Advertisement

Analog Angle Blog

Should We Care if AM Radio Fades Out?

These are difficult times for the commercial broadcast-radio business, both AM and FM. According to various articles, such as this one from The Los Angeles Times, listener ratings are continuing to fall, and some carmakers — where most radio listening is done, apparently — are considering eliminating radios in the car completely, and not even offering it as an available option. Today’s drivers don’t need old-time radio (a.k.a. “terrestrial radio”) for music, weather, traffic, news, or whatever, as they have smartphone connectivity, MP3 players, satellite radio, and much more.

Despite the attempt at positive spin that this article from The Wall Street Journal tries to put on the situation (sorry, may be behind a paywall), most people hearing AM radio now get snippets of it as little more than background noise, such as when they are on a short drive or in a store; a lot fewer people deliberately turn to listen to a given show than did so just a few years ago. The only successful remaining AM stations, relatively speaking, are talk shows covering sports, politics, and religion; as a music-delivery vehicle, AM radio is pretty much dead. We’ve come a long way from top-40 radio and the “hit maker” stations of yesteryear, that’s for sure.

Ironically, putting an AM radio into a car was actually once a very big deal. Companies such as Motorola prospered by designing tube-based radios that could fit into the car’s console space, withstand the vibration, and operate from the car’s 12-VDC supply. To boost that DC voltage to the much-higher voltages needed by those tubes, an interrupter device was used to chop the DC into rough AC, after which it went to a step-up transformer and then was rectified.

Was this switching supply — which is conceptually the same as today's far more elegant and sophisticated ones — fairly crude? Yes, indeed. Was it effective? Also yes, and it was the only solution available. It also generated lots noise in the AM band, so it actually advanced the design and production of filter technology as well. You think you have thermal and dissipation issues? Just try designed a multitube radio to work in the console of a car.

Should we care about this sharp decline in both casual and dedicated AM radio listenership? It’s always a little sad when a system, which has served us for decades and done so much to advance technology through mass-market production and needs, fades out (here, literally and figuratively), but progress is progress. The “joy” of finding and catching those enticing and perhaps mysterious far-away stations at night, when propagation signals in the broadcast band support long-distance skip, now seems so retro and quaint. After all, you can get streaming broadcasts from just about anywhere in the word via the Internet, and without the hassles of tuning, antenna configuration, propagation fading, and many other idiosyncrasies of the wireless world between 550 and 1,600 kHz.

Even the venerable and brilliant superheterodyne architecture developed by Major E.H. Armstrong, used in all AM radios as well as nearly all other receiver signal architectures, is now seeing serious competition from zero-IF and direct-to-digital topologies. Note that Armstrong developed the superhet to improve on the vagaries of his previous topology of the super-regenerative receiver; after the superhet, he developed FM to overcome the effects of atmospheric noise on AM signals. Again, broadcast radio opportunities both drove technology and manufacturing advances in low-cost, mass-market products.

Even though AM (and to a lesser extent, FM) broadcast radio may be declining, that doesn’t mean that amplitude modulation itself is falling away. In fact, advanced data-encoding techniques use increasingly sophisticated and complex forms of AM, such as 256 QAM, to impress more data onto a given signal within a fixed bandwidth. AM radio has spurred many advances in both transmitter and receiver technology; just check out the 50 kW transmitter tubes at one end, and the amazing simplicity of a basic crystal radio at the receiving end.

Do you see any downsides to the impending demise of AM radio in cars and other venues? Will you care if your next car has no terrestrial radio? Do you know of any other technologies that have had their days of glory, and for which you feel some loss, and even a twinge of regret, that they are also on the way out?

91 comments on “Should We Care if AM Radio Fades Out?

  1. Bill_Jaffa
    September 19, 2014

    Also see my previous, related post:

    http://www.planetanalog.com/author.asp?section_id=396&doc_id=559044

    which touches on some of these “AM radio” issues from other perspectives.

  2. Davidled
    September 19, 2014

    I realized that I came across a mix of voice from two radio station sometimes, while car is driven. But, that was happened at a certain location and could be depending on antenna and radio design.  

