Analog FM died years ago. All they're now doing is throwing the body in the hole, and burying it with dirt!
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fm is not dead, anymore than vinyl is. I listen to the radio often, and more and more often. Every city I've ever been has a local jazz station, and they are all good.
When I can't decide what to play, The music is on the airwaves. Sometimes it's nice to let someone play stuff for me, and hear what is out there instead of in here. Radio is a good source for discovering new music as well. And, there is a lot of stations out there, both popular and not so popular. And, it's free.
A good tuner helps. Try putting a fraction of the effort into a tuner that you do into your other source components, and be rewarded, if you are so inclined. I can't help but notice that tuners are the least expensive of any source component, from circuit city to the high end to evan state-of-the-art. (I wonder what percentage of audiophile-types have a good tuner?).
Sony owns the biggest piece of the market, not just cd's and cd players, they own a major picture studio, a record company, and that is not an accident. Sony recognizes that if you own hardware AND software, then you can corner your own market and create your own products.
Sony is currently working on digital radio. I heard an ad, an 'informertial' on AM radio and they came right out and claimed that the goal was to make all radio digital.
this is another consumer outrage: corporate greed running rampant over the taxpayer-owners of the public frequency spectrum. They are all in the pockets of the legislature, trying to profit further at our expense. There is still *some* good radio available out there, but apparently it's not gonna last for long. Wish I'd known this before plunking down the $2500 for my new tuner. The official comment period is over but I'm complaining anyway - have everything to loose & nothing to gain from this corporate fleeze.
I rather agree with you on this topic. I'm the owner of a video editing and media duplication company; and virtually all the trade magazines I receive have coverage of the sell-out of the airwaves by Washington. Most of the TV networks have resigned from the National Association of Broadcasters because they all want to have a larger slice of the the TV market. (The current 35% market share does not seem to be enough for these corporate piggies!) As for the radio spectrum; many of the major markets have already been sold off to Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting. Not only do both of these operations play the same "Top 40" (And what focus group decided that?) crap in every market, they compress the audio they broadcast.
If you are fortunate enough to live somewhere that has a local PBS station, local college radio station, or other independent radio station; give them a listen. They are a dying breed if Powell and the schmucks at the FCC have their way. I personally think it's time the American public woke up enough to realize the airwaves THEY OWN - are being sold off by a bunch of greedy, campaign contribution-seeking jerks in Washington. Enough already!
Hey Basement...believe it or not, I live in Chicago and there is no local FM jazz station...none. Some of the PBS and college stations play jazz at night or weekends, but that's it.
I agree with Fatparrot...FM died here year's ago. I bet 90% of our stations are owned by four companies, and I bet 50-70% are owned by two. With the exception of a few college stations in their more tolerable hours, I don't bother listening to the radio for music and haven't for years. I find my music elsewhere.
A little off topic, but related. Recent rulings have also seriously limited internet based radio stations. Web broadcaster are now required to pay royalties on the music they stream (retroactive to 4 years ago!). The royalty rate is higher than that charged to traditional airwave broadcasters. Additionally, webcasters are now saddled with cumbersome record keeping requirements. The net effect is to eliminate small to medium sized webcasters.
All the discounters of FM in the Chicago to Madison, Wi area turn on WORT-FM 89.9 (Madison, WI) almost anytime for the most diverse programming and exchange of ideas anywhere in the midwest and most other places for that matter. (see www.wort-fm.org and also their web links http://www.wort-fm.org/links.shtml ).
WORT has Tons and tons of Jazz, Monday through Thursday afternoons and midnight to 6am Friday night, 20s - 40s Jazz Saturday morning, Oldies Rock, International Music, Progressive, Techno etc. Then there is the incredible international, national, and local talk programming. Don't count FM out till you here what a true COMMUNITY RADIO CAN DO!
PS: Forgot to mention their WORT's Schedule, http://www.wort-fm.org/schedule/schedule.htm
Their schedule speaks volumes. Compare that to the corporate owned sonic wallpaper music and news reporting most american's numb themselves to complacency with.
