Hunter,I don't know why I should download radioreference when I can listen to live audio. Will someone please explain the benefits of each. RR is free..... correct? I live in mercer county PA Thanks hunter sue
Here's another opinion. If you have your own scanner, you will no longer be a freeloader.Hunter,
If you want to listen to a 'live audio' feed, yes, that is free. However, your choices are limited to only what feeds are available for your area (in some cases, none are), and the feed may not include all the channels (frequencies if a convention system, talkgroups if the agency (or agencies) are on a trunked system) that you'd like. There are certain restrictions as to what can be carried on a feed. Additionally, if you are listening to a feed, not your own scanner, you can't pause on an active incident that catches your interest, whether that's a major fire, a chase, or some other incident.
Quite often, we see posts in the forum, asking that somebody put up a feed for a specific area, or agency, or add a channel. Or, they are complaining because "their" feed is/has been down. Remember that all feed providers are other members, who volunteer to do this. It requires dedicating a scanner (or in some cases a professional style radio) to the feed for source audio, a pc, running 24/7/365, as well as broadband internet access to get the feed to the servers. Many do it to share the hobby, providing a service to others. Some put up a feed so that they, or family members in other areas, can hear what's going on "back home" when they're away.
On the other hand, if by "download radioreference" you mean purchase your own scanner, the advantage to that is you control exactly how much, or how little, you want to hear. Your only limitations are those of the scanner you choose, your location (are you in range?), and whether the frequency or talkgroup is encrypted. You can add to, delete, lockout, or hold on anything you have programmed. You can change your channel mix at any time as well. Plus, if the scanner you are using is a handheld, you can carry it with you to listen (of course, you can listen to feeds on many of the smart phones, but you're using part of your data plan to do so).