I grew up with radio. It's part of my DNA. From AM top forty in the 1950's through progressive rock FM in the 70's and 80's, radio has always been there to introduce me to new types of music and new artists. Throw in also that I live in the NYC listening area which is still blessed with great programming from college and NPR stations and program hosts who are knowledgable about the music they play and it all adds up to intelligent, satisfying listening.
Granted, today the radio experience has been dumbed down by bland "one size fits all" corporate radio by the likes of iHeart and others and many radio markets have nothing but this mind deadening junk. Radio isn't as important as it used to be but if you're in the right area then take advantage of what it has to offer,
I have an excellent NPR station locally, and a McIntosh MR-74 modified by Don Scott and it sounds great...
To listen to new music or news(NPR)?
Essentially what the others have posted. I would like to hear more of the latest music. I really haven't tried streaming new talent, I usually give in to my old favorites , but on occasion they sneak something in. I have become addicted to radio news and NPR
I live in Atlanta and we used to have a really great selection on the FM dial. Unfortunately, consolidation and the purchase of the best college station to be converted to a 3rd NPR format has destroyed the former diversity. I used to enjoy getting turned onto new music via the radio and it just doesn't happen anymore. Atlanta college Clark University has a great jazz station, but for the most part, Atlanta FM has digressed to the canned national format with incessant commercials, DJ babbling, and non- memorable computer pitch corrected drivel. It is hard to even find rock and roll anymore. Consequently, I end up listening to news or sports radio. I miss the serendipity of hearing your favorite song on the way to school or work. I guess those were the good old days.
Analog noise and distortion maybe. Or to be able to hear the commercials.
Wait a minute....
Broadcast radios purpose remains the same ie to serve the local community. What that means is what's changing. Other than local bands and groups perhaps not much unique musically to be had there anymore.
Also I suppose its still fastest and easiest to just turn on a radio if ease and convenience is your goal.
I haven't listened to radio in home in years...and I mean 30 years.
Wish I could find a radio station to enjoy locally. I grew up listening to the hits
on WABC AM out of NYC. Late 60s, listened to WNEW FM a LOT...back when it
was "underground" radio. Later, living near Phila., enjoyed WXPN
(Public Radio out of the University of Pennsylvania). DJ personalities who were
articulate, knowledgeable, excited about the music, and chose great stuff to play
contributed to the listening experience. There were shows I'd tune into regularly
because of this "human" element. It was a fun way to get introduced
to new things.
Yes, I am in the Tri-State area as well and enjoy WBGO and WQXR.
A good outdoor antenna is key.
I spent all my money on cables. I can't afford a new radio.
FM analog sounds alive, digital radio does not
Bojack is right-on.
I did not read the OP's question before responding.
Just two weeks ago I heard an absolutely amazing cut by Freddie Hubbard (recognized him immediately) on WBGO out of Newark, NJ; but didn't recognize the tune nor the alto player. I called WBGO and left a message on dj Bob Porter's voicemail inquiring about the tune. Within an hour and a half he had called back to give me all the info I wanted. Try doing that with a streaming service.
Phil Schaap on WKCR is a national treasure with his incredibly in depth commentary and analysis of historical recordings. Yes, plenty of reasons to listen to FM.
Frog... You waited an hour and 29 minutes too long for that
tune info. On your streaming device, Pandora, Rhapsody,
Spotify and Tidal would've given you the artist's name, album
title and the name of the tune immediately as you were
listening. Google the album name on your smart phone, one
minute later the sax player and the entire lineup, including
the album release date is right in your hand.
Point taken. But, I tend to prefer the old-school way. Tell you what 'though, if you ever listened to Phil Schaap you would probably change your mind.
good thing we can have both..vintage tuners sound great and hold their value...
I would add to what has been said in support of FM that there are reasons classic vintage tube tuners such as the Marantz 10B, the REL Precedent, certain models from H.H. Scott, Fisher, McIntosh, etc., often sell for thousands of dollars. And it is not just so they can sit on a shelf as collectibles.
I think that many audiophiles would be quite surprised at how good the better 1950's and 1960's tube tuners can sound, if in top condition and/or well restored, and if provided a good signal from a good station.
Personally, while I use a Squeezebox to listen to Internet radio (admittedly to transmissions that are bit rate compressed), and I appreciate the ability to tune in a vast number of stations from around the world, when it comes to sonics (as well as collectability, historical significance, and, for want of a better word, coolness) I don't envision ever selling my 1954 REL Precedent.
P.S: I wrote this post before seeing the post by Jl35 just above, with which of course I agree completely.
Frog, I can get Phil Schaap on WKCR right here in LA. The station broadcasts over the web...and it sounds excellent. I could get him if I lived in France. Nearly all FM stations have a web broadcast.
I own a Sansui TU-X1 beast of a tuner, it is in the rare class of top-shelf tuners that Al mentioned above. LA has only one jazz station...and it's not even in LA, it's in Long Beach and reception is spotty. I keep the Sansui tuner more out of fear that I may one day leave LA and find myself in a place with great FM jazz. And like you Al, I listen on my Squeezebox and keep my tuner for the cool factor also.