  3. vbiancomano
    September 20, 2014

    Yes, we should care. One area I want for AM is the hometown radio station, so as to put me in touch with the local community at a speed I can take in and without my being shackled to the computer. The advantage is human, not technological, and provides me with an outlet to slow down, not speed up.

    One aspect of engineering that's seemingly been forgotten is the consumer's mental well-being as it relates to what the various technologies can provide (and, for whatever reasons, many reports suggest that mental illness is on the rise). There's definite good for me in technology that provides light talk and nostalgic music, versus TV and computer networks specifically designed to bring me 24-by-7 news/information that more often than not needlessly rattles my brain and is out of my control anyway. I don't need the “future shock.”

    Beyond that, instant feedback often makes for knee-jerk reactions (this is potentially disastrous in the battlefield). Ironically, it also makes for “paralysis by analysis” decision making (because there's too much information). I want old technology and what it traditionally brings. I want advanced technology when I really need it, not just because it's there.

  4. bjcoppa
    September 20, 2014

    Syrius Satellite radio continues to grow in market share across the overall radio market including automobiles, mobile devices and residences. No commercials, large selection, transmission in remote areas of US while driving. Can't beat it and prices can be negotiated down to $5 per month. I never listen to AM any more like an increasing amount of the population. News talk shows are being phased out in lieu of sport radio which is being shifted to satellite and FM now.

  5. Hardware_man
    September 20, 2014

    I don't think any discussion of old AM woukd be complete without mentioning the “All American Five”, A.C. / D.C. radio. Early attempt at eliminating the power transformer. The tube filiments were set up so the 5 in series worked directly from the house 117 mains. The 35W4 and the 50C5, etc. One side of the line went right to the chassis. Depending on which way the plug was in the wall, maybe neutral or maybe hot. If a knob fell off and you touched the shaft, you knew when it was the hot side to the chassis. They must have taken the UL guy out to a long lunch to get that past :.)

     

    Bill, I see you refered to the “switch” in the old car radio power supply as the interrupter. Avoided the popular term that could have a different meaning today :.)

     

    Martin Risso

  6. eafpres
    September 20, 2014

    @analoging–“Syrius Satellite radio continues to grow in market share across the overall radio market “

    True, but only for “North America”.  We tend to forget the rest of the world.  

  7. eafpres
    September 20, 2014

    @Vincent–I think college radio is also all but gone too.

    One counterargument is that nearly anyone can set up an internet “station” and stream content to end consumers.  Once all cars are connected with always-on IP links, then IP-radio and IP-TV will dominate.

    I'm not sure the above is true, but food for thought.

  8. eafpres
    September 20, 2014

    @Bill–do you think AM bands will be reallocated by the FCC at some point, auctioned for zillions of dollars, and become broadband internet spectrum?

  9. eafpres
    September 20, 2014

    I think that in other parts of the world, AM is still king, such as China.  I suspect there will be a long life for technology that is obsolete in the US, in other parts of the world.

  10. vbiancomano
    September 21, 2014

    @eafpres1—From what I see initially, there are surprisingly about 20 college stations still on the air here in New Jersey, although virtually all of them are FM (one is listed as an AM station that apparently has since gone to an Internet radio format). Locally, we have one very active college station and a commercial AM station only a few miles away, for which I'm grateful.

    Again, I much prefer old technology on this one, more for what it implies about lifestyle than anything else. But as for how signals get to my car in future and how “gadget/service of the day” technology imposes itself, I'll call it a draw as long as I can access my hometown talk and music station through a device I know as my car radio.

  11. samicksha
    September 21, 2014

    Personally i dont want see AM Radio disappear, as it can allow information and entertainment at no cost to everyone. In my country people still prefer radio in cars rather than cd players.

  12. Hardware_man
    September 21, 2014

    The entire AM broadcast band is only about 1 MHz, not much room for broad band.

     

    Marty

  13. eafpres
    September 21, 2014

    Hi Marty–good point, in the sense of high data rate.  On the other hand, the internet of things has lots of nodes but low data rates.  Using AM would be great for the ability to transmit almost from anywhere and get signal.

