Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just A Thought: If a radio antenna falls in an urban forrest and there is no one tuned in to hear it, does it make a noise?

It’s been a busy day for the staff but a slow day for the site today.  We did see one article that made us happy and then made us think (maybe too much), so, we’d like to hear your opinion.  An RBR.com article discusses the much anticipated NPR application for Android (Google) phones.  Awesome, we’ve been waiting.  As this utilization of everything with a screen and speaker for every bit of information we can possibly absorb continues however, where does it lead us?

With cable companies providing broadband and increasingly, mobile service as well, who are the radio stations of the future?  Time-Warner operates both cable television stations and cable television service, as well as providing broadband service, they are TV and radio without needing the TV or the radio.  Is the idea of listening to audio only programming other than podcasts going to slowly die out?  Broadcast TV and radio seem so integral to society and the efficient dissemination of information, but by who?  XM/Sirius Satellite Radio increasingly carry programs that they tailor themselves or that are purchased from cable TV networks.  You listen to podcasts from websites on your MP3 player/mobile device and watch your favorite shows made by traditional broadcast networks mobile devices, computers and your digital cable/satellite TV receivers.

This is great, I love options and capability, but what happens when we are all so disassociated (disconnected seems too literal in this case) from that magical TV or radio broadcast coming from thin air?  I think we can all agree that for emergencies and such nothing beats it (that idea alone didn’t help morse code though, like it or not), but will communications companies and broadcasters that own radio stations continue to invest time and money into broadcast systems as a ‘back up’ or will they axe the hardware and keep the talent going thru podcasts and other (both paid and free) subscription based services?

If all your radio and TV stations were easily available on your mobile device, computer and set-top box would you miss an old AM/FM or rabbit ears?