Linn Classical and Linn Radio (and sounds amazing). The Linn stations can also stream through Linn's own DS media players as well as through iTunes as playlists.