  14. Bill_Jaffa
    September 21, 2014

    May not make a difference: Car makers are also looking to eliminate the CD players, in addition to the radio.

  15. chirshadblog
    September 23, 2014

    @eafpres: Yes in certain ways the old technology has more benefits than the old. 

  16. chirshadblog
    September 23, 2014

    @Hardware_man: Do you think its not worth even to upgrade it ? Or it cannot be upgraded even ? 

  17. Myled
    September 23, 2014

    “These are difficult times for the commercial broadcast-radio business, both AM and FM. According to various articles, such as this one from The Los Angeles Times, listener ratings are continuing to fall, and some carmakers — where most radio listening is done, apparently — are considering eliminating radios in the car completely, and not even offering it as an available option”

    Bill, software defined radios or internet radios had taken oven the traditional AM/FM radio. In mobiles also FM radios are wide  popular. What i understood is back end technologies are still in place for FM, only the receiver end equipments are changed.

  18. Hardware_man
    September 23, 2014

    I'm not certain I understand what you are asking, upgrade what? AM radio? Using this 1 MHz of spectrum for something else?

    AM radio is not very HI-FI because there is only 10 KHz channel allocations. You loose a lot of the high end frequencies in music. That's why people listen to music on FM that has wider channels and more audio bandwidth for snare drums and cymbols. So AM became talk radio, don't need a lot of audio band width for that.

     

    Unless you want to add DSP and transform coders and get more “fake” audio bandwidth out of it that way. But this would not be compatible with the billion AM receivers out there.

     

    Marty

  19. David Ashton
    September 24, 2014

    @Martin….there, I said it!!  I had a 6V VW when I was young, and one day someone gave me an old valve (tube) car radio, with a vibrator power supply, that worked on 6V.  The power supply was in a large box under the hood, and the radio bit was about the same size as a normal car radio (just heavier).  It worked well for about a year, then some @#$%&*% stole the part in the car, thinking it was standalone, leaving me with the now useless power supply.   But I'd like to have seen the @#$%&*%'s face when he tried to make his stolen bit work!

  20. EMCgenius
    September 25, 2014

    Say what you want about the creaky old AM bad, but it offers long distance coverage at night, and you can build your own radio from as little as a length of wire, a coil you can make yourself, a capacitor (ditto if you put your mind to it), sensitive headphones, and a diode… that you can also make yourself!  “Come the revolution”, a regional long term power outage, or perhaps the killer earthquake in which California breaks off and everything else sinks into the Atlantic, we will be totally thankful for AM when the internet is kaput and cell coverage is dead.

  21. chirshadblog
    September 25, 2014

    @David: Ha ha.. Good one. Anyway he must be cursing you still . 

  22. vasanjk
    September 26, 2014

    “you can build your own radio from as little as a length of wire, a coil you can make yourself, a capacitor (ditto if you put your mind to it), sensitive headphones, and a diode… that you”

    @EMCGenius,

    I still remember the little glass Germanium diode, OA79 with a cap and a long wire which I run from the second floor of my building. I used to listen the local AM station witth a headphone. I think we should have community radios running AM just to keep the technology which served us well even during wars.

     

  23. samicksha
    September 26, 2014

    If i read your comment right, Is it some new system will replace cd players or systems like this will be completed eliminated.

  24. geek
    September 27, 2014

    “Say what you want about the creaky old AM bad, but it offers long distance coverage at night, and you can build your own radio”

    @EMCgenius: I think the technology that powers commercial AM radio is also being used by other areas like police, ambulance networks etc. I don't think that technology is going to fade away. What the blog refers to is the use of AM Radio technology for commercial broadcasting and whether there's a need for that or not. As far as other applications of AM Radio technology are concerned, they do make the AM radio superior and I think it's going to stay. The commercial use for broadcasting on consumer radio sets, that I'm not sure about.

  25. geek
    September 27, 2014

    “Bill, software defined radios or internet radios had taken oven the traditional AM/FM radio”

    @Myankalog: I agree with you on this. Internet Radio has taken over the traditional radio in a lot of places but that has only happened in places where the cost of highspeed internet has fallen down and it's available on the go. In countries where that's not the case and people are not able to afford highspeed internet on the go, the traditional radio is still popular and mainstream.          

