April 13, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

The Death of Radio

I recently found myself driving a car that didn’t have an iPod jack, didn’t have an iPod adaptor, didn’t have a cassette adaptor for an audio device and wasn’t carrying an FM modulator. Ok, take a breath, it gets worse yet. After a few short moments of deep thought, it occurred to me that I could be alone with my thoughts, or endeavor to see what I could get on the…..the….the….RADIO. Ok, let me at it. I turned it on.

Funny when you haven’t used the radio in a long time, you forget all the little quirkiness about it. Thing I noticed was that I didn’t remember what stations had music I enjoyed. I tried out the SCAN button to see. Now, every 10 seconds, the station moved on to another station, giving me short attention span radio. After about a dozen stations, I still didn’t find what I was looking for, and not because the stations didn’t have my kind of music. Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn’t; I wouldn’t know for all the stations played the same genre, commercials.

In that short time, I was hammered with advertisements for new energy efficient windows, a sale on mattresses, a plumber who ‘smells good’, a law firm looking out for ‘your rights’ and even a few shameless self-promotions by the stations themselves. What was wrong here? All I wanted were some good tunes to hum or (heaven no) sing along to and they were nowhere to be found.

In today’s world, the concept of a Radio Station is dead. Who wants to sit and be force fed commercial after commercial after commercial about products and services that they either have no interest in or just plain can’t stand hearing about? Who wants to endure the ‘shock jocks’ announcers who laugh more at their own jokes than the vast majority of the listeners out there? Did you realize that by law, the Radio stations must identify themselves every x minutes? That means no matter what, you will have to hear the name and call sign for the station. That’s like a commercial for a product you’ve already purchased, ekk gatss! I’m already listening to the darn station.

What we now have, thankfully are options. Options a plenty. Satellite radio, although currently suffering in a big way, was the first out the gate to save us from the endless noise and bombardment from the Radio stations. For a few bucks a month and a little box you plug in your car, you had literally hundreds of digital stations to pick from, commercial free (or just about) and you could have real choice, not just a few dozen stations that you happen to be in range to hear.

Satellite aside, we have our iPod’s, and our other portable media devices. Take an iPhone or Blackberry and you can get an unlimited supply of music of your liking from services like Pandora, that literally tailor make a music station to your exact tastes. If you aren’t in the mood for that, you can have access to your and your friend’s entire music library from wherever you are with a service called Simplify Media which allows you to stream in real time all of your music.

If Video Killed The Radio Star, the emergence of online connectivity has killed the Radio completely.

Karl – Westside Gadget Guy

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