Want to podcast your own “station” or listen to the new medium’s pioneers? Here’s a guide to the Net’s exploding choices.

Tired of listening to the same old playlist on your iPod? Want background music at work that’s more in tune with your tastes than the local radio station? Hankering to listen to talk shows on your own time? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then it’s time to try radio, Internet-style.



Internet radio comes in all different types and flavors. Currently, all the excitement online is focused on “podcasting,” the audio technology that lets anyone become a deejay or a talk-show host.



But that’s not your only Internet radio option. If you’re looking for something that’s less quirky, yet still an alternative to the standard formats of traditional radio, Internet-only radio stations from new-media giants such as MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!, and lesser-known upstarts such as Soma and AccuRadio, offer polished Internet music channels.



The Internet also makes local radio global. Want to listen to the BBC, but reside in Brooklyn? Want to find a Cox (CXR ) radio station from the Midwest, but live in New England? Want to check out the cutting-edge programming of KCRW, a Santa Monica (Calif.) public-radio station that has been on the forefront of Internet radio, but you’re in Miami? The Internet provides those options.



With this cornucopia of options, you can pick the Internet radio experience that’s right for you, whether it’s in the car, at the office, or at home.



Let’s start with podcasting. It’s just the latest evolution of digital radio. New software allows anyone to create radio shows and distribute them automatically over the Web to a PC, where they can be downloaded onto an MP3 player such as the Apple (AAPL ) iPod. This simple-to-use technology means someone without access to a radio tower can broadcast a show featuring everything from the latest in digital gadgets to not-so-latest Grateful Dead tunes.



More here.

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