Time shifting has changed the way we watch TV forever. Why should radio be any different?
Having favorite radio programs available on demand makes sense for people who are in their car on the way to appointments, and have to miss the last 15 minutes of a program they wanted to hear, for talk radio fans whose favorite syndicated hosts don't air in the market they live in and for people who like their music commercial-free.
The newly launched Digital Audio Recorder -- which is being billed as TiVo for the radio -- is a website that lets listeners schedule and store recordings of many of their favorite radio programs for later listening.
Many stations offer listening on demand through podcasts, but DAR is a quick and easy way to find one's favorite radio programming -- local and national.
After setting up a free account, go to the "Record" tab, where you can search for and set up the recordings. The "Scheduled" tab shows the programs selected.
You can search for talk shows, music formats or specific stations. Syndicated talkers including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and many that aren't heard in every market, such as Phil Hendrie, Dennis Miller, Alan Colmes and Randi Rhodes.
The music search is divided into several mainstream formats, including '80s and '90s hits, adult alternative, jazz, country, college, hip-hop and more.
To listen, PC users can choose the "Play" tab. Mac users will have to migrate to the sister website MP3tunes, which is an online music storage site. This is a better option for listening. Some music stations have individual tracks listed, and the listener can skip over songs they don't want to hear.
The recordings can be accessed on many platforms: by listening online, or through free smartphone apps (available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and Palm WebOS). It can also be heard wirelessly in the home with several brands of Internet radio (Logitech, Grace and AR) or through Roku streaming video players.
The service is free -- and commercial-free, for now. Each account gets 2 GB of storage space, which equals around 100 hours of recorded programs. Currently each user is limited to four scheduled recordings at a time.
The site -- http://dar.fm -- is currently in beta mode, so there could be an occasional glitch
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)