  26. geek
    September 27, 2014

    In my part of the world, FM radio has already taken over and AM radio is on the verge of a natural death. There's only one AM radio station being broadcasted and the quality of the content is not so great anymore. Had it not been owned by the government, even that would have ended long time back as there's no money to be made on it.

  27. goafrit2
    September 28, 2014

    >> Yes, we should care. One area I want for AM is the hometown radio station, so as to put me in touch with the local community at a speed I can take in and without my being shackled to the computer

    The problem with caring for what happens to AM radio is that if we stop driving, AM radio will likely not survive. I am not sure I will have any need for radio without my car. Do people still buy radios for homes?

  28. goafrit2
    September 28, 2014

    >> In my country people still prefer radio in cars rather than cd players.

    But they do not do the same time as they are not substitutes. I do not understand the comparison. CD players are for recorded music while radio is mainly transmitted live from the stations. They are not substitutes.

  29. fasmicro
    September 28, 2014

    >> Using AM would be great for the ability to transmit almost from anywhere and get signal.

    AM may be unable to offer much data piped because of the data rate. I know there is the advantage of wider coverage but it suffers from data capacity issue.

  30. fasmicro
    September 28, 2014

    In my part of the world, FM radio has already taken over and AM radio is on the verge of a natural death

    In most parts of sub Saharan Africa, AM radio is still very popular because of BBC which broadcasts quality news to local people even in their local languages. The fidelity and extensive wide coverage of AM radio cannot be replaced in a hurry especially in the Arab world where radio is still dominate. 

  31. amrutah
    September 28, 2014

    I agree, where the internet penetration or low data rate internet is present, still the FM/AM radios are popular and mainstream.

      I feel the internet radios are just adding to a lot of chaos with too much of information and data.  The charm of staying tuned to a AM radio station during nights and early mornings is slowly getting lost.

  32. eafpres
    September 28, 2014

    @fasmicro–yes, several have already noted that the spectrum bandwidth would limit data rates.  My thinking is that there are low data rate applications like remote sensor networks that would benefit from almost 100% connection reliability in exchange for low data rate.

  33. Myled
    September 28, 2014

    “Internet Radio has taken over the traditional radio in a lot of places but that has only happened in places where the cost of highspeed internet has fallen down and it's available on the go. In countries where that's not the case and people are not able to afford highspeed internet on the go, the traditional radio is still popular and mainstream.”

    Tzubair, here the bandwidth cost/usage has to bone by the user. If network is an issue; they can use FM radios over basic model; which won't fetch you anything more than the mobile cell power.

  34. Myled
    September 28, 2014

    “In most parts of sub Saharan Africa, AM radio is still very popular because of BBC which broadcasts quality news to local people even in their local languages. The fidelity and extensive wide coverage of AM radio cannot be replaced in a hurry especially in the Arab world where radio is still dominate. “

    Fasmicro, you may be right about Africa and Arab world. But when it comes to developed nations like US and EU, the old small radios are fadeout a decade ago. Majority are using internet radios over smartphones and Ipads.

  35. geek
    September 29, 2014

    “The fidelity and extensive wide coverage of AM radio cannot be replaced in a hurry especially in the Arab world where radio is still dominate. “

    @fasmicro: That's true. Even in the rural part of my country, AM radio continues to exist and serve as a means for people to stay informed. The long range of coverage for AM network is certainly a big advantage when it comes to places like these where it may not be worthwhile to set up a large number of boosters.

  36. geek
    September 29, 2014

    “I feel the internet radios are just adding to a lot of chaos with too much of information and data. “

    @amrutah: On the flip side, internet radios have ensured that you remain part of the global world and can access content orignating from any part of the world. What someone in the US might be listening to right now, I can listen to the exact thing in my part of the world at the same time.

  37. dassa.an
    September 29, 2014

    @tzubair: Yes as long as the bandwidth is fine it will be loud and clear. 

  38. dassa.an
    September 30, 2014

    @tzubair: Well cant we find another way of bypassing this ? I see this happening all around the globe. Many have written it but no such solution given so far. 

