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April 17, 2015

Comments

Drive-In-Freak

I've never seen any thing with it's head stuck as far into the sand as radio. For some reason they just don't get it at all.
Round one:
Nobody tuned in anymore? IBOC (AM Stereo 2) will fix that. After all who wouldn't like what they're not listening to in a digital form and having to buy a new version of a device they haven't used in years? Oh and it will add even more noise to a band that's already bombarded with static. They'll love it!...lol
Round two:
Let's try to force the phone people into switching on a function that's not on because nobody wants it. That'll get everybody to tune back in.
Talk about obvious. Give people something that's worth tuning in for, and drop the massive spot load, and maybe people will tune back in...if it's not too late already.
The technology itself is somewhat to blame, but you can't expect anyone to bother with 15+ minutes of spots and hour in between the same old 20 records over and over and over again, commentary on sports, or one sided propaganda. How they haven't figured this out yet is beyond me.
Television led to top 40 radio..something that kept radio alive. The computer age has led to..them trying to hang on to the same old same old thinking it'll work as if they're mental patents thinking they'll get a different reaction from doing the same thing over and over again.
Trying to save AM with FM translators and trying to save FM by forcing it on to phones isn't going to help. Better programing may...again, if they haven't already done so much damage that it's too late.

Ted August

I have the feeling that the reason why these FM chips are not enabled in cell phones is because they don't work well. Does anyone have any reception experiences from the phones that do have it enabled? Some anecdotal evidence on Google suggests that reception is very poor on the phones that do have the feature enabled. In addition, if the FM radio is built into the same chip as the WiFi/BlueTooth/Cellular radio, then more than likely its using the same antenna as well, and those antennas are tuned for UHF and SHF reception, not FM reception in the 88-108 Band.

For radio to really work well on these radios, they would probably need a dedicated DSP chip and a separate antenna circuit. In addition, you would probably get diminished reception when the headphones aren't plugged in and being used as a wire antenna. Overall it just sounds like something that would work well in theory but not in practice.

The comments on the NPR site seem to not even address this idea - they seem to think its some type of conspiracy to drive up data usage and in turn, data fees.

Keith B.

I think it's the other way around, DIF; not that people wouldn't use an FM tuner in their phone if they had it/ were aware of its existence, but that the U.S. mobile carriers don't offer it because they can't make money from it, as they can with streaming and data plans. I had a Creative Zen mp3 player with an FM stereo tuner in it for several years and it worked great, so obviously the technology is there.

It would be interesting to hear some of our European readers weigh in on this: do you have an FM radio in your phone? Do you use it?

Paul

I have a Nokia smartphone with FM and it works quite well with a headphone attached (you need to connect the headphone to enable the FM radio).

Angelo

There's still a lot of good programming on radio, AM-FM. There's something for everyone, if you seek it out. Music of all varieties/all eras is available, live sports and live sports talk, political talk, news, religious broadcasting, international programming---as I see it, the only void now is a lack of good local programming in many areas, as stations have gone on satellite and syndicated shows to replace local talent in many markets. I have two Tangent Quattro internet radios---bedroom red lacquer and family room brown walnut----the whole world of radio is there for the taking and there's a lot of great stuff to hear. If radio is in decline, and I'm sure that it really is, I don't blame it on programming. My 10 year old kid has zero interest in listening to radio stations. He has an I-Pad and is on You Tube more hours per day than he sleeps. When I was his age, I had a GE pocket AM radio that was a gift from my Aunt and Uncle. I listened to that thing for years until I just wore it out---I couldn't even calculate how many hours I listened to music, baseball games, etc. on that little radio. Times have changed and technology has changed. Interests have changed too.

Angelo

Oh, on comment above, I meant to say "If radio is in decline, and I'm NOT really sure that it is..." Wow, overlooking one word certainly changes the meaning of something, doesn't it? Oh, and I neglected to mention shortwave, that I still fool around with from time to time.

JMaff

Recent studies show radio is still favored in vehicles. We listen to local radio quite a bit, and dumped Directv for an attic antenna. My kids listen to the local college station which plays jazz from 7-12 at night, but we use pandora and tunein as well for catching LSU/New Orleans and Houston (where I grew up) sports and music. It's nice having options. FM radio went big business a long time ago but small owner stations are popping up and filling in the niches (like Country from 70s-90s or regional music). Of course I don't live in a crowded market, I live in Boise.

I'm all for fm on my iPhone, but then I wouldn't carry my CC Pocket on trips.

Drive-In-Freak

Well, you have to keep in mind a couple of things:
I can't see most media outlets coming out with anything other than saying there;s still a lot people tuned in as if they tell you how quickly listenership has dwindled the station would lose advertizing revenue. They'll come out with things saying radio is till viable to help boost sales.
Let's say your trying to sell time on a station. You walk in to Joe's House Of Fish, Chips, Car Insurance, and Lamp Emporium and talk to Joe who says e hasn't turned on a radio in years. You can point to the article and use it for proof that people do.
We are here. Of course most people on here are going to want such things to be true as we're into radios.

Sure more options are always better, and I too hope that they'll open up the Fm on the phones. I also think that it's good point about the bandwidth usage as the phone companies are getting away with absolute murder when it comes to data rates..but I also very much thing that a lot of them haven't bothered with it because it's irreverent in this day and age.
I also see this move as one of desperation by the broadcasters who are trying desperately to hang on

I hate to be so negative. I love radio and I always have. I also can remember when radio was something worth tuning into. You'd hear them going all over the place from the transistors people would have with them to boomboxes, to cars going by, to the local corner store/gas station, to the stereos going in the houses. There were actual people on it that not only were local, but because of it knew what was going on wherever you are and gave the station they were on a local flavor. Tight formats are nothing new, but now it's so limited that you know what's going to happen before it does.
Another major issue is the extremely outdated and even more restrictive than it used to be FCC content regulations. The last big clampdown was yet another nail in the coffin.
Radio isn't run by broadcasters anymore, and it hasn't been since the mid '90s. It's not owned and run by a handful of massive corporations who have done practically everything they can to kill what made radio great.

I also open up a mouth because I fear it going away. When even I don't bother anymore (and I used to listen piratically all of the time including in my sleep) You know there's got to be a serious problem. I honestly can't tell you the last time I heard a radio on someplace, and to me that's really sad.

I wish that wasn't the case, but sadly it is.

However I do see hope in these new $50 1 watt FM stations in a box. Illegal or not I can see them bringing something interesting back to the dial.

Tomas

I'm European and I have FM-radios in my phones (that are mostly bought in China though).

It works quite fine, the reception about as good as my Panasonic clock radio. This is when using the headset as a wire antenna, I had another phone with built-in FM antenna, I think it worked so-so (but you could use the headset wire antenna too).

The only reason it's disabled in some phones it because of bribes from American telecom operators. Unfortunately it's disabled in all Samsung flagships even those only sold in Europe or Asia.

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