LocalRadio: A new RTL-SDR App for MacOS

Thanks to Doug Ward (@dsward) for letting us know about his new RTL-SDR compatible MacOS based app called LocalRadio. LocalRadio is an open source web browser based app that connects to a MacOS server running an RTL-SDR. The software allows you to listen in on any frequency supported by the RTL-SDR in AM or FM modes, and audio is capable of being streamed to multiple devices via a built the LAME MP3 encoder, EZStream and Icecast server. It does not provide an FFT or waterfall display however.

The software introduction reads:

LocalRadio is an experimental, GPL-2 licensed open-source application for listening to “software defined radio” on your Mac and mobile devices. With an inexpensive RTL-SDR device plugged into the Mac’s USB port, LocalRadio provides a casual listening experience for your favorite local FM broadcasts, free music, news, sports, weather, public safety and aviation scanner monitoring, and other radio sources.

LocalRadio’s easy-to-use web interface allows the radio to be shared from a Mac to iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and other PCs on your home network. No additional software or hardware is required for sharing with mobile devices, simply use the built-in mobile web browser to connect to LocalRadio and tune to your favorite stations. You can also listen to LocalRadio audio on your Apple TV and other AirPlay-compatible devices.

LocalRadio does not provide features like FFT waterfalls, panadapters, or signal recording that are found on other SDR software. For those features, GQRX for Mac is highly recommended. GQRX is a good way to discover radio frequencies that can be used with LocalRadio.

LocalRadio is intended for use as in-home entertainment, using a local area network with a private IP address. It has not been tested with a public IP address, particularly for security testing, therefore it is not recommended for that purpose. For simply listening to LocalRadio on the Mac with the RTL-SDR device plugged in, no network is required at all.

LocalRadio Interface in the Safari Web Browser
LocalRadio Interface in the Safari Web Browser


  1. Doug Ward

    Sauro – Thanks for the additional info. Most of the user interface is written in HTML, so I am adding some attributes like “title” that hopefully will be helpful with VoiceOver. I will write some better documentation soon, after the screen designs are finalized.

  2. Doug Ward

    Sauro – Hello from the developer of LocalRadio.app. Thanks for a reminder – I’ll add accessibility features to the native app and the web interface, and will be grateful for any suggestions on how to improve it.

    I’m still working on getting a distributable pre-built app available for download. Currently, I’m dealing with a code-signing issue similar to this Intel forum message –


    I’ll work on that when I get home later today.

    • Sauro

      Thank you for your answer.
      I’ve tested Localradio and use Voice Over on Sierra, I think it’s already quite accessible.
      The problem is that I do not know how to recognize my dongle at Localradio.
      I’m not SDR expert and I do not know if I need to install specific drivers on OSX, but Localradio does not detect any dongles.
      Could I have instructions for a beginner like me?

      Thank you.

  3. Sauro


    I’m a blind bcl listener, I plugged the RTLSDR Blog 3 dongle on Adroid with SDR Touch app, because the Windows and Mac programs are not accessible with the screen reader software.
    I would like to receive some BCL signal in am, and ham radio in ssb, but unfortunately I do not get any useful signal.
    I set preference / direct sampling to the “branch q direct sampling” function useful for short waves,
    I use a wire antenna of 10 meters, and with my Sony icf 7600 I received many signals in same frequences.



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