WORT is exciting not only for its content but for the fact they consistently win Best of Madison Radio Stations year after year with DJ's that don't get paid a dime for their volunteer efforts (heck, the guy that does the midnight to 6am Jazz show drives in 75 miles from Milwaukee to do the show after he gets off his paying job, you can talk to him between songs and go over jazz etc) but have the passion in their hearts and deep knowledge of their respective music venues. Many play in local clubs. Clear Channel Communications is really totally pissed off at WORT's success. I bet there are more places than Madison with thinking and active people.
One more PS:
I made several calls about the Analog to Digital transition and the best guesses are that Analog will be around till at least 2020 even if Digital Monopolies are successful. There would likely be a time when both are broadcast but with hundreds of millions of car radios still in analog out there it will be a longer time to phase out radio than it is likely to take to phase out TV.
Isn't it great that government is there to tell us what we what through their corporate proxy: Lower quality audio, compressed signals with the same crap all over the dial with about the only difference is the slight change in timing of commercials.
Noel, i recently went on a tour of WFMT here in Chicago. Audio critic, program director and DJ Rich Warren was the tour guide. If i can remember correctly, analogue broadcasting is pretty much GUARANTEED to be dead within a few short years. From what he was saying, stations have been given a time frame as to when they must be completely digital and it was not that far off. I can't remember specifics, but i know that it was WAY sooner than what i'd like to see. Sean
Hey, Nanderson- Does WIBA still exist? They used to do some pretty wild sets of music 20 to 30 years ago- everything from Ella to Talking Heads. I went to UW-W and had the tuner pegged to that station just about full time. If you are a REAL old-timer, you'll remember the station being called "RFM" for Radio Free Madison. Very cool.
I've lived in San Antonio since then, home of one of Clear Channel's principals, Red McCombs. So you know that there is basically a radio wasteland here, with the exception of PBS and a couple of the college stations and even those are spotty, at best. (Hey, what'd you expect from a town that finally convinced the populace to vote for flouridating the water just last year?) Austin has a handful of great stations with KGSR leading the way, but we're just out of reach.
Totally agree the FCC is complete f*&!@%g joke. It's like the fox guarding the henhouse, and the Bush administration, predictably enough, is encouraging more of the same, proposing to further relax ownership limitations of broadcasters, to the detriment of scarce public resources. NPR is getting worse, too. My hometown of Washington, DC, the seat of the government that's allowing this 'malling' of our airwaves, no longer has any independent college stations on the air - they can no longer compete for the licenses. I think our only hope is an eventual complete conversion to a digital system that allows for hundreds of stations all across the country to be received in any area, otherwise the diversity of content is just about gone forever. In fact, once that happens, maybe truly local programming can retake the FM band.
WIBA does still exist but is nothing even close to what it use to be. Just another clone. Very sad, The Isthmus (a very successful free paper, http://www.thedailypage.com/ ) has done a stories on WIBA and what it use to be. Many contributers include stories from the old DJs who are just sickened by it all.
Regarding Digital, according to a top person I talked to at Fanfare (the FM Tuner company), digital is not really the issue at all. It is about taking complete control over what can be broadcast. It seems IBOC wants to control every detail of FM medium, total domination (something that can not be completely done while FM remains analog). Seriously, it is beginning to look like the days of the SS Troups and Orwells 1984. I for one, will not take this lying down. And by Clear Channel's failure in Madison, despite pouring millions into advertising and sponsorship of some local events, we can whip the Mindless Vanilla Programming !
If you think Bush and Ashcroft move fast and unilaterally read this about IBOC's Digital Audio Broadcasting:
Remember in the 1920s and 30s when the government collaborated with General Motors in dismantling our mass transit system, literally at night pulling up rails.
"If you control what you know you control what can be."
