Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Stan's Radio

The medium of writing was most possibly invented six thousand years ago in what is now Iraq. Presumably "reading" was invented around about the same time.

The medium of singing was invented much earlier when a caveman dropped a big boulder on their foot and the rest of tribe had such great fun copying the noise he made.

This of course was the birth of Rock music.

Radio is a much more recent invention, being just a tad more than a century old. Unlike writing and music, it hasn't changed all that much since it was invented, mostly because it just works. Now some spanner (sorry, I meant to say "His Lordship, Lord Carter of Barnes") wants to force us to scrap our various radios and go buy some of these new fangled DAB digital sets.

Digital radio is rather excellent. Apart from the expense of the equipment. And the electrical power it needs. And the totally hopeless reception you get.

Actually, come to think of it, digital radio is completely hopeless. I could use a bent coathanger as an aerial on my analog set and pick up Radio 4 in perfect stereo. On my DAB set, if the wind blows or if someone in the room moves, the signal disappears.

You see, it's like forcing every cyclist in the country to scrap their bicycles and get motor bikes instead. Expensive, badly-tuned bulky motorbikes with terrible fuel economy at that. How do these people not understand that some of us don't want over-engineered solutions to problems we haven't got ?!

Don't read the whole report - you will lose the will to live and when you close your eyes you will dream in management jargon and pseudo-scientific technobabble. The chapter on the future of radio is here for those who want to see what the fuss is about.

A final piece of advice : the only people who talk about "platforms" that are worth listening to are railway announcers. Lord Carter mentions the word five times in the first page of that chapter. He doesn't work in a railway station.

1 comment:

Louise said...

DAB is actually pretty poor quality because of various technical things they do to the programmes to put them out on it. The highest sound quality for listening is either on a very good FM Radio or via your set top box.