Why I Stream ALL My Radio Listening

Twelve year ago, radio broadcast engineer Tom Ray, penned these words: “Unless we give Joe Consumer a reason to go out and purchase an HD Radio for his car – until he can obtain it easily and at a reasonable cost, and a device that works – I fear HD Radio is going to go the way of FM quad and AM stereo, relegated to the scrap pile of history.”

Tom Ray wrote his article for Radio World when he was the vice president/corporate director of engineering for Buckley Broadcasting/WOR Radio in New York City. He was a strong and vocal supporter of HD Radio and his WOR was one of the first AMs on the air with an HD Radio signal. So, any broadcaster that read Tom’s article, “HD Radio Shouldn’t Be This Hard,” should have taken it as a wake-up call about steps the radio industry needed to take to stay relevant in their listeners’ lives.

Buying a New Car in 2010

Tom is a loyal Ford customer, so when his Explorer went to the automobile graveyard with 230,000-miles on it, Tom wanted to get a new Ford Escape, equipped with HD Radio. The only problem was, Ford wasn’t putting HD Radios into their Escapes, instead, they were pushing Satellite Radio. (Tom noted that his wife listened only to Satellite Radio in her car, saying “in her opinion there is nothing worth listening to in New York’s Hudson Valley, 50 miles north of New York City.)

This should have been yet another radio industry wake-up call about its future.

I encourage you to click on the link and read what Tom Ray wrote a dozen years ago about how difficult it was to put an HD Radio into a new car which, at that time, didn’t offer OEM HD Radios and how he, as a broadcast engineer, was totally frustrated trying to install an aftermarket one.

Streaming Radio at Home

Since Christmas 2017, when my wife gave me my first Amazon Echo smart speaker, our Echo family has quickly grown to four of these devices. There is nowhere you can be in our home and not ask Alexa for something.

Since 2017, all of our in-home radio listening is via streaming.

While we also occasionally streamed radio in the car, on all of our road trips from 2018-2021, SiriusXM always seemed to be offering a 3-month free listening trial that I can honestly say we enjoyed the listening to. But, I’ve never been a subscriber, because other than road trips I spend very little time in the car.

Streaming Radio in the Car

In October, while enjoying my latest free 3-month trial for SiriusXM radio, I decided it was time to bring my in-house streaming radio habit into both of our cars. We own a 2006 Subaru Forester and a 2009 Honda Accord.

The Subaru doesn’t have an AUX input, the Honda does.

Streaming in the Subaru was accomplished with a Blue Tooth receiver that will broadcast on any FM frequency (88.1 works best). In the Honda, this same device’s output was plugged into an AUX receptacle.

The result is, as soon as either my wife or myself enters one of our cars, the Nulaxy KM18 immediately pairs with our iPhones. I installed the AINOPE Car Phone Holder Mount to hold our phones, and keep them easily assessible to control whatever we would like to listen to.

Total cost for each car: $33.43. Time to install, virtually nil. I just plugged the Nulaxy KM18 into a power port and it was operational. The AINIOPE holder easily clamps to an air vent on the dashboard and holds any smartphone.

Unlike the nightmare that Tom Ray experienced back in 2010 trying to put HD Radio into his car, this installation by me, a non-engineer, was a piece of cake.

A Call to Action

I recently sat in on a Radio World webinar called “A Call to Action, radio’s existential battle for the dash.” Paul McLane, Managing Director of Content/Editor in Chief of Radio World at Radio World/Future U.S., hosted the webinar and did an excellent job. However, one particular piece of information shared during the presentation that I thought was crucial was, how Mercedes Benz was equipping their vehicles’ radio screens with the following pre-sets: SiriusXM, FM, AM and TuneIn Radio.

TuneIn Radio is the App I use for most of my radio listening, but why was it chosen by Mercedes Benz? Turns out the answer is, “TuneIn’s radio stations can be accessed worldwide in 197 countries on more than 200 different platforms and devices.” TuneIn says it “provides the displaced radio listener a connection to home with local, national, and international stations anywhere they go and on any device.”