Alas, my friends, I believe that the motivation behind all this is even more diabolical than you can imagine. When you have a lot of time -- and I mean a LOT of time -- go to Goggle and type in the words BILDERBERG ORGANIZATION. Read as much as you can and follow as many links as you can until you just can't stand it anymore. You will then begin to get an inkling of what's really going on here: total control of media content by the government. I firmly believe that the reason the government is so hell-bent on destroying competition in the media is to save themselves the trouble of having quite so many media conglomerates to keep an eye on, intimidate, and use as a means of telling you what THEY want you to think. In the modern world, your government doesn't want a population of nearly three million educated free thinkers. Their purpose now is to keep your brain numb while they take control of everything on a global scale. The way you THINK the world works is not REALLY how the world is run. If I sound like a raving, paranoid lunatic, take my suggestion and read up on the Bilderberg group. My money says that virtually none of you have ever even heard of them.
Dougholdco: We can all toss around the names of various groups like the Bilderberger's, Illuminati, Kabalist's, Mason's, etc... and compare notes. The bottom line is that there are a LOT of things going on that 97% of the population is unaware of. Secrecy is what these organizations count on to get things done. The majority of media holdings in America are controlled by a very select group of individuals and they are not about to expose themselves before they can deal with an uprising. The media moguls believe that we are cattle to be herded and they are doing just that with most everyone's consent. Most people believe what they are told and don't have enough sense to know that they are being manipulated i.e. like lambs being led to the slaughter. The "groups" or "organizations" that do teach the truth are made to look like lunatic extremists to scare others away from finding out what the "real deal" is....
Read the book of Revelation and forget about all of the other "theories". Try to remember that not all seeds that are planted will take root, but we should still keep "sowing" when and while we can... Sean
Well guys, I can't say I agree with your more apocolyptic or conspiratorial constuctions of the situation, though our assessments concerning the general direction of eventual outcomes we may be headed toward, might not be too dissimilar. But I think the impetus for and genesis of the predicament can be easily enough accounted for by the natural tendencies of capitalism and marketing in a media age, and the ongoing breakdown of local variation as our crowded, connected, and mobile modern society increasingly loses - for better and for worse - a lot of the old barriers supporting regionalistic and individualistic qualities that are often beneficial to artistic originality and free expression. The profit motive has been with us from time immemorial; its just the unintended consequences of escalating technology that make possible both the exponential expansion and the ironic subjugation of our artistic output as just so much product, leading to the untenable position of our not receiving the essential sustenance we all crave from the arts - such as (but hardly limited to) music - in the first place. Mind control is unfortunately not just what you or I let it be, it's what we all let it be, and the only antidotes are freedom and knowledge combined with will and effort.
Sean and Zaikesman, your points are well taken. Sean, you in particular, I feel, have hit the nail on the head. For me, globalization necessarily means fewer -- not greater -- choices. Those who are in control put together bigger and bigger deals that affect more and more of us commoners, without our knowledge, desire or consent. As far as the media are concerned, go back and read about the annual Bilderberg meetings and take note of the media moguls who were in attendance. The power of the members of the financial community who are invited is also worth noting. If you annually bring together, in total secrecy, the world's most powerful politicians, the titans of the media, and those charged with controlling the money supply in various parts of the world, chances are they're not there to debate which teams will go to the Superbowl or World Cup -- or are they? Technology is responsible for our shrinking world, from electronic media to machines that can mass-produce goods on a mind-boggling scale to transportation systems that deliver those goods and those who sell them to the other side of the globe in hours instead of weeks. But everything has its price. It's been said that the technology that was to have freed us has enslaved us instead. Nothing could be more prophetic! The cellphone you carry everywhere makes it possible to determine your whereabouts within 150 feet (Communications Act of 1996, signed by Bill Clinton). It was for your own good, of course, in case you're ever missing in a snowstorm. (No need to tattoo a barcode on everyone. That's too obvious. We'll just make sure they all get a cellphone.) Tracking devices like OnStar and Lojak can determine where your car is. It's for your own good, of course, in case it's stolen (or not). Satellites can read your license plate, while also determining how much money you're carrying, thanks to our redesigned currency with that little strip inside. It's for your own good, of course, to deter counterfeiters. When the U.N. troops march down your street to confiscate your guns and your money, the final piece of the puzzle will be in place. It's a chess game, folks, and we're just a few moves away from checkmate. We pawns were sacrificed long ago. Perhaps the entire planet is being sold to some extraterrestrial high bidder. That would certainly explain why the bidders keep coming here to see how things are going, and it probably beats waiting until we all blow ourselves up. Selling it before any more rot sets in will at least leave the place more salvageable, and those individuals who appear to be worth saving will get beamed aboard. I've got it... let's call it "The Rapture." Things have gotten totally out of hand since those clones Adam and Eve crashed here. By the time they were found they had populated the place with countless inbred defectives. Let's call it "Original Sin." Kill them all, or wait a few thousand years and see what happens? That should be worth a few laughs. Just be ready to pull the plug if it looks like they're getting close to being able to escape and screw up some other planet. We'll call it "The Apocalypse."
