The distribution of audio broadcasts over the Internet. There are thousands of Internet radio stations that can be streamed to a software media player in a computer, mobile device, stand-alone Internet radio, media hub or media server. Often called "Webcasts," they come from myriad organizations as well as traditional AM and FM radio stations. If an Internet radio has built-in wireless connectivity, it may be called a "Wi-Fi radio."
Live or Canned
Internet radio may be streamed in real time along with regular AM and FM over-the-air broadcasts, or it may be a recording of a previous broadcast. In the latter case, the Webcast can be streamed at any point from the beginning. See media player
, virtual radio station
and Windows Media formats
The First Physical Internet Radio
In 2000, San Francisco-based Kerbango, Inc. introduced the first physical Internet radio. Acquired by 3Com, which discontinued its Internet appliance division in 2001, the Kerbango radio supported major audio formats and could play MP3 files from a computer. (Image courtesy of Kerbango, Inc.)
Apple's iTunes jukebox plays Internet radio and offers a variety of stations for the user.