In other words, why would any audio consumer need DAB, DAB+, Digital Radio Mondiale, HD Radio, AM or FM when they can receive any radio station in crystal clear audio via streaming?

With the exception of the proprietary content offered by SiriusXM, everything else is available via streaming at no charge.

Cellular Plan

Now it goes without saying, that streaming consumes data. Each cellphone service provider offers different plans and different price rates. My wife and I are on Verizon’s unlimited phone/text/data plan. We have no landline phone in our home and our iPhones are our lifeline to being connected with each other, our family, our community and the world.

I’ve found streaming radio in our cars provides us with audio quality that is pristine. There’s no buffering or dropout, and it’s been a more reliable signal than AM, FM or SiriusXM radio, especially when traveling through tunnels.

Streaming Apps

I thought you might be interested in knowing what streaming Apps I have on my iPhone, here’s the current list:

  • TuneIn Pro
  • Audacy
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • NPR ONE
  • YouTube
  • Simple Radio
  • StreamS
  • Apple Podcasts
  • AccuRadio
  • 650AM WSM
  • Stitcher

Why I Prefer Streaming My Radio

We live far enough away from Washington, D.C. that radio signals for WTOP or WETA experience lots of noise and dropout, depending atmospherics, sometimes making them totally unlistenable. However, their streams are always crystal clear.

This fall Sue and I escaped to Cape Cod for a week and when I get on the peninsula, I love turning on WFCC – Cape Cod’s Classical station – 107.5 FM. Now with streaming radio, I can dial up WFCC on my TuneIn radio App and listen when we’re back home in Virginia.

Full disclosure, I am the midday DJ on WMEX-FM in Rochester, NH. But even if I weren’t on the station, WMEX-FM would be my #1 pre-set for streaming. Gary James, the station’s morning man and program director, puts together a music mix that I find absolutely fabulous. It’s the music of my life.

Which brings me to another important point, radio today is global. No longer is your radio station competing just with other local stations, but radio that is streaming from anywhere on planet Earth.

Streaming also makes it possible for ON DEMAND spoken word radio, also known as Podcasts, to be easily available in the car.

Simington on Streaming

FCC commissioner Nathan Simington recently addressed Ohio broadcasters saying, “content delivery power had shifted away from broadcasters – stations and networks – and toward ‘online platforms,’ something he thinks the FCC needs to recognize in its quadrennial review of media ownership regs.”

He warned that:

  1. “Online media platforms are growing rapidly and threaten dominance over traditional media platforms; and
  2. Broadcast advertising revenue has flatlined, having been siphoned off from higher margin online platforms.”

The Future is Streaming

88% of the world’s population now uses mobile broadband as its main source of internet access, and nearly 90% of homes in the United States now have internet streaming. 2021 saw an estimated 22% ad industry growth rate, which Magna Global said was “the highest growth rate ever recorded” by this agency, beating a 12.5% growth rate recorded in the year 2000. The caveat however is, digital dominated traditional advertising raking in 64.4% of the growth in ad spending.

RAIN reports “The U.S. recorded music industry will exceed a 48-year revenue record set in 1999 (based on current estimates),” all coming from revenues paid by streaming music services.

The Harvard Business Review recently published “4 Principles to Guide Your Digital Transformation,” by Greg Satell, Andrea Kates and Todd McLees. In it, the authors wrote, “digital transformation is not just about technology. We’re desperately in need of a shift in focus. Leaders must inspire and empower their entire organization to boldly reimagine their work environment, customer needs, product offering, and even the purpose of the enterprise.”

Tom Ray was the proverbial “canary in the coal shaft” back in 2010, with few paying attention. Sadly, based on the early news coming out of the 2022 CES in Las Vegas, nothing has changed.