The question of course assumes everyone has a streaming device, whatever that is ;-). But I don't understand---is there something wrong with listening to music via a tuner?
My brother in law works at a radio station doing everything from sales, news, and yes, playing music. I help keep him employed.
Mitch4t, Frogman interacted with a human, not an electronic device. The human interaction may have less bandwidth, but it can be a deeper connection.
I use an FM transmitter to "broadcast" music throughout my house.
Onhwy61, again, I'm sure Frog appreciated the DJ calling him back and giving him that info. It was totally unnecessary for him to call the DJ at all. WBGO, the radio station that he was listening to, posts the playlist of everything they play...kept in real time. Frog merely had to go their website...immediately and could have gotten the info in minutes. The playlists are searchable 2 months into the past. When I lived in Denver more than 20 years ago, KUVO had this feature. KJAZ here in Long Beach has this feature.
In my view, streaming radio sounds more sterile compared to its sweeter and more musical sounding analogue FM counterpart.
That said, you need to get a nice (probably vintage) FM tuner to hear radio at its best. A lot of the "modern" FM tuners found in most receivers these days are inexpensive thrown-in afterthoughts and don't sound much, if any better than computer streaming radio.
In my area we have some good sounding FM stations of different genres and it's nice to have a good sounding FM tuner around to take advantage of it. I just flip the power switch and I'm up and playing music.
I listen to WGBO at home for a few hours a day, since I do not spend much time in my car. I have found that the best way to discover new music is listening to FM radio. Most of the music services are not very good for discovering new music. Long live FM.
I concur w/ The Duke- radio is part of my dna as well. I love NPR and grew up listening to radio. For those who have college "rado" stations, there is usually great programming to be heard! Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Real people work at Minnesota and Wisconsin NPR and impart real knowledge in general and local classical events in particular.
If you don't listen to classical or jazz I suppose there is no reason to listen to FM.
Why? For a change of pace when I don't feel like selecting from my own library. If I don't like what's on I go to plan B. I also like hearing the local music news on air.
Since I cannot use an antenna where I live (HOA restrictions), I have been listening to various local stations from around the world on my internet tuner. This way I can still listen to my old favorite WQXR, as well as the local and other NPR stations, BBC 3 and many other stations I couldn't hear anywhere. Yeah, it doesn't sound as good as my old Day Sequerra tuner with an outdoor antenna did when I lived in northern NJ, but I get a wealth of music, commentary and other information out of it that I wouldn't hear otherwise. And it's free, too (save for the donations I make to keep my local public radio alive).
Anyone remember when WLS was WLSD? Changed for obvious reasons.
I have not turned to streaming yet.Still like my FM /AM radio.MD FT101A
The best listening experiences I've ever had was on FM radio. School closings on snowy days. The sound quality was such, that you couldn't pull me from the radio with a crowbar. I have yet to duplicate the experience.
I always thought school closing messages sounded better on AM...
Like others have said, I grew up with AM/FM and will always have a tuner. When I tried streaming, I loved it for the incredible variety and wealth of music but still kept the tuner.
It's when I moved my Darwin Silver ICs from my SACD player (to make room for the Darwin Ascension ICs) to my tuner that my appreciation for FM jumped up several rungs as it now sounds really, really good.
All the best,
I kinda listen to FM.
I had to escape the innanity of commercial FM and found refuge at the bottom of the dial with the local commercial free listener supported jazz station, 88.3 KSDS.
All the time when driving - and at home, TWC carries Music Choice channels and one of them is KSDS.
I like the format, the dj's and the programs (lots of variety with straight up jazz, but also blues, big band, latin salsa...)
So, no streaming for me.
I rarely listened to my FM tuner but I have a reason now. In Palm Springs there is an FM kdez that has 80's new wave Friday night. So much good stuff came out of that Era Psychedelic Furs,Inxs,Elvis Costello,Blondie,The Fixx and so many others. I digg it and when I'm in the mood I mix a drink while it's on and relax.
A fascinating article
about how poor rating measurements can effect the availability of music formats on FM. Apparently test tones are being embedded in the FM signal to determine what listeners are actually listening to.
Depending on your market, stations are using hybrid digital-analogue signals in FM mode.I have a vintage tuner that I enjoy at night at times, with all the illumination and bells and whistles. Streaming quality is all over the map with my local stations, so the tuner does come in handy. Anybody into HD radio?
Qdrone...is that Kdes? What time on Fridays(west coast time)?
Phasecorrect, what do you mean when you write, "... stations are using hybrid digital-analogue signals in FM mode?" If we are talking about radio in the US, standard FM audio is analog although, of course, it may have been digitally processed.
If you're talking about iboc "HD" radio, that's purely digital. It's licensed by iBiquity, which says "HD" doesn't stand for high definition, hybrid digital or anything else.
HD radio technology is pretty much a dead-on-arrival technology in the US.
To listen to music/artists you know nothing about and its free. I do not have to have my phone, tablet or other item using up Data.