  39. yalanand
    September 30, 2014

    I feel the internet radios are just adding to a lot of chaos with too much of information and data.

    @amrutah, I think Internet radios gives the end user that many more option. May be too much of an option creates chaos in the mind of the end user.

  40. yalanand
    September 30, 2014

    In most parts of sub Saharan Africa, AM radio is still very popular because of BBC which broadcasts quality news to local people even in their local languages.

    @fasmicro, even in india AM radio is very popular. Radio is so popular in India that government is planning to effectively use radio medium to reach to the people.

  41. yalanand
    September 30, 2014

    Majority are using internet radios over smartphones and Ipads.

    @Myanalog, In developing nations  Internet is not accessible by everyone because Internet cost is pretty high. So people here still prefer AM radio over internet radio.

  42. yalanand
    September 30, 2014

    Personally i dont want see AM Radio disappear, as it can allow information and entertainment at no cost to everyone.

    @samicksha, true. Not only AM radio but FM radio is also popular because it is very easy to setup FM stations. But its more fun to listen to AM stations rather than FM stations.

  43. yalanand
    September 30, 2014

    CD players are for recorded music while radio is mainly transmitted live from the stations. They are not substitutes.

    @goafrit2, agreed but eventually both are used for entertainment while driving. After FM  radio station was started in my region i stopped carrying CD.

  44. bmccue1964
    October 1, 2014

    I personally listen to AM every day to/from work (talk shows).  With that being said, if the demise of over the air radio is already taking place in favor of other forms of entertainment (via satellite or cellular data), what will we do when those methods of communication are not available due to a hurricane, ice storm, censorship, or something equally as bad?  During a recent ice storm here in the northeast, power was lost for over a week, cell service went down, and cable was obviously not available.  Many people were in the dark – some without even flashlights or a battery powered radio.  However, some of those people who were not prepared did remember they had a battery powered radio – the one in their car.  A boatload of important information was broadcast via the radio stations to those who could listen.

  45. goafrit2
    October 2, 2014

    >> The charm of staying tuned to a AM radio station during nights and early mornings is slowly getting lost.

    Sure, unless you are driving. Even during driving, I end up with FM radio stations

  46. goafrit2
    October 2, 2014

    >> But when it comes to developed nations like US and EU, the old small radios are fadeout a decade ago

    There is no debate over that. And I think over time, the Arab world and Africa will follow the same curve. There are many analog things that will not survive this age of disruption.

  47. goafrit2
    October 2, 2014

    >> , I think Internet radios gives the end user that many more option. May be too much of an option creates chaos in the mind of the end user.

    Largely, at the end it will all be internet radio. I do not see the value of the mast in 20 years when Internet can provide a platform to distribute these contents especially via satellite

  48. fasmicro
    October 2, 2014

     Radio is so popular in India that government is planning to effectively use radio medium to reach to the people.

    You can argue that as countries become richer, they do away with radio. I am just thinking about this as most of the places where there are radios are largely developing nations.

  49. fasmicro
    October 2, 2014

    Sure cost of Internet is a big issue in most countries and that continues to affect how consumers consume digital data. Yet, the trajectory points to the one where we will expect to see a lot of these nations moving to do things on the web as cost of bandwidth continues to drop.

  50. Davidled
    October 2, 2014

    Internet Radio such as Pandora and Aha is getting become now popular as internet is everywhere. I think that in connectivity perspective and overall performance, AM/FM might be better than internet radio.

  51. Bill_Jaffa
    October 6, 2014

    See:

    http://www.planetanalog.com/author.asp?section_id=396&doc_id=559044

    for my previous, somewhat-related column (aka blog) with some additional perspectives.

  52. Myled
    October 8, 2014

    “In developing nations  Internet is not accessible by everyone because Internet cost is pretty high. So people here still prefer AM radio over internet radio.”

    Yalanand, most of the smartphones and even basic mobile phones have FM facility. So there won't be any issue in hearing radio.