We’re living in a communications revolution,

bringing about changes that will be both

permanent and irreversible.

Revolutions never maintain or preserve the status quo.

40 Comments

Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales

40 responses to “Why I Stream ALL My Radio Listening

  1. Gregg Cassidy

    Great Article! I’m a streamer. Here’s the sad thing about radio companies. As you point out radii is now fast becoming global. So, advertising customers like Home Depot are what would have been a prize advertiser. Yes, they are a big radio advertiser but corporate radio gave them the “dollar a hollar” rate a long time ago. Short sightedness of national sales.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent point Gregg. Thanks for weighing in with your perspective.
      -DT

      Like

    • radiomogul

      I strongly recommend you also add InternetFM to your lists of streaming radio options. 50 of the best independent radio stations are preloaded for you.

      Like

      • Thanks for the tip Gregg.

        A reader of the blog mentioned that they subscribe to RadioTunes. I was a RadioTunes (Sky.FM) subscriber for dozen years and only cancelled my subscription when my in-home radio listening went to all being controlled by my Amazon Echos.

        RadioTunes wasn’t interested in making their service available on Amazon Echos at that time. When a reader reminded me of this service, I went back and checked to see if they had changed their mind. They have. I have now re-activated my subscription and it plays beautifully via my Alexa voice commands.

        IMHO have the best mix of smooth jazz featured on their main smooth jazz channel, but they also offer several different varieties of smooth jazz mixes. The quality of their stream is excellent.

        I was delighted to find that all of my favorite pre-sets were still there when I logged into my old account.
        -DT

        Like

      • I downloaded the App to check out. I also heard from Steven Leventhal about his App.

        He reached out to me after my blog was re-posted in platform & stream’s website. I am now a subscriber to that publication as well.

        Thanks again,
        -DT

        Like

      • Thank You. You’re the 3rd person to mention it, and that includes the site’s GM/Programmer.
        -DT

        Like

  2. Gregg Cassidy

    Great Article! I’m a streamer. Here’s the sad thing about radio companies. As you point out radio is now fast becoming global. So, advertising customers like Home Depot are what would have been a prize advertiser. Yes, they are a big radio advertiser but corporate radio gave them the “dollar a hollar” rate a long time ago. Short sightedness of national sales.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dick….unlike you, I’ve been a subscriber to satellite radio since way before there was a Sirius/XM. I remember getting interested in it back when a former boss at ABC moved over to what was called CD Radio back then and almost convinced me to leave ABC for a job there. Almost as soon as Sirius Radio was available, I, purchased a kit that allowed me to stream the signal to an unused FM frequency in either our 2000 Mustang or 2001 Taurus. Not sure exactly how long I’ve subscribed, but both of those cars were relatively new when we started subscribing. As someone who spent 44 years of my life working as an Engineer in NY Radio stations, I almost never listen to on the air radio, mainly because of the obscene commercial content. Every time I attempt to give broadcast radio a chance, the first 10 minute stop set I encounter makes me return to the commercial free subscription based form I’ve come to count on. We also love it when we’re traveling because of the consistency of content we have at our fingertips and the choice! Want to listen to Jimmy Buffett, music from the 70s, Broadway Show Tunes, a little Frank Sinatra, or my friend Pat St John, it’s all there,….commercial free. Today, it’s all we listen to in our 2022 Honda CR-V…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with traditional radio Frank.

      When I have the free 3-month trial of SiriusXM, I have found the majority of my listening is to Phlash, Pat, Dave, & Shotgun.

      What I never even mention in the article is that our iPhones iTunes library is large and often we can simply enjoy a ride listening to music we already own.

