Monday, May 14, 2012

Radio Notes

Could broadcast radio get any worse?  I keep getting this post half written and then the owners of the radio stations shuffle up the formatting (for the worse) in order to double their listener audience from one to two.

A fun example from a few years ago was when Clear Channel made their staff at 106.5 listen to Christmas music for two straight months and as a thanks for their tolerating listening to Michael Jackson's 'Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' 500 times the corporate conglomerate fired the lot of them and replaced their "Top 40 with 80s" format with a 'throw everything on the wall and see what sticks' strategy.  (They actually changed it further, letting listeners pick "anything" to be played on the station.  "Anything" of course is limited to the same meager pile of 500 songs that their computer was going to cycle through anyway).

Then there's the local FM station of talking jackasses, and when the jackasses aren't talking you can bet that they're playing a song by AliceinchainsMetalicaAcdcMotleycrew.  Or then there's the FM sports talk channel which is notable for being the best thing on half the time.  Anyway, it's slim pickens so I typically listen to the iPod in the Fit, but in the Kia we have satellite radio.

We had Sirius when we had first gotten the vehicle (for free, Sirius, not the car unfortunately) and I liked it okay; however, it's Mrs. Sandmiches car and she never listened to it so we let it lapse.  Of course it wasn't but a few months later that Sirius began trying to get us back in the fold and eventually they gave us an offer we couldn't refuse.  It's still okay, but in their effort to cram in more channels they have compressed the audio streams to within an inch of their lives.  What was once near CD quality is now somewhere around FM quality (so long as what you're listening to doesn't bust out of the bandwidth channel and you get a hollow, tinny sound approaching AM quality).  I guess it's worth it though for the 'Chill' channel if nothing else, though the SiriusXMU had this great tune that I ended picking up:

Despite it's flaws, combing through Sirius is still easier than combing through the local college radio channels (which, Cleveland has several good ones, when you can tune them in).

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