FM Radio is dead ....R.I.P

Has internet radio and streaming services like Rhapsody, Pandora, Spotify and MOG killed FM radio? Does FM radio via tuner and HD radio have a future in home audio?
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My local FM station just went HD. I have HD capable tuners. But I fear that FM's days in this country are numbered. I am buying my type of gear, media and music while I can. Like stocking up for Nuclear Winter.
Internet streaming has killed FM for me.
I no longer listen to FM Radio because of poor FM reception in my area. To be honest, the Internet radio station selection is much better than FM. I cannot receive my favorite FM radio station so I select it on the Internet for listening. The good news is every station I wanted to hear on FM that had FM reception problems, I was able to select on the Internet.

The Internet radio station selection is excellent using my Magnum Dynalab 807t Media Internet Tuner. I am running my MD807t balanced into my Ayre AX-7e Integrated amplifier. The sound quality is very good and it is easy to listen to. My 807t is wired to my router via the Ethernet over power connections (the tuner also supports Wi-Fi connection). I have had no problems using my power lines.
question for you guys: what do you listen to on streaming internet radio?
I've several apps on my iPhone for internet radion such as Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Radio Paradise & Jazz Radio.
In Pandora, I have several "radios" such as Coleman Hawkins Radio, Gene Harris Radio, Count Basie Radio, etc, etc. Each time I play any of these "radios" it starts off with the artist I like such as those named above but after 2-3 tracks Pandora in its infinite judgement chooses tracks that are LIKE Coleman Hawkins/Gene Harris/Count Basie but are NOT exactly the artists of my specific choice. The music is really not what I like/want to hear & I get pissed off & turn off Pandora!
With TuneIn Radio, I have many channels - Jazz FM91, WHRB Boston, WCRB, WVTF to name a few. In these cases, the channels are playing whatever program they have going on when I tune-in. I don't always like what they are playing & end up switching channel-channel & get bored &/or fed up trying to find a channel where I like track-after-track.
In the end, I find that the best alternative is to listen to my own music - spin CDs or stream off my iPod.
Am I doing something wrong in the way I select internet streaming radio channels?

It seems to me that you guys do not have these same issues that I seem to have? It looks like you guys can find internet streaming channels that you can listen to for hours & enjoy what you are hearing. If so, can you please share with me/us these wonderful music channels you are listening to with such dedication? Thanks.

Obviously there are as many FM stations as ever if not more, so no, FM ain't dead.

Definitely losing ground to the internet rapidly though for home audio. It'll never be what it used to be for home audio again most likely.

I could see a day where broadcast radio as it exists to day no longer exists and all content, save that needed for local emergency purposes in the event of an internet outage, is delivered via internet for cost reasons.
Seems like it should go just due to its terrible formating. I have been so sick of the same Boston, AC/DC replay on KLOS here in LA I would rather have dead air. Give me Radio Paradise and others like it and Iam happy as a clam. Occasionally I'll turn on the Yamaha tuner just to see the lights. HD or not, its "the SOS for 35 years" playlist that killed it for me.

You need to subscribe to Rhapsody music service. Ten bucks a month. They have over 100 Coleman Hawkins albums. You can create custom playlists.
In Pandora, I have several "radios" such as Coleman Hawkins Radio, Gene Harris Radio, Count Basie Radio, etc, etc. Each time I play any of these "radios" it starts off with the artist I like such as those named above but after 2-3 tracks Pandora in its infinite judgement chooses tracks that are LIKE Coleman Hawkins/Gene Harris/Count Basie but are NOT exactly the artists of my specific choice. The music is really not what I like/want to hear & I get pissed off & turn off Pandora!

Well, this is exactly the point of Pandora, i.e. to play similar artists. If you only want listen to specific artists then Pandora is not for you. I love Pandora for exactly the reason that you don't like it, because it introduces me to new artists and music.

As Mitch4t suggest, you should consider either Rhapsody or MOG.
FM dead? Maybe, kinda, sorta.

I've always enjoyed FM and the tuners to play it on. I have a "cake and eat it" situation I've been doing for years now.

Started out many years ago with a Delphi Myfi XM2go Radio. It had a built FM transmitter. I selected a vacant freq in my area and had it broadcasting the XM around the house to my various tuners. Now, in addition to my local Jazz,Oldie and Classical stations, I now had XM playing on my Marantz 10b.

Few years later I bought a nice dedicated FM Transmitter (around $300). Current usage is an iPod Touch sitting on a dock streaming the digital to a nice DAC that outputs into the FMT.