  53. amrutah
    October 8, 2014

    @tzubair: Internet has huge potential but alas has low reach or penetration to many places on earth.  We need to route a cable, a router, a internet enabled device (PC/laptop with an ethernet or wireless port, Mobiles etcs).  For detecting a AM signal you just need a simple receiver and not even a power source (if the signal is strong) is needed.

       Consider a AM station located somewhere in Srilanka and we can tune into a Mediumwave to Shortwave using a receiver in lakshadweep.

  54. amrutah
    October 11, 2014

    While driving I too use only FM, because of the clarity and lots of events.  But occasionally tune to AM when at home.

    Another reason why I don't like listening to AM while driving is since the AM bands are so closely spaced there is spurious spillover casuing a lot of distortion.  The antenna needs to be still otherwise the signal reception and signal strength won't be good making it nonpleasurable while driving.

      I don't know how does this HD or digital radio work out while driving.

  55. Myled
    October 13, 2014

    “There is no debate over that. And I think over time, the Arab world and Africa will follow the same curve. There are many analog things that will not survive this age of disruption.”

    Goafrit2, you are right. Now everything is in software defined mode.

  56. Myled
    October 13, 2014

    “Internet Radio such as Pandora and Aha is getting become now popular as internet is everywhere. I think that in connectivity perspective and overall performance, AM/FM might be better than internet radio.”

    Daej, these internet radios can be easily access through Smartphones; which made them more popular and acceptable among common peoples.

  57. Davidled
    October 13, 2014

    Some customers would like to hear the song in better amplifier rather than a tiny smartphone. Today, internet radio was embedded in a few vehicles. Customer might hear the song in stereo system.  

  58. samicksha
    October 14, 2014

    Our tendency is to adopt easy approch, setting up FM is much easier than buffering on internet. Yes if you have good speed and plan internet radio can yield more fun.

  59. ue2014
    October 16, 2014

    I agree with Daej. I also personally prefer to have a song in Stereo rather than in a Smartphone. Anyway in developing county like ours, FM radio's and CD Setup Player's are more popular than any other..

  60. Myled
    October 17, 2014

    “Some customers would like to hear the song in better amplifier rather than a tiny smartphone. Today, internet radio was embedded in a few vehicles. Customer might hear the song in stereo system.  “

    Daej, as an alternate FM is common with most of the audio system.

  61. Myled
    October 17, 2014

    “I agree with Daej. I also personally prefer to have a song in Stereo rather than in a Smartphone. Anyway in developing county like ours, FM radio's and CD Setup Player's are more popular than any other..”

    Ue2014, you can connect your phone to the car info systems through audio Line-in cables. This can provide you a stereo or Dolby effect based on the type of speaker systems installed within your vehicle.

  62. Myled
    October 17, 2014

    “Our tendency is to adopt easy approch, setting up FM is much easier than buffering on internet. Yes if you have good speed and plan internet radio can yield more fun.”

    Samiksha, internet radios are expensive because you have to use your data connectivity for accessing internet radio sites. At the same time FM radios wont requires any data connectivity.

  63. ue2014
    October 17, 2014

    I agree with you Myanalog. Yes it is true that many set ups now carry the facility where you could plug-in the same to car audio. But many I.have seen here is comfortable with devices like pen drives and CD's as they use their phone even while driving for calls and sms. But I take your point, yes, it could be used as such too.

  64. ue2014
    October 17, 2014

    Samicksha… Yes.. Developing countries like ours also has the issue of Internet Coverage also. High speed internet is not available in everywhere. Therefore people refer FM Radio's and other Mobile devices like CD, Pen Drivers for uninterrupted entertainment.

  65. samicksha
    October 17, 2014

    I am not sure how others take but yes i feel FM approach little easy rather than internet radio or CD players.Just tune and you are all set to enjoy news/ music/ jokes and day to day update.

  66. Myled
    October 21, 2014

    “I agree with you Myanalog. Yes it is true that many set ups now carry the facility where you could plug-in the same to car audio. But many I.have seen here is comfortable with devices like pen drives and CD's as they use their phone even while driving for calls and sms. But I take your point, yes, it could be used as such too.”