Make light of it if you will, but the fact is, it doesn't really matter who you vote for. The die is already cast. That's my point. Sorry you missed it. You may already be suffering from Stepford Citizen's Syndrome. I highly recommend following this link:
Doug, now you're mixing "X Files" with the Bible. May not be too far off though : )
The thing that i find "funny" about conversations like this is that most people think that the person doing the talking is a "conspiracy nut" or they simply don't want to hear / talk about such things. The average citizen is oblivious to what is going on around them and that is how they like it. Much like the ostrich that hides their head in the ground, the average consumer spends hour upon hour diluting their viewpoint of reality by watching the mindless propaganda ( pronounced pro-pagan- DUH !!! ) on their "one eyed monster". While i have no pity for those that shall willingly enslave themselves to the powers that be, i pity those that will be caught up in the battle to do "right". Sean
Sean, you are obviously a very intelligent man. Here's my point: From the Bible to Egyptian hieroglyphics, human history is rife with references to extraterrestrials. When "Ezekiel Saw De Wheel," what do you suppose that big wheel up in the sky was? Was it really there at all, or had the poor old guy simply eaten the wrong kind of mushrooms? I think most people are afraid to consider the possibility that the accounts of many events recorded in the Bible have been convoluted over time. They've been brainwashed/browbeaten into thinking that if they question what's written in the Bible, they'll be punished -- if not now, then most certainly after they die. What could be a more perfect vehicle for making people "behave?" "Do what this book says or you'll most certainly be punished -- and by the most powerful force in the universe, I might add." Now THAT'S control! For those lacking the brainpower or imagination to actually THINK, here's a convenient little pre-packaged belief system that will explain everything so you don't have to worry about it. Just buy into all of this and everything will be just fine. I'm sure that by now, many who read this are already recoiling in horror, shaking their heads in disbelief at the depth of my blasphemy, or praying for my lost soul because I'm obviously an atheist. Nothing could be further from the truth. I certainly believe in a devine power. "The Force," if you will. My problem with the Bible is that too many HUMANS had their hand in it. For one thing, the meanings of words change over time. Scribes working long hours making copies by candlelight make mistakes. They take shortcuts to save time, abbreviating Grandeus Optimus Dei into "G. O. D.," then into the acronym "GOD." Finally, we drop all but the initial capital letter to make the proper name "God." It happens all the time. Everyone says "NASA." Everyone says "laser." Everyone says "Epcot." See? Only the first letter is now capitalized; it's a proper name. Worst of all, human beings, both well-intentioned and otherwise, have put the spin they want on Biblical text, so you'll be sure to get the point. Their point. Finally, we translate The Good Book into countless languages, compounding the errors. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure that I'm a better person for having been taken to Sunday school and church as a kid. But now that I'm an adult, I think for myself, and I think this Book has limitations.