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The problem with the darn radio.

Discussion in 'Music' started by Dimnussens, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. Dimnussens

    Dimnussens New Member

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    Now, we live in a really hyper-connected world these days. Youtube and Spotify and Soundcloud and TikTok, oh my, there's music and all sorts of great content out there and most of the time it's free or cheap enough that the cost is negligible.

    I grew up on radio, though, even into the time when just about everyone had computers and internet to go with it. The first entertainment appliance I had of my very own was a radio and I promise you flat panel TVs were pretty common by that point. Loved my radio, though. A couple D-cell batteries and I was taken care of. If I couldn't get batteries, I plugged it into the wall. I listened to the weather and the news that way. Seemed like I had the broad strokes even if I lacked the details. I mean, what school-aged kid regularly reads the newspapers? I still got radios, too. I've a lovely old vintage Radio Shack box with a bent antenna that still picks up alright and my actual favorite is one of those storm radios with the crank and solar panel that picks up NOAA. Bought it to be practical because we get a lot of power outages here and it still managed to sneak into my daily life.

    This is kind of a rant in the making, but I feel like radio isn't just dead, it's on life support. I'm lucky if I go more than two songs between commercials, there are more commercials in the spots than ever, and there's even meta-advertisement in the ads where they're telling me to check out their online presence. The absolute best radio out there right now is probably satellite radio but that almost starts to feel less like radio and more like Spotify with extra steps.

    Even when you get past the format decaying, radio feels less and less like a living medium and more...corporate, for lack of a better word. The big scenes like Nashville have been formulaic for decades, but it feels more and more sterile these days. The same ten or fifteen songs make the rounds and the commercials keep hammering away at you and then the songs repeat and it starts again. Maybe it's just me, though. I can't really say that radio hasn't been like this my entire life, it just feels worse now. It probably isn't, I'm probably just getting older and turning into that guy who complains about things being different than I remember.

    I still love my radios, I'll play them until they stop broadcasting the signals like they did with VHF and UHF TV. I can't help but feel it still has so much potential but it's becoming an ignored medium.
     

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