    Ue2014, from USB and other devices you can replay only the stored music/videos. But if you jack your Smartphone, you can play FM radios  in live mode.

  67. ue2014
    October 21, 2014

    Yes….I agree. It depends on individual favor also sometimes. FM Radio's will allow you to be updated to date and provide you with a variety of programs including jokes, discussions etc. If anyone interested in the same, they would refer FM Radio's. On the other hand, USB like devices allows you to enjoy preferred selection of songs uninterrupted. Also if you are to use your phone for both music and calls/ sms purposes, it believe that could be little disturb.

  68. Myled
    October 21, 2014

    “I am not sure how others take but yes i feel FM approach little easy rather than internet radio or CD players. Just tune and you are all set to enjoy news/ music/ jokes and day to day update.”

    Samicksha, there is no doubt that FM are superior than any other plug and play devices; with respect to infotainment and its more lively too.

  69. Myled
    October 21, 2014

    “Yes….I agree. It depends on individual favor also sometimes. FM Radio's will allow you to be updated to date and provide you with a variety of programs including jokes, discussions etc. If anyone interested in the same, they would refer FM Radio's. On the other hand, USB like devices allows you to enjoy preferred selection of songs uninterrupted. Also if you are to use your phone for both music and calls/ sms purposes, it believe that could be little disturb.”

    Ue2014, you are right. Both have its own merit and demerit. One is lively in dynamic nature and the other one is passive but have the choice of selection.

  70. fasmicro
    November 5, 2014

    >> I think that in connectivity perspective and overall performance, AM/FM might be better than internet radio.

    How do you define “better”? If you can hear the thing, does it matter how it is deliverred. I do not see how AM will be better than the web if sound quality is all that matters in this.

  71. fasmicro
    November 5, 2014

    >> Yalanand, most of the smartphones and even basic mobile phones have FM facility. So there won't be any issue in hearing radio.

    The big problem may not be the means of communication but the programs. I am not sure there are a lot of exciting things on radio for people to be overly concerned. Except my car, I do not think I will care which radio station is out there.

  72. fasmicro
    November 5, 2014

    >> Now everything is in software defined mode.

    But that does not change what the consumer hears. The big question is not the underlining technology but the program. I know that without BBC, most parts of Africa will drop their radios. BBC Radio service remains a very important product in radio across Western and Central Africa

  73. goafrit2
    November 5, 2014

    Daej, these internet radios can be easily access through Smartphones; which made them more popular and acceptable among common peoples.

    Practically, every Android phone has FM Radio. Unless there is something I do not know, it works just as the one from the FM frequency. As people buy phones with these capabilities, radio will be like watch – devices that will fizzle one day irrespective of what we may think about them at the moment.

  74. goafrit2
    November 5, 2014

    >> Some customers would like to hear the song in better amplifier rather than a tiny smartphone. Today, internet radio was embedded in a few vehicles. Customer might hear the song in stereo system. 

    Nothing stops you from extending the phone capabilities with a stereo just as you are doing with radio. There is nothing you can do with the radio that the phone is not ready for.

  75. goafrit2
    November 5, 2014

    There are not a lot of innovations in this space largely because the opportunities are muted. How many college kids are buying radios and how many families have them?These are not things that people spend a lot of time thinking how to redesign and remake. FM, AM, and the whole nexus of radio while important are not within the sights of Silicon Valley geeks.

  76. Myled
    November 11, 2014

    “The big problem may not be the means of communication but the programs. I am not sure there are a lot of exciting things on radio for people to be overly concerned. Except my car, I do not think I will care which radio station is out there.”

    Fasmicro, listeners have no choice or control over the selection and broadcasting programs. Such things has to be taken care from the back end team; I mean broadcasting team.

  77. Myled
    November 13, 2014

     “There are not a lot of innovations in this space largely because the opportunities are muted. How many college kids are buying radios and how many families have them? These are not things that people spend a lot of time thinking how to redesign and remake. FM, AM, and the whole nexus of radio while important are not within the sights of Silicon Valley geeks.”

    Goafrit2, only physical radios can be vanished, soft radios can be there by embedding in all music systems including smartphones, tablets etc.

