This article has a soundtrack. You can't hear it right now, but I can. As I sit here typing, Dvorak's Slavonic Dance, Op. 72 No. 6, fills the air here in my home office. I'm streaming it from a Web radio station that is situated in Chula Vista, Mexico.
XLNC has a regular broadcast station on 90.7 FM, serving the Tijuana-San Diego area. The reason I'm able to enjoy it here in North Carolina is because of XLNC's Internet stream. (In an unusual turn of events, XLNC was actually started as a Web radio station, only later adding an over-the-air component. )
XLNC's sound is gorgeous. The audio stream coming through my PC speakers is as good and possibly a bit better than the local classical music station that I can listen to on my home stereo system.
Classical music broadcasting has made something of a comeback in recent years, thanks in part to satellite radio (XM and Sirius), and thanks in part to the Internet. Classical music has always had a devoted following, but one that was relatively small. As a consequence, it was in danger of disappearing from radio altogether.
At one time, you could be certain of hearing classical music on almost any public radio station you tuned to. But over time, even these stations began shifting away from classical to more popular music forms such as folk, bluegrass, Celtic, blues, etc. Or, they became more talk-oriented.
Nowadays, though, classical music fans can breathe easier. As long as they are connected to the Internet (or have a satellite radio subscription), they can find an abundant choice of classical music stations to enjoy. I found the XLNC link through a Web site that listed and described 100 Internet radio stations whose programming is wholly or in large part devoted to classical music.
Classical music is not dead. It is alive and healthy-on Internet radio. Why not give it a listen and hear it for yourself?
Stefan Smith is a radio junkie who writes on entertainment and related subjects for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Recently, he has written an extensive review of new software that anyone can use to capture music audio streams from Internet radio broadcasts and break them up into individual mp3 song files-a legal way to download virtually free music. Read the review at: http://www.solid-gold.info/radio2mp3.html