Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Your own radio station--programmed just for YOU


So I pick up my copy of The Birmingham News, my local daily paper (just beating the German shepherd next door to it...he devours my newspaper almost every day...I mean literally devours it!). There, in their cleverly titled Tech Know section, is a story about how easy and cheap it is to subscribe to music on your cell phone.


Music that you can download from sources that "learn" what kind of music you like and serves you up your own personal mix. It's easy to plug that phone into your car's existing sound system. And you really have to listen to it a ton to incur additional usage fees, according to the article.


How the heck can traditional radio--or even satellite radio--compete against something like that? Well, the reporter noted one thing that bothered him. Yes, he was getting music he liked, in good quality with no glitches or dropouts, and only briefly interrupted by commercial announcements. But there was one element he actually missed.


The dee jay. The guy who told you who that was singing and playing. What album it was from. When the group or artist would be coming to a venue near you. Whether it was a brand new song or something you missed a decade ago. Why you should listen to other songs by this artist. Who else he or she may have recorded with. Who wrote the dang song. Who that was doing that neat guitar riff in the bridge.


I suspect he was missing one other thing, too. Companionship. A warm voice in the night. A real human being, playing those songs picked just for him.


Am I the only other one who sees the need for some glue to hold those songs together?
NOTE: the reporter's blog in which he talks about this article is HERE.


Don Keith




3 comments:

W4AGA said...

Listening to a radio station on my cell phone never occurred to me. I figured that if I wanted to listen to radio I would, um, turn on a radio! Then came July 4th and I was to meet friends to watch the fireworks. I like to listen to the music that certain stations play to coincide with the fireworks, so I went in search of a portable radio. Turns out that neither I nor my kids (18 & 20) now own a portable radio! So I did a bit of Googling and found radio apps for my Blackberry. Cool! Except, they really aren't radio stations, they are play lists that can be streamed to the cell phone, so I could not in fact listen to the local station 'live'. Bummer. I don't know how much of an audience demand exists but it seems like a no-brainer that every radio station would want to also be broadcast via cell technology. Maybe they are working on it.

W4AGA said...

"The dee jay. The guy who told you who that was singing and playing. What album it was from. When the group or artist would be coming to a venue near you. Whether it was a brand new song or something you missed a decade ago. Why you should listen to other songs by this artist. Who else he or she may have recorded with. Who wrote the dang song. Who that was doing that neat guitar riff in the bridge."

Oh... the deejays. They're why I quit listening to radio to start with! They step on every song, which really irritates me, to scream at me about whatever they're pushing, which irritates me even more. XM Radio at first offered escape from that, now it's about as bad and I have cancelled. And how did "commercial free" come to mean a blaring advertisement every 30 seconds for the very radio station I am already listening to? I'm no advertising pro, but shouldn't they be advertising to people who aren't already listening to them? Do they think we're so stupid we don't know what station we're listening to?
/rant

Don Keith N4KC said...

"They step on every song, which really irritates me, to scream at me about whatever they're pushing, which irritates me even more."

Ed, I guess I'm prejudiced since I was one of those guys screaming at you for a couple of decades. But what I have found is people did not like "irritating" deejays, bad ones. And many now miss those who did it the right way, who let the music carry the show then added to the experience skillfully.

All that self-promotion between the songs is not for listeners. It is for listeners who are keeping an Arbitron diary, theoretically writing down which stations they listen to. Those blaring ads for the station are designed to make those diarykeepers write down their call letters, even if they have tuned off to someone else or turned the radio off completely, just because they remember them.

If you knew how much of what a radio station puts on the air is only for the benefit of 400 or 500 diarykeepers (at any given time) in a town, you would be shocked.

Thanks for posting, and 73.

Don Keith N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
www.facebook.com/donkeith