  78. Myled
    November 13, 2014

    “Practically, every Android phone has FM Radio. Unless there is something I do not know, it works just as the one from the FM frequency. As people buy phones with these capabilities, radio will be like watch – devices that will fizzle one day irrespective of what we may think about them at the moment.”

    Goafrit2, yes most of the soft radios have only FM stations. I don't know why they hadn't include AM or SW stations.

  79. Myled
    November 13, 2014

    “But that does not change what the consumer hears. The big question is not the underlining technology but the program. I know that without BBC, most parts of Africa will drop their radios. BBC Radio service remains a very important product in radio across Western and Central Africa”

    Fasmicro, but that increases the clarify and sound quality.

  80. fasmicro
    December 2, 2014

    >> Fasmicro, listeners have no choice or control over the selection and broadcasting programs.

    That is not the case in U.S. There are hundreds of stations one can choose in some cities in U.S. The problem I have with radio is the fact that except I am in the car, I do not see any other place I need to listen to it.

  81. goafrit2
    December 2, 2014

    >> Goafrit2, only physical radios can be vanished, soft radios can be there by embedding in all music systems including smartphones, tablets etc.

    That seems to be the paradigm as there are radios in most of the smarthphones and they work very well. The challenge for the industry is not the technology, it is just that it is competing with many other choices and alternatives.

  82. Myled
    December 3, 2014

    “That is not the case in U.S. There are hundreds of stations one can choose in some cities in U.S. The problem I have with radio is the fact that except I am in the car, I do not see any other place I need to listen to it.”

    Fasmicro, careful driving is important that tuning or listening to radio programs.

  83. Myled
    December 3, 2014

    “That seems to be the paradigm as there are radios in most of the smarthphones and they work very well. The challenge for the industry is not the technology, it is just that it is competing with many other choices and alternatives.”

    Goafrit2, yes you are right. I think in near future TV also may vanishes. Now a days most of the GSM providers are providing IP TVs and internet version of channels.

  84. fasmicro
    December 4, 2014

    >> Fasmicro, careful driving is important that tuning or listening to radio programs.

    I do not necessarily understand the point you are making here. Are you saying that changing a radio channel provides a risk? I personally do not see it that way 

  85. Myled
    December 8, 2014

    “I do not necessarily understand the point you are making here. Are you saying that changing a radio channel provides a risk? I personally do not see it that way “

    Fasmicro, I mentioned about change in attention, while driving. Any other operation while driving can change driving attention.

  86. traneus
    September 6, 2016

    Zero-IF, also called heterodyne, is older than superheterodyne. See Reginald A. Fessenden's 1916 U.S. Patent 01,172,017 for an example.

  87. pcsalex
    February 27, 2019

    AM radio could cover very large area and that could be important in emergency situation

     

  88. Measurementblues
    April 2, 2019

    Twice a year, I drive round trip from Boston to Rochester, NY. a 7-hour dirve. I listen to internet radio all the way, usually one station. No hunting around for local stations that either broudcast nothing of interest plus commercials.

  89. Steve Taranovich
    April 2, 2019

    I had the Lucent Technologies worldwide account when I was at Burr-Brown and then TI as Corporate Account Manager/Field Apps Engineer.

    I remember, in 2002, when Lucent Digital Radio system, in Warren, NJ (Right across the street from the TI NJ office), started out and used In-Band On-Channel (IBOC) technology which was designed to allow broadcasters to convert to an all-digital AM or FM broadcast system. The company planned that its digital radio would let listeners hear crystal-clear audio, while also providing new data services over regular broadcast signals. Lucent said that listeners would be able to hear IBOC, satellite, or Internet audio over the same receiver–whether in their car or at home–with wide varieties of programming and interactive services.

    I frequently visited their NJ facility and worked with their designers to help incorporate TI solutions. Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ had a large satellite dish that supported this development as well at the time.

  90. Measurementblues
    April 2, 2019

    As in HD radio? That never took off. Internet radio killed HD.

  91. Steve Taranovich
    April 2, 2019

    @MeasurementBlues—Lucent was the birthplace of Digital Radio which has obviously evolved since then.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.