      With TuneIn Radio, if we want the latest news, we can listen to CNN, MSNBC, NPR etc. plus I have an App called “Hourly News” where I enjoy hearing the latest newscasts from all over the world. I find it interesting how different countries prioritize their news and what they cover or don’t cover. It gives you a global perspective.
      -DT

      Like

  4. Wonderful piece, Dick. As someone who does work for a non-comm here, I think this piece brings up fodder for interesting discussion amongst us. (and it makes me want to re-assess my decision of NOT paying for unlimited data on Consumer Cellular.) 🙂 Thanks….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well I used to have only a 2GB plan, but when I combined my wife’s Verizon plan into my plan, I realized that we’d need more than 2GB for both our phones.

      Depending on your age, many cell companies offer lower prices for seniors and that makes unlimited text/phone/data plans affordable.

      The reality is, today our smartphones are the media device we use more than any other.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog and commenting.
      -DT

      Like

  5. Fred Smith

    So if this is true (and I was early on this bandwagon) “Revolutions never maintain or preserve the status quo”, what do we do with all these FM frequencies until they, like the internal combustion engine, landline telephones and the buggy whip, completely fall out of favor? AM’s without translators are the living dead now. Sacrifice them to allow the rest of the body to live a little longer. But what to do with FM? Shrinking audiences (due more to the revolution than to not being “live and local”), shrinking local business revenue due to closures, big box stores and online shopping, debt service, antiquated FCC rules from 100 years ago…what do broadcasters do to become relevant to whatever audience is out there? I’m not seeing any real discussion on this. I do read a lot of “if we only went back to doing___”. That seems counter-intuitive based on the quote I started this response with.

    Like

    • You’re right Fred. The very discussion radio people should have been having, they weren’t. Fred Jacobs has been pointing that out for years. My good friend Ken Dardis was speaking out about this before most radio people even knew what the internet was.

      My blog hopefully is a burr under the saddle of broadcasters to stop avoiding this discussion and start talking about it. It’s probably why I’ve never been invited to speak at a radio meeting at any state broadcast association.

      Hopefully, we haven’t reaching a tipping point and find it’s already too late.
      -DT

      Like

  6. I’m about to decommission the last FM tuner in service, as three Amazon Echo’s are now the preferred sources for “radio” listening. Of course wired audio will still be required for highest quality, as the BlueTooth solutions add a code generation, plus an FM mod\demo generation in your car. But good enough is good enough. And it might not be long before conglomerate bean counters realize how much they can save shutting down OTA transmission.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robin,

      I actually have put all of my radios (and I have dozens) to use in my home with one of my Echo’s connected to a Whole House FM Transmitter. Why let great radios — like my BOSE Radios — go to waste when they can be deployed in a new way.

      Thanks for sharing.
      -DT

      Like

  7. Carl Dombek

    As a former broadcaster, I found your blog post interesting on a number of levels.

    In 2007 – some five years before Tom Ray’s article was published — I wrote two executives at the HD Radio Alliance and made many of the same points; notably, that HD Radio would go the way of AM Stereo or quadriphonic FM. Unsurprisingly, my comments were never published, nor even responded to.

    About that same time, I had a brief chat with Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis Communications. We’d been talking shop as our plane trip was nearing an end, and his parting comments were, “Nobody seems to know how to make money in this business these days.” I handed him my card and offered to share my thoughts, which centered on the quality of the programming and the formatting, which hadn’t changed much since I first went on the air in 1977.

    Broadcast radio stations need to follow the example of many of the streaming services: keep their spots to a minimum, intersperse them within the programming instead of predictable “stop sets”, and make sure they’re as entertaining as the programming itself. Stations might also benefit from co-ops with major retailers but using a 21st-century approach. Instead of “Gruen watch time, 7:43,” how about back-announcing a music set with, “All these tracks are available at Amazon Music.”

