Radio is dead to me

I listened to morning radio since high school. In fact, I listened to Jeff & Jer since they first started at B-100 in 1988 and followed them through their many station jumps.

As I got more into listening to podcasts, I would mostly have them on when I was at work. With work getting quite busy and stressful this past January, I realized that I was more productive when I turned them off as I felt I had this weird obligation to wait until a commercial break to do something not at my desk (I didn’t want to miss anything, you know). So, around February, I unceremoniously turned the radio off and haven’t turned it back on since.

Another reason radio is dead is my iPhone. Of course, I’ve had an iPod for years and have listened to my own music, podcasts, and Audible books. Having all of that content with me at all times on my phone is quite liberating. I can listen to whatever I want whenever I want.

With the release of the 2.0 software for iPhone and the support for 3rd party software, one of the applications I’ve been really enjoying is Pandora. The service (which is also available in a browser at their website) let’s you create a “radio station” based on a song or artist you identify. From then on songs are played that are similar as determined by the Music Genome Project. For each track that plays, you can give it a thumbs up if you think it fits and a thumbs down if you think it doesn’t. It is really cool to hit play, and listen to music you like and new music that you are likely to like all without commercial breaks, announcers or anything else that might get in the way.

One of the last benefits of radio for me is the opportunity to hear new music and to identify the songs that catch your ear. While Pandora identifies the songs you are listening to Shazam does one better for the music you hear on the radio, TV, movies, clubs, or elevator. It will take a 12 second sample of whatever is playing and using a really cool fingerprinting technology, identify the song, artist, and album. The results can be saved and it provides links to the iTunes music store for purchase and also YouTube links for similar content like music videos. You have to see it work to believe it.

For me, I don’t think radio is a big deal anymore. I know I don’t miss it.

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