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To use the Radio Wizard, you need a RealAudio player. The latest version can be downloaded from real.com. MicroSoft's NetShow player might also work. You'll need at least a 14.4K modem, with 28.8K needed for full usage.
While listening to RealPlayer, it is best to avoid using other programs. "DOS" programs are especially troublesome. You can have windows open to other programs, but they shouldn't be processing anything. If you do use other programs at the same time, you may experience a program shutdown or system lockup. The problem seems to be in RealPlayer or the operating system rather than in iMarvel.
The all-HTML version of the Radio Wizard is a collection of links to some of the best RealPlayer sites online.
The following options are available:
- Radio On: Clicking this button will start up the radio.
- Play It: To play any sound URL, first select any "preset", then click this button.
- To TV: If you have the TV Wizard, clicking this button will play the selected RealVideo URL in the TV Wizard.
There are about 45 sites listed in the 6 select-boxes in the Radio Wizard. The entries tell you how frequently the news clips are updated: for example, "(H WD 6A-1P)" means "Updated hourly on weekdays from 6 AM to 1 PM." (D)" means that it's updated daily.
Tip: When you're in a select-box, you can press any letter on the keyboard to find the next entry that begins with that letter. (example: in the "News:" select-box, press "P" to select the PBS broadcast.) The Up-Arrow and Down-Arrow keys can also be used. You can use the Tab key to move to the nexe select box, and [Shift]-Tab to move to the previous select-box.
All these site entries are called "presets". If you have the Favorites Wizard on the same page with the Radio Wizard, you can easily add more presets to the Radio Wizard. You can add any type of URL (web pages, sound URLs, etc.) Before adding sites, you can click the "Clear" button to clear the three "Site" text boxes. To add a preset to the Radio Wizard, type the site name into the "Site Name:" box. Then fill in the "Extra URL:" box with the Sound URL. You should also fill in the "Site URL:" box with the URL for the site's web page. Then click the "Add" button. Finally, click any of the 6 select-boxes in the Radio Wizard to add it to that select-box.
PRE-PROGRAMMED PRESETS: This list has many of the best sound-oriented web sites available.
When you click on some links (such as Alta Vista), you may be asked for a term to search for. If you just press the [Enter]/[Return] key, you'll go to the site's home page without searching for a term.
1. General News
ABC Hourly Update from ABC News, updated hourly (3.5 minutes). Includes sports, entertainment news.
Bloomberg World News from the Bloomberg Media Center website, updated several times a day, about 3 minutes. World news, from a business perspective.
C-Span Live, coverage of national political and media events.
Fox News Live (for 14.4K modems) from Fox Broadcasting at their World and National News site. News summaries at the top of the hour.
Fox News Live (Video) direct from Fox Broadcasting. Summaries at the top of the hour.
National Public Radio, on the hour. About 3 minutes of national and world news.
Online News Hour summary by Jim Lehrer from PBS, updated nightly (5 minutes).
Bloomberg Business Report, a video report updated several times daily, about 5 minutes.
Bloomberg Business News, a business report updated several times per day, about 2 minutes.
BusinessWeek Hourly Report from BusinessWeek, updated hourly on weekdays, 5:24 AM to 12:24 PM EDT (1 minute.)
The Dollar Holler from The Daily Rocket site, updated daily (1-2 minutes).
CBS Sportsline Sports Minute, can really last 2 minutes or more. Updated daily.
ESPN SportsBeat from Brent Musberger at ESPN SportsZone, updated hourly, 3:10 PM to 8:10 PM EDT, weekdays (10 minutes).
One-On-One Sports LiveLive commentary from sports talk show hosts, available during waking hours.
4. Science/Technology/Educational Programs
C/Net Tech News Summary from Brian Cooley at C/Net Radio, updated 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM PDT weekdays (15 minutes).
EarthSky science educational program from Deborah Byrd and Joel Block at the EarthSky site, updated daily (1-2 minutes).
PC Week Tech Headlines Technology Headlines in RealVideo with Stan Gibson, brought to you by the Ziff/Davis network.
5. Music and Entertainment Sites
Allmusic Reference Site: Look up song titles, essays, album covers and other stuff. This excellent site covers over 26,000 artists.
ComedyNet: See RealVideo clips of outrageous comedy. It's one of the few R-rated links in iMarvel: their racy disclaimer reads, "Bad language offend you? Are you under age? Do you live in a friggin' glass bubble? We here at ComedyNet do not refrain from using certain colorful words and phrases. That's right! We don't hold back, you silly bastards! If you are easily offended, maybe you could try "www.i-am-a-loser.com."
