I think the internet's for life (not just for boring stuff like work). Here's how to make the most of the net's rich store of music

This article appears in the May 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

Internet radio is an amazing thing. No matter where you are in the world, there aren't many radio stations you can't tune-in to. And you don't need to have a swanky DMR (digital media receiver) to listen in either, as thousands of stations can be accessed using software already installed on your PC.

To hook up to internet radio, all you need is a broadband connection and a pair of speakers – most media player applications boast online radio-streaming functionality. They usually feature station presets, handily organised into genres, along with all-important search tools. And stations which warrant a repeat visit can be stored as favourites.

So, whether you want a blast of alternative rock, or a soothing Gregorian chant, the chances are there's a radio station that'll fit the bill.

With such a range to choose from, it's a shame to be limited to the confines of a PC. But to really set your radio free, you'll need a DMR which can connect directly to the internet once on a network. There are plenty to choose from, all offering different levels of complexity and sound output. Some must be plumbed into an existing stereo system or powered speakers, while others such as the Noxon iRadio are self-contained, making them great to cart from room-to-room.

Most of these devices will stream music saved on a PC, which is great if you have a centralised collection that you synchronise with other media players. We cover this in the May 07 issue of PC Advisor. And we show you how to listen to radio using a standard media player and how to set up a DMR for direct streaming.