Bombaywalla, on Pandora, do you use the "thumbs up/down" feature? The more you use it the better the station becomes. It's what I'm listening to as I type.
I basically only listen to one FM station, Chicago's WFMT. It is a classical music station. Besides the music, they have ads for local events, concerts , etc. I met my wife thru one of their events, I personally have known one of the personalities for many years, and I would really miss it.
WFMT streams in 320 bps, and I also get excellent FM reception. They sound a little different, but they are both excellent and I have no clear preference. It is nice to have the FM option when the Internet provider is having it's occasional glitz. And thre is no Internet option in the car.
Streaming radio certainly provides a much greater selection, sometimes comes with additional costs, sometimes comes with additional complexity, sometimes comes with less complexity, sometimes comes with better sound due to reception issues in some areas, sometimes comes with degraded sound due to low rez compression. Good used FM tuners are very inexpensive now. For some, it might be worthwhile to still have an old FM tuner, even if one has streaming radio too. For example in some areas, one can get uncompressed very good sounding outstanding weekly opera broadcasts via FM that might be better than the same compressed low rez broadcast via the Internet. For those who appreciates such things, and can receive good reception of such broadcasts, a few hundred bucks (already?) spent on a good used tuner, interconnects and an antenna is well worth it over the course the years that they've typically been available.
not even close to being dead for me,

I listen to my local college radio station on my vintage tuner all the time and it sounds terrific
Well, this is exactly the point of Pandora, i.e. to play similar artists. If you only want listen to specific artists then Pandora is not for you. I love Pandora for exactly the reason that you don't like it, because it introduces me to new artists and music.

Cruz, you nailed it. Pandora has introduced me to sooo much new music and new artists. I love Pandora.
Maybe not dead but definitely not in the best of health. I would imagine selling advertising is one tough job.
At what point do you think FM radio will be replaced by internet in cars? I imagine that is a long way off. I wonder how much more energy is required for all the data centers required to send each individual listener their own personal music stream, rather than the collective streams of FM radio.
A while back I was getting ready to pull the trigger on an older, highly rated tuner, a Philips AH673 or something of that caliber, and instead, got a Centrance DACmini and have been streaming ever since. It would be nice to use my old NAD 4300 (another great tuner-despite its lowly looks) but I don't have enough inputs right now. I really don't miss FM all that much any more.
OK, thanx for the feedback. I've learnt a few things here -
* Pandora's raison d'etre is to play music LIKE the artist of your choice.
* subscribe to Rhapsody Music service
* use the thumbs up/down feature in Pandora. No, Onemug, I was not using this feature.
I use an old tape source switching box so I have enough inputs to hook up my old Carver Tx11b to my 2nd system. It got demoted to my second system in that it was not getting used much ever since I added internet radio and music server to my rigs. Now in the heavily used family room, it gets occasional usage but mostly for news and talk radio stations. Once in a blue moon for music.

Most good sounding internet radio stations via Squeezebox Touch blow away most FM stations in regards to sound quality in my rig. Internet radio can be quite top notch sounding when done well. There are also a lot of bad sounding internet radio stations.

All in all, internet radio these days is a quantum leap above FM at least in most markets I would say in regards both to variety of music and sound quality,
I can select Internet radio stations from anywhere in the world and the sound quality is very good. Internet stations can be selected by country or music type (classical, blues, jazz, new ages, etc).

My Internet media tuner (MD807t) allows me to create and organize my favorite list of stations via an Internet Radio Portal website. This feature allows me to have a full list of the stations I listen to regularly on one page instead of having to search each time. Some stations come in sounding better than other stations. I try to select Internet stations that are using 128k or higher. Stations using lower numbers (such as 48k, 64k, etc) do not sound as good.

As per Magnum Dynalab instructions, I setup the Frontier Silicon radio portal for this capability. It is free and very easy to use. The portal provides an excellent search capability to help you identify the Internet stations you want to listen to. You build your list on the computer and select the stations you want to listen to on your Internet tuner. This is an excellent feature and makes the Internet radio selection process much easier. New stations can be easily added or deleted using the Frontier Silicon radio portal. See www.wifiradio-frontier

Linn Classical has an Internet station I like very much.
Hgeifman, does your Magnum Dynalab Internet Tuner play services like Rhapsody and Pandora?
Mitch4t: My Magnum Dynalab MD807t can access the following:

1) Rhapsody should be available on my MD807t and I am waiting for a response from Magnum Dynalab to confirm this and to explain how. I will post when they respond.

2) Magnum Dynalab reports that Pandora service is not available. They decided not to support Pandora service since it is available in North America only and they wanted service for all countries.

3) Support for Calm Radio is available at

Calm Radio offers free access to 60+ radio channels with commercials. They also offer paid subscription to 70+ channels with no commercials. Their free channels broadcast anywhere from 64K to 128K. Their paid subscriptions offer three bit rates in their custom URLs. 64k, 128K and 192K. I am using their free service and am considering a paid subscription.

