...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Friday, November 05, 2004

Check this out:

The radioSHARK – a radio receiver and programming time shifter (think TiVo) for your computer.

In the 1930s and 40s, radio was America’s hearth. In the 50s it was replaced in the living room by the TV set. Thanks to the transistor, rock’n’roll, the Baby Boomer, and FM, radio went all music and hit the road. Cultural phenom, baby.

Then, cassettes and the Walkman, MTV, CDs—and now the Ipod—have sent radio to the sidelines of personal media awareness. Radio also shot itself in the foot by going ratings-crazy and risk-averse about playing new music, contributing mightily to its loss of status with its vital young-music-freak core audience, not to mention crippling its symbiotic (if illicit) relationship with Big Music.

Not to say it hasn’t been profitable to run a radio station in America all this time. Still, it wasn’t a sure thing, and a lot of shopkeeper operators had a problem making money and had to sell out—poor things—at a comfortable capital gain to the next ego-bound sucker. Still, except for the Rush Limbaugh AM radio talk revolution in the 90s, and the rise of public radio (the only choice for smart people) commercial radio programming performed like a monopoly: overcommercialled, overmanaged, anally formatted.

Outside of public radio—which archives most significant programming on its Web sites already—whatever does the computer user need with a TiVo for appointment radio programs?

How many non-public “programs” compel us to catch every episode? Listen to Art Bell's replacement at 10 AM? Are you kidding? Naw…its just another wishful product manager who missed the TiVo opportunity and shouted, Hey, how about radio?

Media? The geeks don’t get it.

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