Sunday, January 18, 2009

Radio Kills The mp3 Star

Radio of the Last.FM, Slacker, and Pandora variety that is.

Or so says WIRED's Blog Network:

"With smartphones becoming commoditized -- and with so many excellent music apps being designed for them -- it's becoming viable to leave your MP3 player at home and tune into the cloud."

"the next great thing in music technology will be smartphone applications that replicate the experience of listening to interactive, customized radio stations at a computer."

But, for terrestrial radio there is hope and while the article didn't speak of "old time radio" they did say this:

"...after ten or so years of moving away from programmed music, people are happy to let someone else do the work for a change. We could be moving towards a future when finding music in an online music store or file sharing network, downloading it, then sideloading it onto a portable will be come to seen as a waste of time."

Now, this should be good news, right? I could be, but not so fast. There's still that pesky issue of their content vs. ours. Let's assume that our music content stacks up to theirs, we will still need to address our commercial policies and the tedium of liner card DJ's. Will people consider coming back who largely gave up on FM radio? What would we have to do?

If we believe this article the era of DIY Radio Programming may be taking a breather. That would be a fortuitous event for an industry looking greener pastures and a way to climb out of the current doldrums (or worse).

You can read the full article here

My own personal experience:

I downloaded the Slacker app for my Blackberry Curve and it works very well--both at home using WiFi AND to my great surprise in the car on the Edge network (2G and slower than 3G). Still no easy way to get it to play through my car audio system, however.

Addtionally, the pre-programmed format channels I sampled are quite good. The free version features one spot per half hour and I even heard a jock on one of the top 40 channels. The custom stations, in which you select an artist and the system selects a library based on your selection, are also a good listen.

Take a listen for yourself and see what you think.

There's STILL no delivery system that's more convienient or easier than over the air radio--not to mention it is free (minus the spots, of course). But let's not forget convenient and easy are fleeting when you consider how fast tech moves and our competitors are already free or close to it.

No comments: