The Same Old Song

The website for Radio magazine posted a year-end review of HD radio entitled “2010 Just Another Year for Digital Radio,” noting that ads for HD sets with all the bells and whistles proliferate, yet concluded, on a more negative note:

All good, but . . . something’s still missing. Call it grass roots consumer passion for digital radio, or the buzz that typically marks an inflection point on an adoption curve.

Perhaps that’s why HD Radio conversions stalled this year. The big groups bought in early, as did public radio with help from some hefty CPB grants. But the rest of us remained on the sidelines, watching for a sign that the moment to invest had finally arrived. And we’re still there today.

Clearly the U.S. experience isn’t unique — far from it. Around the world, digital radio is advancing in, well, dribbles. . . .

If anything became clear this year, it’s that the standards battle has come and gone. There are now lots of clever ways to digitally deliver audio content, including wireless broadband and smartphones. They all work pretty well — simply pick one that suits your nation’s business and social model, or mix and match.

Even so, there’s no denying that at the end of 2010 people — ordinary everyday people — are still waiting to hear why digital radio is must-have technology.

Meanwhile, this post on Radio Ink is sort of a desperate attempt to link HD with something good and AM radio, but the commenters don’t seem to buy it:

Oh that will solve all of AM radio’s problems, won’t it? Can’t he just give AM the mercy killing it deserves and migrate those stations that are left to an expanded FM band?
Harry Kozlowski

OMG . . . will this new data service solve AM’s problems? Impulse noise, low fidelity, lousy programming, no listeners . . . will it solve any problem? No. This is like putting a hat on a slug and calling it “Cute.” What are these people thinking?
jterhar

Doesn’t the last paragraph tell the tale? Isn’t iNiquity the company which has been trying for years to whip analog radio away from we citizens, and inflict its digital scheme on us? Isn’t this sub rosa approach always suggestive of chicanery? Isn’t that why Germany and other countries dumped digital radio, because listeners don’t want it, retailers can’t sell it, and legitimate broadcasters shun it?
Paul Vincent Zecchino

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