Radio becoming obsolete in today’s high tech world
EditorVideo might’ve killed the radio star, but TV didn’t kill radio. For decades, people couldn’t exactly watch TV in their vehicles, so radio still reigned. But now? Radio is practically obsolete. Thanks to iPods and various other incarnations, drivers need not be subjected to disliked songs, annoying commercials or, my favorite, morning radio shows. I don’t want to hear anyone speaking at 7 a.m., much less on the kinds of ridiculous topics that seem to fill the airwaves these days. Sure, I can change to a different station—and that dial leads right to another talk show. Obviously someone’s listening, but I’m not sure who. Or why. Even at workplaces, where radio once helped pass the long days, Internet radio is the favored sound among many—48 million people listen on the site Pandora monthly, according to a New York Times article published in March. These days, a station is just as likely to play Pink and then move on to Lady Antebellum. Yes, I know they’ve been on top of numerous Billboard charts for weeks now, but they’re country, WDVD. I like country, and when I want to listen to it I tune into WYCD. WYCD isn’t perfect though—Kid Rock is played a little too often. I know he’s from Detroit, but come on. When are they going to play “Bawitdaba?” Never? Exactly. A potential drawback to not listening to radio is not discovering new artists. Sure, Pandora can make recommendations, but can it make superstars? If Pandora gave me the same song three times in an hour like radio does, I’d probably stop using it. But would Britney Spears have been such a huge success without radio? Some may argue that that would’ve been a good thing, but it doesn’t have to be Britney, insert any music star from recent history and ask that question. One likely draw to Pandora is the fact that you can customize stations the way you like—thereby eliminating songs you never, ever want to hear again, no matter how popular they are. (Hi, “Party in the U.S.A.”—or anything else by Miley Cyrus.) Another plus is that for only $36 a year there are no pesky ads, either visual or audio. Try doing that with normal radio stations. Of course radio can’t be advertising-free; they need to make money like any other business. Personally, though, I’ll pay $36 and listen to what I want – the music. Pandora is free for those who don’t mind the ads. Radio, once an illustrious new pastime, is slowly disintegrating into one of those things I’ll tell my grandchildren about. I’ll probably lump radio, CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks and records all together. Hopefully I won’t have to explain what music was, too.