4) Magnum Dynalab reports that Sirius/XM Service is available on my 807t tuner. You need to get the URL from Sirius and add it to the 807t for accessing. I am not using Sirius because I do not like their sound quality.
FM = free music. Long live free music.
Tbromgard: All of the Internet stations I listen to today are free. Yes, the stations I mentioned above require a paid subscription BUT it is not required or needed.

I have access to thousands of FREE stations on the Internet including FM stations. In my case, my FM reception in my area is horrible so I listen to KDFC (San Francisco) and WFMT (Chicago classical referenced above) on the Internet for free. I have been able to listen to every single FM station I wanted using my Internet tuner. The sound quality is excellent and I have no reception problems.

I think the question is can you receive the FM stations to listen to on FM. If you cannot, Internet radio is an excellent choice at no cost (except for the hardware).

The main advantage of using Internet radio is that if someone mentions a great station in Chicago (like Richardfinegold did above), I can immediately tune it in and listen. I am also listening to Internet stations from Europe and Asia at no charge. Another advantage is that Internet radio allows you to select stations by Country or music type (Classical, jazz, blues, etc).
Hgeifman, thanks for the scoop on the MD807t tuner. Have you tried any other type of streaming device before you bought the 807t? If so, how did it stack up to the 807t? I have never heard of any other high-end internet radio tuner other than the ones Magnum Dynalab makes. I understand that Audio Research is coming out with a $15k DAC that has a built-in internet radio tuner, it's called the Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge. It's supposed to come out in the second quarter of this year.
Mitch4t: The Magnum Dynalab 807t was the only Internet device I looked at. I have owned their equipment before so it was an easy decision.

My 807t also allows you to locally connect your music collections in a variety of formats (including AACs, Real, MP3s, FLAC and WMA). This is done by a USB Flash drive or a hard drive. I have never tried this but I hope to soon.

I am not familiar with the Audio Research DAC with the built in Internet radio tuner.
Mitch4t: Magnum Dynalab reports that Rhapsody is not available in Canada or most other parts of the world. This means they cannot test it out.

They did recommend you install Rhapsody on your computer and stream from your computer to the MD 807t . Your have to setup your computer to share and direct the MD807t to your computer (my music tab). It should work fine. I am not going to test this because I am not interested in Rhapsody (or Pandora).
Perhaps I am just behind the times, but FM radio still has a place in all my systems. I don't always have the computer available for use in the various systems at all times. I do appreciate HD radio over analog off air and always nice to listen to the local fare.
No it's absolutely not dead to me, I listen to FM Jazz 91.1 on my modified MR-78 tuner all the time.

The sound quality is absolutely stunning and I find my self exposed to a endless variety of music which to me is what it's all about. :-)
Thread name should be AM radio RIP. :P
AM radio died 35 years ago. You've got guys here on the 'Gon that are too young to have even heard an AM radio. AM radio never had a place in home audio.
Mitch4t, I beg to differ:
I listen to FM in Metro NYC every day: WFUV(90.7)(folk rock, pop, listener supported); WNYC (105.9) (classical, listener supoorted) and 93.9 (WNYC - news, culture, classical and standards music, listener supported). So to me FM radio is very much alive, vibrant and entertaining -- and with good SQ if one has a good tuner. Some of these stations also have HD facilities.

AM radio? Really, you can't be serious.

Unsound, you may beg to differ, but AM radio is a non-factor in home audio. The manufacturers of the device that you posted have a dead-end product, they'll be lucky if they sell a dozen of them. There is nothing but talk-radio on AM radio.
Mitch4t, that was an older product, they sold out the entire run in short time. There were other fine tuners like the Carver TX-11b that had superior AM too. There was a time, when a a few stations did broadcast high quality AM. I was responding to your post that suggested "AM never had a place in home audio."
I listen to FM radio every day. Sometimes in the kitchen, always in the car, and rarely music. I listen to mostly my local public radio station (NPR included) because they have great talk and music shows. I'd be lost without it, because I get to hear interesting stories and I also here new music on shows like Mountain Stage, World Cup Cafe etc.
just a quick update: as omemug suggested, I used the thumbs up/down feature in Pandora & just like he wrote, the music station I was listening to became gradually better & better. I did actually enjoy listening to Pandora's music stream for a change.... :-)
Glad it's working for you.

The "thump up/down" is the key to making a station. I remember when I first started with Pandora, music was going fine then a WTF? song would come on...instant thumb down. I also got more judicious about using the thumb up.

Again, the more you use that feature, the better your station becomes. Enjoy.
I have been spoiled by WFMT in Chicago. It is the finest radio station in the country, in its 60th year now. I purchased a Magnum Dynalab 106 Triode specifically to listen to this station. When they broadcast live performances, as they do several times a week, the sound can be astonishingly realistic. More importantly, WFMT is a very human place, with lively and knowledgeable program hosts, and a constant parade of musical luminaries stopping by to chat. It has a genuine sense of community, something the internet cannot match.

