The boom box may be an artifact of yesteryear, but online radio is alive and kicking.

Across the board, college radio stations in Connecticut are streaming their broadcasts online. That includes stations rated the best by Advocate readers this May: University of New Haven's WHNU 88.7 FM streams at, Quinnipiac University's WQUN 1220 AM at and Southern Connecticut State University's WSIN 1590 AM at

It was, in fact, a college radio station, University of Chapel Hill's WXYC 89.3 FM, that pioneered the rebroadcasting of its on-air signal live over the Internet. Since 1994, WXYC has had listeners from all over the world contact the station with comments and requests via e-mail and instant messaging. For these listeners, the appeal of online radio — distributed via streaming in audio formats like mp3 and Windows Media Audio — is variety.

Four years ago, Yale University took the online arrangement a step farther, launching WYBCX, an Internet-only, free-form radio station intended to reach radio-less students and provide a nurturing launch pad for DJs-in-training. Yale shifted all student and community programming to the station two years later. This upcoming school year, "We're also going to be doing some minor redesigns for our website so that it'll be easier and more appealing for listeners," General Manager Carl Chen, a rising junior at Yale, says.

Aiming to "bak[e] the magic back into magic radio cake," WYBCX will "continue to broadcast various genres and talk shows in accordance with [its] freeform broadcast philosophy," promises Chen, as well as cover "every football and hockey game and many other sports."