    Ultimately, the savior of commercial radio will not be better sound quality, whether achieved by an AM Stereo-like product or even streaming. Expecting current programming offered at a higher fidelity to fix the problem is much like expecting Vicodin to fix a broken limb. It might mask the pain, but it doesn’t address the underlying problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank You Carl for sharing those excellent thoughts. We’re in total agreement.
      -DT

      Like

    • Ken Dardis

      Carl: Read what station owner and classic music icon Robert Conrad said about HD Radio in 2006. At no point after were adjustments made to accommodate the facts stated:: http://www.audiographics.com/agd/061206-1.htm

      The other facts of importance: Besides retail stores not stocking HD Radios there never were “stations between the stations” or a selection of more compelling content, and nobody cared about a higher CD-quality sound for radio. HD Radio was a solution looking for a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dave Mason

        Wow, Ken. It’s 15 years since Robert Conrad called out HD Radio and it’s shortfalls. There has been discussion of raising the power level of the HD signal, but not to the level of the analog RF. Stations have put more into processing and equipment to match the analog signal with the digital signal, delaying the “real” signal by 8-15 seconds. Consequently many stations don’t hear the “final” product inside the building where it can be “fixed” if it needs to be. We were saddled with this several times and it took a trip out to my car to demonstrate that the final signal wasn’t “right”. Another station I work with was “stuttering” – because the signals weren’t in sync and every time an HD radio lost the HD signal you got a slight “stutter”. I guess HD and other software makers were more concerned about getting the product out than getting it right. Things haven’t changed much either. Checking the WCLV website https://wcpn.ideastream.org/ it doesn’t mention HD at all – so maybe WCLV turned it off shortly after they turned it on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Loved the comment that a reader wrote in response to your article Ken, that I think said it all: “HD Radio is like an Edsel.” It’s a word picture that will remain stuck in my brain.
        -DT

        Like

  8. Bob Hoenig

    Lots to think about here, Dick. FM Radio barely suits my tastes anymore, and reception in my part of NJ can be poor a lot of the time. We stream in our den and bedrooms now, so yeah, why not in the car? Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bob. I knew that streaming in the car today was incredibly stable. I thought it time to find a better solution than placing my iPhone7 on the dashboard and listening through its speakers. What I found works so incredibly well, I thought I’d share it with others.
      -DT

      Like

  9. Dave Mason

    You brought on a lot of nostalgia, Dick. I recall gazing at the monstrous AM station transmitter sites I worked with. 4 towers, 5 towers, 6 towers. Flashing red lights. Humming modulators. WLW’s behemoth Blaw-Knox. WLAC-AM’s massive site in Nashville, WSAI (1530 at the time) and its awesome 50,000 watt signal. In 2022 all of those sites can soon be sold for housing developments, being replaced by a Dell 1500 Inspiron at a cost of $600 each. Yes, it’s a revolution. I’ll become a streamer full-time when it becomes as easy to stream as it is to push a button and turn on the AM/FM. I have the unlimited Veri$on plan, but too often it’s a lot easier to go back to AM/FM than to endanger myself and passengers. I know the day will come soon. HD radio has been a disaster from day one with poor construction, poor marketing and poor availability. As it was being developed I saw the first flaw in their desire to create “HD1”, “HD2”, etc A technician’s dream but a consumer’s puzzle. My (now deceased) big-box warehouse store, once well-stocked with AM/FM tuners had no way to demonstrate either due to an abundance of florescent lights and the RF blocking tin-roof. Coax antennas? You gotta be kidding. I enjoy some of the HD fare offered in my town, but the terrain and the weak HD signal makes the experience less than optimal. One of our stations has comedy on HD3. Imagine the frustration when “NO HD SIGNAL” appears right before a punchline. The broadcast radio industry has fallen painfully short in many areas and will soon (no doubt) get lost in the myriad choices in the dashboard. The SIrius/XM experience is slightly disappointing due to its audio quality. When Satellite TV hit the world, audio quality was stellar. (I had satellite TV in 1985 – and kept the ol’ C-Band dish until 1999.) Satellite radio could provide CD quality channel after channel, but the compression factor in most satellite channels puts it just a little above AM’s output. I too appreciate Pat St. John (an acquaintance), Shotgun Tom Kelly (a friend) and the pleasant surprises on the 70s channel. My wife loves “The Bridge” -but I hate the digital artifacts. My favorite stream? WTWW.us. It’s the online service from a 100k Short Wave station out of Lebanon, TN. Ted Randall and Holly Misslin and family have put together a great collection of music and energy on 5085khz and streaming in stereo on the website. The quality of the stream is close to some of the CD-quality music services. In many cases better. My full disclosure-I host 8p-12m on Tuesday nights and Ted, Jeff Laurence, Jim Edwards, Dan Collins and Steve Taylor host others. Sorry, but you got me started. I come from a time when you’d hop in the jalopy, turn the knob to the right and there it was. When streaming reaches that point, AM/FM (as predicted) will be-history. I’ve read enough in the past few days to tweak my RF addled brain into realizing where the future lies. Names like Harris, Nautel, Gates, RCA and Western Electric had a great run in occupying real estate beneath those massive antenna farms. I’ll miss ’em with every part of my being, except maybe my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dave for all you wrote.