Film.com: Preview RealVideo clips of movies and read about your favorite movies, stars and directors.
Imagine Radio: Create your own radio station, which plays only the artists and music types you like. Over a thousand artists are included.
Live Concerts, a web site that shows audio and video of concerts broadcast live on the Internet.
Lyrics Server: Type in the name of a song, and this site will serve up the full lyrics for it. If you ever have trouble understanding the howling vocals of a rock star, you can get the lyrics here. Look over your CD collection and investigate all those songs you had trouble deciphering! Or if you have a teenager, you can find out the lyrics to their favorite songs (if you dare!)
Pollstar Concert List: Search for concerts by artist, venue, or city. Find out where your favorite bands are playing, or find out what events are happening near you.
Spinner.com: A great variety of songs for listening enjoyment and purchase, with continuous-play capability.
6. "General": A catch-all category for various sites and search engines.
Alta Vista: A heavy-duty general search engine. You can type in any musical term or lyric, and Alta Vista will track down some sites for you. You could use it to find the name of a song and who sang it, if you only know the lyrics.
Broadcast.com: A leader in broadcasts on the Internet, with great variety ranging from TV simulcasts to live concerts to audio coverage of Fortune-500 board meetings.
MIT's Radio Station Listings: You can search for radio stations which broadcast on the Internet here. There are over 4000 radio stations on the Web, from all over the world! Want to find a radio station from your old hometown, or a city you'll be visiting soon? Look here. If you still can't find a suitable station, go to Alta Vista and search for "radio <hometown name>".
Real.com Realplayer site: Go here to download the latest version of RealPlayer so you can play sounds on the Internet.
TicketMaster: Learn about concerts and other events in North America, and buy tickets online.
Timecast.com Site Listings: A great comprehensive all-purpose listing of audio sites.
As you experiment with the Radio Wizard, you may run into some problems with sound quality. Internet Radio is a young technology, so don't expect miracles from it, especially if you have a 28.8Kbps modem or slower. Your radio may take 10 to 30 seconds to load and run, and sound quality will sometimes be spotty. Here are some ideas to get better sound quality (I'll try to list the best ideas first):
See also: Jukebox Wizard, Newspaper Wizard, Photo Wizard, Radio Wizard, Sports Scoreboard, TV Wizard, Weather Wizard.
- Make sure you have the latest version of RealPlayer (as of May 1999, RealPlayer G2 has replaced version 5.0 as the best version). It has much better sound quality.
- If you load a new web page while listening to the radio, the incoming data will interfere with the radio reception. Try pausing the radio to let the buffer catch up, or stop loading the web page.
- The Internet may be in a congested state, with too many surfers on it. The greatest congestion is usually between 8 AM and 8 PM, peaking at 11:30 AM. Weekdays are about 30% more congested than weekends. Try listening to the radio at a less congested time.
- Try a different audio source. Maybe there's some problem at the source of the audio signal. Try calling your ISP to ask which sound sources are the most reliable in your area.
You could also retry the sound source. The Internet may try a different route to send you the audio signal, one that may be less congested.
- The sound source may be on a computer far away from your location. This means it has a greater chance of running into "bottlenecks" on the Internet. Find out the location of the sound source if you can, and try listening to less distant sound sources.
- Check the web pages that contain sound sources. Sometimes they upgrade their RealAudio capabilities (for example, they may upgrade their 14.4Kbps audio stream to 28.8Kbps.)
- Get some good speakers. You could even try plugging your computer into your home's stereo sound system. This will often eliminate the "tinny" sound of the cheap speakers that come with many computers, and can give you a great improvement in sound quality and hearing range.
- Get a 56K modem. They can be had for about $100, as of mid-1999.
- You may have "line noise" in your telephone line that prevents you from getting optimal performance out of your modem. Unfortunately, this is a hard problem to check. If nothing seems to improve your radio reception, line noise is a prime suspect.
- Get a better Internet Service Provider. Often, a local ISP will give you a better connection than services such as America Online. Talk to a computer guru to find out who has the best deal. Places that sell modems will usually be glad to help you.
- Ask your cable company if they offer cable-modem connections. Try the phone company for ISDN or DSL connections Ask the DSS satellite-dish company about a satellite connection. All of these connections are very fast, and will cost you maybe $40-$60 per month.
- Check out the help pages at http://www.real.com for more ideas.