Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DVR for AM-FM? Gee!

Radio is the most ephemeral of all media.  Don't look up the word.  It just means it's here right now and then it's gone forever.  If someone says something especially pithy, makes you laugh, elucidates...oops!  Unless you had a tape recorder rolling, it's gone.  Oh, some stations and shows offer podcasts, but that's their opinion of what you found worth hearing again or sharing with friends.

Well, now along comes DAR.FM, a service that allows you to record your favorites and listen to them anytime, anywhere.  "Anywhere" assumes you have a computer, smartphone, or other device that will allow you to access the Internet, of course.  And the part about you being able to easily share whatever it is with your buddies is still in development.  But still, this DVR-like service for radio has some real possibilities.

HERE is an interesting interview with DAR.FM's founder, Michael Robertson.  If you don't have time to view the entire thing, skip to about the last six-and-a-half minutes.  There Michael has some interesting thoughts about how people expect to consume media content and how your old jalopy fits into that equation.

Rapid technological change.  You ain't see nothin' yet!

But the one thing that will drive it--beyond smartphones, apps, the Internet, WIFI, and all that other geek stuff is...wait for it...CONTENT.  You still have to have something on the air that is compelling enough that someone will want to record it, play it back, share it, and cherish it.  I agree with Robertson that some of that exists now.  But when people can truly access content from a wide range of geographies, regardless the time of day it aired or was made available, then those who produce something worthwhile will be royally rewarded.  As now with the wide range of TV content required to fill all those channels 24/7, there will be a tremendous hunger for audio magic.

And those who think compelling content is streaming the same tired old songs one after the other will fade away like that daytime AM radio station when the sun goes down.

Don Keith N4KC

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