Audio Theater on the Web

Technology has made it possible for anyone to collect sound, record some actors, and assemble it all into an audio movie that can sound really good. Of course you still need all the usual things to make it stand out - a well-written script, good actors, appropriate sound effects, and music that doesn't overwhelm.

There is more audio theater being produced now than there used to be during the Golden Days of Old Time Radio drama. It's not on the radio, but it's everywhere on the Internet. Websites. Podcasts. Everywhere. Here are some good places where you can find good stuff to listen to. It's not meant to cover everything, and some of it isn't free. But we have found good listening here.

This listing is general, of websites that have links to more specific audio programs. If you want to get more specific right away, try the
Audio Theater page for Sound Affects: A Radio Playground, which has direct links to sites full of good listening.
  • ZBS Foundation
    Creators of Ruby, the Galactic Gumshoe series, and the many Jack Flanders adventures. Superb production and sound design. Look for Meatball Fulton's podcasts for lots of audio fun.
  • Forums for discussion of modern audio drama, and Old Time Radio if you like. Find out what's new, what people are listening to, and ask questions on how to do that special effect. Look for the list of Producer links down the left side of the page. Thanks to "Crash" Beattie for keeping it up and running.
  • A directory of free modern audio theater, by category. Includes science fiction, mystery, detectives, comedy, drama, anthologies, horror, fantasy, Old Time Radio style. Podcasts, producers, and archives. Very thorough, and it's all FREE.
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    The Sonic Society is a Broadcast/Podcast out of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada. We showcase the very best of Modern Audio Drama from around the world. We also showcase new releases of Audio works here on the site, give links for latest episodes, and look at new audio series. Please join Jack Ward and John Bell in the Society.
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    Radio Drama Revival is a weekly radio show and podcast featuring the best of contemporary audio drama (work produced after the golden age of radio).

    Broadcast and podcast since 2007, we have over 200 hours of original, contemporary radio theater here for your listening pleasure. Dig into the latest show or surf the archives. Hosted by Fred Greenhalgh, of
    FinalRune Productions in Maine.
  • A full time audio theater radio station online. Led by Jeffrey Adams, of Icebox Radio Theater in International Falls, MN. It features new audio drama productions from the many producers around the country and on the Internet. Pick your own players, or just start the one on the site. Available through the "Tunein" app on iOS and Android.
  • An audio theatre podcast aimed at mobile devices, like Blackberry and iPhones. Based in Canada. Good way to get that audio theater fix via what's in your pocket or briefcase.
  • Reviews, discussions, release notes, and links to science fiction and fantasy audio. Covers audiobooks, audio drama, related podcasts, and very interesting online material, related or not. Hosted by Jesse Willis.

    They have their own weekly podcast, as well. It's a discussion of SF audiobooks and drama with people who write it, read it, or produce it.
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    Audio-Drama.com is a collaborative directory with the goal of offering the most comprehensive listing of websites for audio drama enthusiasts. Anyone can contribute to this site, making it an ever-expanding, up-to-date directory for all things related to audio drama. They have over 1500 articles on the history, production and culture of audio drama, and links to hundreds of websites where you can find audio theater that is for purchase or free to download.
  • The Internet Archive
    Archive.org is a repository of everything... That's pretty much it. This link is to their large catalog of Old Time Radio shows. They are listed alphabetically, or searchable by several other criteria. Often of low quality audio, but they are all free. This category is part of a broader one called Radio Programs, in case you want to broaden your listening.

    http://www.archive.org/details/oldtimeradio/
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    They do it in Old Time Radio style, and what great style it is. Gregg Taylor only gets better as a writer, and he's been at it a long time.

    Subscribe to the podcast so you can hear tales of
    The Red Panda, Canada's Greatest Super Hero, and Black Jack Justice, a detective as hard-boiled as they come.

    http://www.decoderringtheatre.com (Canada).
  • Jeff Ward and Doug Bost do some excellent work out of WBAI in New York. They offer up more than a dozen productions to listen to, most of them original, and all very different from each other. Doug works in advertising, but we'll forgive him for the great audio work he has for us here.