Programmers/Engineers Opinion

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Programmers/Engineers Opinion

Post by nvradio » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:35 pm

Hey guys, doing some research on terrestrial radio vs. internet radio and wanted some programmers/engineers feedback. What are your opinions on services like Radionomy, live365, etc.? Pros and Cons of these types of services from an engineering perspective? What does traditional AM/FM radio have that these types of services are lacking? Overall philosophy about the future of Radio and online streaming services?


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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Programmers/Engineers Opinion

Post by Dale H. Cook » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:47 pm

nvradio wrote:What does traditional AM/FM radio have that these types of services are lacking?
The ability to deliver emergency information when you have no working internet connection.
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA

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Re: Programmers/Engineers Opinion

Post by Baylink » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:52 pm

And that's where the rubber is going to meet the road.

<hobby_horse>There have been a number of disruptive technologies over the years whose replacement of earlier ones has had unexpected side effects, either because the old ones subsidized other useful things formally (like expensive LD subsidizing local service where it was financially impractical otherwise) or informally (like the popularity of 35mm color film making it inexpensive to buy other useful types of emulsions on the same base stock, like UV, IR, B/W, and super-hi-res things like Technical Pan) which the new ones don't...

or because the old ones had hidden advantages that didn't come up much, but were very useful when you needed them (like the ability, in the pre-divestiture days, for the President to pick up his desk phone and call any telephone in the country, whether it was busy or not).

We're moving into another of those eras, where the usefulness of internet-provided radio on many fronts is contributing more and more to the decline of the financial practicality of traditional terrestrial broadcasting... which as Dale points out, has one underlying, overriding advantage: You broadcast it.

It comes from One Big Tower, which it is practical to back up with emergency power and fuel, and which can be received by, well, damn near any device these days -- most smartphones have an FM receiver chip now, as long as you have a wired headset with you (a good reason to always have one along).

The level of complexity necessary to move internet radio to you is decidedly first-world, and in the aftermath of something like Katrina (which, even moreso than Sandy, will be our go-to Regional Civil Emergency until it's replaced), it may be *months* before that much infrastructure is repaired. (Anyone who needs more on this should go read the Live Journal written during Katrina's approach and aftermath by Mike 'Interdictor' Barnett, who spent most of that storm on the 12th floor of the Acme building in downtown NOLA.)

But, *is this enough* to keep terrestrial radio with us?

You could make a defensible argument -- and I would -- that the real implication here is that I Hate Radio has milked all the low-hanging fruit out of broadcasting, and that the demonstrated inclination of people to listen to locally-produced radio will take us Ahead To The Past, and keep us from having to find a solution to this problem.

And I hope that's how it works out.

But the next time you're contemplating how much Corporate Radio Sucks... remember that, in the long run, taking back over may well be a matter of life and death... to someone... sometime.

[ And yes, I've been watching way too much Scrubs lately. Sue me. ]

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