Get tuned in - online music


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Get tuned in - online music

Headphones are used to help listen to online music

What's coming up

The internet offers a huge variety of music and talk radio you can listen to, for free and online, whether it be online radio or a music service such as Spotify. You can even listen to topical podcasts which are like radio programs, but you can pause them and listen to them whenever you like.

Click 'start activity' to see how online music and radio could benefit you.

Start activity
Headphones are used to help listen to online music

Rocking around the clock

The internet is a great way of listening to music, as Sarah's brother David knows.

David loves music – he's always listening to songs and downloading them online.

Your music - online

There's a huge amount of music available online and lots of different ways of accessing it.

You can listen to songs by streaming them online. Streaming just means playing online and doesn't actually involve downloading music to your computer or mobile device.

As long as you're connected to the internet, you can stream the music and listen to it directly from the site that you're using.

An example of live streaming music on a smartphone
A range of music apps are displayed on a smartphone

Streaming services like Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music offer a wide range of music to listen to online.

It's like having a digital library of music – you can save your favourite albums, or create your own playlists and add songs to them.

Many of these streaming sites offer a free service. This will usually contain adverts and have limited features (such as no mobile access).

An example of Apple Music on a smartphone
Someone is enjoying listening to The Beatles through a streaming service while having their morning coffee

You can also use a monthly paid option for the streaming services. This will remove the adverts and give you extra features, like downloading music to listen to offline. Other safe places to buy music downloads from include iTunes (only available for Apple customers) and Amazon.

Paying the price

Remember that you will almost always have to pay something to download music legally, even if it's just a small amount.

Downloading music legally can still be cheaper than buying CDs though, especially as you have the option of picking individual songs to download instead of whole albums.

An open wallet with a range of different Australian money notes hanging out

eSafety Tip

Some services offer a way of being able to listen online for free by including adverts, but if a website suggests that you can download as much music as you want for free then it's almost certainly illegal. So just be careful.

ABC Radio's website showing a selection of stations to choose from


Many people thought that the internet would be the end of radio, but online radio stations mean that it's not only survived but thrived.

There are more radio stations than ever before, and new stations have appeared that are only available online. This means that there's a huge variety of radio that you can listen to online for free.

You can search the internet for your favourite radio stations, or use sites like TuneIn, that let you browse stations all over the world by location or category (e.g. talk, music, news and sports).

This means you can listen to radio stations that aren't near you, which you otherwise wouldn't be able to access.

Shows the TuneIn homepage
Shows the ABC Radio page to listen to the NRL Live

It's easy to listen to sports events online – for example, the ABC Sport website has links which can let you to listen to live events on the ABC Grandstand - which is a part of the ABC Radio website.

Another popular way of listening to the radio is via podcasts. A podcast is a downloadable version of a radio program, which you can save and listen to later.

This is handy if you missed something when it was on air, or if you want to subscribe to your favourite radio show and never miss an episode.

Shows the ABC Radio page listing a range of Podcasts
The family visit Gran and get together for a family photo

Just like the old days

It's the weekend, and David's gone to visit his Gran with the rest of the family.

He wants to help his Gran listen to the music she loves from the 1960s.

David thinks he might have come up with the perfect solution. His Gran has the internet, so he shows her how to tune into a Sounds of the Sixties station that plays hits from the 1960s all day, every day.

Gran is delighted – she had no idea there was an online radio station just for her favourite songs.

Gran is enjoying her new sounds of the sixties through her phone
A child enjoys the sweet musical sounds coming through the headphones connected to her laptop


Well done, you've come to the end of the Get tuned in - online music activity.

You've learnt that the internet is a great way to discover and listen to the music you love.

In the next activity, A world of choice, we'll go over what you've already learnt.