      Again, with the equipment I wrote about, I just pop my iPhone into its holder, as when I start the car it automatically connects via Bluetooth to my AUX input on my radio with the KM18.

      Changing stations is as easy as saying “Hey Siri, play WMEX-FM on TuneIn” and there it is. If I want to change to anything, the procedure is the same. I never have to take my hands of the steering wheel.
      -DT

      Like

      • Dave Mason

        Thanks Dick. You make it sound easy . . so I’ll give it a shot. I’m sure thousands of others will too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dave, I think it really IS easy. I was amazed that basically all I had to do was plug the KM18 into each car’s power ports and then activate the connection on our iPhones BlueTooth section.

        BTW…both KM18 units are in plugged into a power port located in our center consoles, so you don’t even know they are there. All you see if an iPhone in the holder clamped onto a air vent on the dash.

        Not only is it easy to install and get operational, it basically disappears from view, adding no additional clutter to the inside of your car or another driving distraction.

        Let me know how you make out.
        -DT

        Like

      • Dave Mason

        Thanks for this, Dick. Last night my wife and I were traveling in her pick ’em up truck (2018 Tacoma) with HD radio (she usually listens to the local “adult hits” station). I’d go through the process, but everyone knows how to pair a phone with a vehicle’s sound system, right? We caught the tail end of the Chargers/Raiders game and then I went searching for “something” on the Sirius/XM app. Found a Spotify “Beach Boys” channel – pretty entertaining and the quality was better than expected. Alas, not curated by the likes of Shotgun, Phlash or Pat-and the 2-3 seconds of space between songs was a little painful (for a radio guy). It still took more effort than punching up the AM/FM tuner, it wasn’t local and I envisioned the $300 phone bill I just paid (for 4 phones) and the Sirius/XM subscription. I could go on and on but I don’t want to deny the obvious fact that someday streaming will be the AM/FM of the future. I also tried out WMEX – a fun station! I still contend that for most of us streaming needs to be a little less complicated to be adopted by the majority. It took a while for FM converters to go away, and I contend we don’t see a lot of Sirius/XM “adapters” in vehicles these days. Tower and Transmitter techs should be on notice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A radio buddy of mine and I were chatting about SiriusXM and how they were speeding up songs on the 60s and 70s channels. We BOTH found that VERY ANNOYING.

        $300 phone bill in addition to paying for SiriusXM? WOWsers!

