I have an Accurian HD Radio on my bedside table and have been carefully setting aside an hour with a cup of coffee for the past five weeks to listen closely to the replay of Robert Harris' fascinating five hour long "History Of The Gods" on CBC's Sunday Edition with Michael Enright.
By and large, I enjoy the additional choices the radio gives. It brings me every Seattle FM station's programming times three and fairly-impressive sound.
The always-thought-provoking CBC program is broadcast on KOUW-FM HD2, with KUOW's main channel on HD1 and the BBC World Service 24/7 on HD3.
Sure, I could have listened to it on CBC's web site, but the convenience of having that radio in my bedroom has been a terrific reminder for me that HD Radio could indeed be a part of radio's future, in spite of the fact that a tiny percentage of today's radio audience uses it in the wake of considerable promotion and increasing availability, due to the turnaround in American auto sales.
Suddenly, I feel a bit like Don Quixote. After investing five hours of my time listening (building up to the show's climax in the last two minutes when it seemed like host Enright was about to tell me what was going to happen to the music business), suddenly the audio dropped completely.
My Bainbridge Island bedroom is 14 miles from KUOW's 100,000 transmitter and tower atop Seattle's Capitol Hill.
I can't count on HD Radio when I really need it.
Up to now, I had always considered myself ahead of the curve technically as one of the only people on my block with an HD Radio, thinking that eventually everyone else would some day catch up with me.
Today, as I had to head to the Internet in order to reliably hear those terrific final minutes of the program on demand via my smart phone, I realized that my HD Radio-less friends had beaten me to the media future, while I - like the recording industry - was the one trying hopelessly to hold onto a past that's quickly vanishing.
My $200 "digital" bedside radio let me down and my smart phone which costs exactly the same amount rescued me.
It does everything my radio does (yes, it does have FM radio on it) and many things more as well.
What took me so long to figure that out?
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5 months ago