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The Future and Your Radio - Enemies Or Friends?


What are your options in terms of radio stations? We all grew up on FM/AM radio in the car. This is called "terrestrial radio." In the 21st century, we now have options that span beyond the traditional FM radio stations.

Some of those options include: internet radio, satellite radio, and other forms of streaming audio online such as podcasts and live streaming. Even video sites and social networking sites have tons of music to listen to.

The beauty of this, our current time and culture, is that we get to choose what we consider to be our "radio." That is, we get to determine what we consider our source of music, entertainment and news from an audio standpoint.

Think about that: how blessed are we that we have those options now? In generations passed, the only choices were a few stations on the FM/AM dial, which hardly came in half the time, and records/tapes/CDs. Now there are mp3s and all of these other types of broadcasts that we can choose from.

So where does that leave terrestrial radio, and how do we move forward. Does terrestrial radio just evaporate ultimately in this time, this time that used to be known as "the future" which is now? Maybe it will.

Isn't that sad? Wouldn't it be a shame to see such a traditional format that has enriched the lives of so many just...disappear? Yes, that would be sad. I think we know that all to well. Consider this: perhaps the terrestrial radio that was truly so enriching as it was historically has already disappeared to a large degree. That IS sad.

Terrestrial AM/FM radio, for the most part, is owned and controlled by a very select group of very rich people. The stations you may call "local" are not, in fact, local at all in the traditional sense.

The decisions being made by radio stations on what to play changed since 1996, when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted into law. That new statute lifted the limit on the number of radio stations one corporate conglomerate could scoop up, as it were. Since that time, radio was never the same.

We lost something called, "localism." Sure, you still hear about traffic and weather locally, but what else? Is there a sense of community on that Top 40 radio station you love so much? Nope. Nowhere to be found!

It is sickening how we have become conditioned to stupid fart jokes and a few call-in contests, and call that localism. That is not localism. Localism was when what was happening locally really mattered. Localism, most importantly, was when the decisions about what a so-called local radio station played, in terms of songs, were done by... yeah, local people! Hello! Imagine that!

Nope, Corporate America is now in control of music decisions. So what you hear is based on clinical things like focus groups now. What you and your neighbors want to hear is only in the back of their minds, not in the front of their consciousness as it should be. In fact, many of the people making those decisions have never been within 100 miles of your town.

That's sick, isn't it? But it's real and not likely to change.

So, until it does, switch off the terrestrial radio, and consider your alternatives. Those are: internet radio, mp3, podcasts, live online streaming, CDs, cassettes, social networking sites, music sites, satellite radio, and the like.

Will Corporate America listen to the will of the people before it's too late? And will we ever learn not to buy their canned garbage so we can stop the madness, this lack of humanity?

Who will learn first, us or them? You decide.

 


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