        Thanks for checking out WMEX-FM 105.9. If you grew up in New England, it would have been the station of your youth.
        -DT

        Like

      • Dave Mason

        WMEX was one of the stations I discovered as a young radio wannabe back in the 60s. My Emerson 5-tube radio received as a Christmas gift opened a new world for me. The high end of the dial was the ultimate. WTOP, WMEX and WLAC fighting with each other, WKBW, WCKY, WPTR and KXEL in the frequency fight, WQXR (did I need Classical music??), XERF (first time I heard Wolfman Jack selling baby chicks), WAKR, WWRL. Those were the days, my friend. In the years since I’ve worked at WLAC, WGR (sharing transmitter sites with WKBW), WCKY (when it was WSAI) and Wolfman’s Southern California outlet, XPRS (former XERB). 1510 introduced me to Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg and Larry “Let Me Check” Glick. Without WMEX I would never have known about Surf Nantasket.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Impressive radio resume Dave. Thanks for sharing your radio story.
        -DT

        Like

  10. Walter Luffman

    I’m a streamer at home, in waiting rooms and coffee shops, and occasionally in the car. Most of my in-car listening is still terrestrial radio (mainly news/talk), augmented by SiriusXM’s talk, oldies and country music channels.

    HD Radio’s biggest weakness, I think, is its short range compared with ordinary AM and FM signals. The sound quality is great, but the HD channels of a powerful Class C FM transmitter disappear many miles before the parent signal does. This is annoying in the car, and it makes HD completely unusable at home if you live in a distant suburb or rural area.

    Streaming works everywhere there’s Internet, including anywhere cell service is available.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Walter, what you describe has been my experience with HD Radio, when it comes to signal reception in the car vs the main channel analog signal.

      The other aspect I’ve found with today’s FM band is that it’s overcrowded and subject to lots of interference from other stations when traveling. Atmospherics can really play havoc with FM radio signals.

      With streaming, all of those issues go away.

      Also, I can listen to a great news station, like WTOP, or I can listen to CNN or other cable news channels, just like you can with SiriusXM.

      With the equipment I described, it takes all the hassle of streaming audio in the car away. I can also say “Hey Siri” and change channels without taking my hands off the wheel.

      I know that the new cars are coming equipped with these new technologies, but I thought people might find it interesting to learn that you don’t need to buy a new car to enjoy hands-free streaming audio in your car.
      -DT

      Like

      • Walter Luffman

        Is the FM band overloaded? Oh, yes! It’s certainly annoying, and one might say almost painful, to lose a formerly far-reaching favorite station because of an 80-90 drop-in, LPFM or translator within what used to be a fairly solid “fringe” area. (I live in “flyover country” and think of anything up to about 50 miles away as a local drive.)

        The only drawback I’ve found to streaming is that the audio is often delayed, sometimes by two minutes or more. That’s not a problem if you’re just a passive listener, but it’s a real pain if you’re calling in to a talk show or trying to win a “15th caller” on-air contest. (Or if you’re trying to set a clock at home or the office; that’s why I bought atomic-time wall clocks.)

        Like

      • Yes Walter, the FM band is overcrowded and the FCC allowed too many signals that were assigned to serve local communities to be moved to over-served major metropolitan areas. That is what created a need for LPFM stations.

        I don’t use any radio station to set my clocks. While I own an Atomic Clock, I find that I can always find the correct time on my iPhone.
        -DT

        Like

      • Dave Mason

        Walter, the “far reaching” comment hits home here in SoCal. KNX (AM) now simulcasts on FM in Los Angeles, is only mentioning the FM station leaving the impression that something may happen with the 50k AM signal in the future. In San Diego, KNX-FM’s signal (97.1) is blocked by another Audacy station, KWFN and its HD signal (97.3). Should 1070 AM adopt another format-it will leave those of us in San Diego without an All News outlet. Additionally 101.5 in San Diego is occupied by KGB-FM. All well and good except in Costa Mesa where its own LPFM is also on 101.5. KRUZ on 103.3 from Santa Barbara blasts across the Pacific into San Diego, only to be blocked by two translators.

        Liked by 1 person

      • WOW – what a mess the industry is creating for the radio biz.

        Fred Jacobs said it best, “Radio is shooting itself in the foot.”
        -DT

        Like

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