By contrast, internet stations and streaming services feel soulless and empty, like listening to a robot free-associate, like flipping through a wall-paper sample book. Sure, you can tailor your Pandora feed to the n-th degree, but in the end, you are narrowing your horizons and eliminating any chance of surprise. Pandora is the opposite of good radio.
We listen to NPR probably nine hours daily. There is no other station that I would listen to, although when in NM we have a choice of two NPR stations.

Do I consider this quality audio like in the past when I owned a Marantz 10B, of course not. Why do I listen to it. It has quality news coverage of national and international news and several classic and jazz programs give me great pleasure.

Would I miss it? Of course, as I always find as we travel across the cultural wasteland of western Texas.

I still own a very good FM tuner but have not used it in probably 20 years. Why do I keep it? It has no value.
Depends where one lives...I am blessed with jazz,classical,community radio stations...I use a vintage 70s receiver...5 gang tuner...excellent audio...internet radio is all over the place in regards to bitrate/quality...I haven't been that impressed...selection is good...kinda makes up for it...for what its 40, sports, and talk ready seems to be fairly steady....but radio is homogenized now...with companies like clearchannel,etc taking over most major in a sense...independent fm radio from the glory days...70s for most of us dead
Quietcity, I have found quite the opposite of your opinion of Pandora. I find I listen to much more music now than I had ever listened to via FM radio, cd, turntable and reel to reel. My listening horizon has broadened light years beyond what any FM station can provide. Besides, if I want to listen to an FM station, they now broadcast on the web anyway. For me Pandora is where it's at.

Different strokes for different strokes.
Quietcity +1. I also use the MD 106T, Signal Sleuth & ST2. I live in the Metro NYC area and Listen to WQXR and WBGO, tho, many others to choose from. I cant imagine going to computer for a long time, if ever.
Mitch4t, you may be right about the variety that Pandora can offer, and I can see how Pandora helps you discover new music. But my initial point is that a good local radio station can offer something that the internet cannot, and that is a sense of community.

It may be my particular strangeness that I can only listen to an internet stream for so long before I feel kind of disconnected and disoriented. It is the same sensation I get after playing a video game for too long.

Music has always been a very social thing for me, whether I am listening to it or playing it myself. I guess I just like knowing where my music is coming from, who is choosing it, which ensemble and conductor recorded it, when it was recorded and so on. I must be getting old.....
FM Radio is very popular in NY.
Alot of these FM stations are getting great ratings.
As long as FM Radio is free its going to be popular.
Doug99, do you mean throughout the state or just in NYC? I lived for several years in Stony Brook. I had good tuners at the time such as the Marantz 10B which was not a champ at receiving NYC radio. It was very convenient to have FM. Even today in Texas I listen to FM but only NPR is any good both in content and fidelity. Each summer I go to NM's mountains and have to cross the wastelands of central and western Texas. Once I am there I again can get NPR and only listen to that. If NPR broadcasts jazz, I listen to that and if they broadcast classical, I listen to that.
xm (and to a lesser extent pandora) completely ruined fm for me--except for a couple of hard-to-get, sporadically good college stations, fm is a complete abyss in my town. that said, the audio quality of xm has always disappointed--it's not nearly as good as advertised--and on the rare occssions i do hear fm i'm surprised at how much better it sounds.
Even though I have a high quality CD player and turntable, probably 80% of my listening is to FM radio- exclusively to the two local NPR stations,which have not only an compelling section of classical, jazz, folk, contemporary, classic rock and alternative music but also broadcast in fidelity that is deserving of a primary musical source. I have a highly regarded tuner (well maybe not *that* highly regarded in the fmtunerinfo site) that has been somewhat modified and is fed by a 17 element FM antenna.

Here for example is a sample, fed directly into an external CD-recorder (no preamp in the path). Listen to it on your main systems-although it sounds perfectly fine on desktop speakers it is quite stunning on my main rig-as it should be on yours. The people who I have played this for who are unaware of its provenance, look in disbelief when the announcers voice enters after the track ends. Judge for yourselves.

FM Tuner sample
Agreed Rontoolsie. BUT, if you don't have that kind of FM stations that come in that well then you are lost in FM land. It's the same as when you can get high definition tv over the air. It's fantastic but the rub is that you sure don't get much!

To me it is the amazing choice offered over internet radio that seals the deal in my area. When I can get all the BBC stations, Classic FM from Britain, contemporary music from Brazil, amazing jazz from Paris, etc, etc, etc. quite frankly I don't have near enough time to listen to all of it. I LOVE the way I can listen anywhere in the world now.