Even though content rules and it’s still out there…
The Future of Technology (and everything else) Still Moves Forward

By Bob Burnham

 Aren’t you tired of hearing bad news? 

It’s not just that the news is negative but it’s rooted in the fact that we are in the midst of change: Big change and changes in everything and anything.  Sometimes the change works out for the better and sometimes it just doesn’t work.  

 Analog or digital TV?  And if it’s digital, is it HD (high definition)?  There’s a difference, you know.  And what about those dates for switchover?  February or June?

I have two words in response:  WHO CARES!?

 People have been connecting VCR’s to their TVs since the 1980s and now they can’t figure out how to connect a simple HD box?

C’mon folks, get with the program. It’s the same thing!

 And what about HD RADIO?  Does any number of people that amount to anything actually listen to those extra “stations between the stations”?   The FCC, at least initially, doesn’t want licensees to sell commercial time on those “extra” HD channels, so there can’t be too much incentive to do anything too creative with programming on those channel. They are just more of the same bland programming.  Why do we want more of THAT!? Why should we buy the radios in the first place?  Furthermore, even if we wanted to buy the radios, where do we buy them?  Hardly anyone is selling them to begin with!

 And whatever happened to AM Stereo or for that matter, digital AM?  The interference that was caused by this created far more problems than it solved and when most of the programming on AM is talk anyway, there seems little point to having anything too technically advanced on the AM band.  For the most part it’s a dead outlet for mindless syndicated programming identical in every market small and large.

 The two major satellite radio companies merged, but now appears they will fold as well.

The concept of paying for quality radio is apparently flawed, and following the merger, the companies reportedly started dropping many of programs that were actually popular among subscribers…. literally stripping away the channels of their product that were the very reason someone would actually give them money for it in the first place.  Something is wrong with this scenario.

 As for (analog) AM Stereo, it sounded pretty nice for a short time in the late 1980s around the time music programming was disappearing off the band faster than you can blink.

 Newspapers are struggling as people use the internet more and more as their source of news and information, and those newspapers haven’t yet figured out how to make money with their internet sites.  It’s part of the changing times. Me or anyone spending 50 cents on a newspaper is not going to stop or slow down the change no matter how good or bad the economy is.

 In the midst of an economic crisis “brick and mortar” retail outlets are disappearing while certain commerce-based websites are at least surviving – if not setting the world on fire.

 And what about music?  When was the last time you (or anyone you know) actually made a specific trip to the store to BUY (as in pay money) for a CD?

 For that matter, you can probably count on one hand the number of record STORES that are not part of a “big box” operation within 100 miles.  

 And whatever happened to the video rental stores?  Having recently bought out one of the major movie downloading businesses, now there are rumblings that our friends at Blockbuster are dangerously close to bankruptcy.   

 For many people, life revolves around computer operations, highly advanced cellular phones that do everything.   

 Ipods, however, WILL be on the way out (rapidly) once the next generation of portable players emerge that connect everyone with everything they ever wanted to listen to or watch – without storing it (the music / video) in the player itself.   

 So what about those of us who grew up working in radio, figuring it was the only business we ever wanted to be in?    What’s left for us?

 The internet is out there folks.  Forget about the commercial bands at least for your own use.  You’re going worldwide on the ‘net.

 Someone recently asked me about Part 15 of the FCC’s rules (micro power without a license).  Forget about that, too!

Audio cable is cheap! You could run a piece of wire (even in digital format) to everyone’s crib within the range of a flea-power operation and deliver a product far superior than anything being broadcast anywhere… providing YOU know how to create the product itself YOURSELF.  So get busy with those internet or hard-wired “stations” and show them how its done!  Maybe you could even recreate your own flavor of the “Boss Radio” sound, but with your own name behind it.

....seeya soon!

-Bob

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