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(The Verge)   Can (crack) (snap) we (hiss) save (crack) AM radio? (hiss)   (theverge.com) divider line 40
    More: Interesting, National Association of Broadcasters, Porter County  
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4330 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Feb 2014 at 6:11 PM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-02-13 05:20:13 PM
8 votes:
AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.
2014-02-13 05:17:14 PM
6 votes:
It still puts a smile on my face when I can pick up my hometown radio station (KMOX 1120 in St. Louis) in my car from over a thousand miles away.  Only at night or early morning, but still I think it is pretty cool.
2014-02-13 09:16:13 PM
3 votes:
There's something special about listening to a baseball game on AM radio... particularly on a hot summer night.  Sitting back after a nice grilled dinner, sipping on a freshly poured drink, and listening to the sounds of a summer evening mingle with the sounds of the game... pure amplitude modulating heaven.

I had a great AM radio experience once while driving back to Connecticut from Maryland.  The Boston Red Sox were playing the Baltimore Orioles.  I'd started listening to the Orioles home broadcast of the game on 1090-AM (WBAL out of Baltimore).  As I made my way north, and without touching the dial, I started picking up the  Red Sox away broadcast on 1080-AM (WTIC out of Hartford).  The atmospherics were such that, as one broadcast would fade out... the other would fade in.  For a good part of the drive, it made for a most unique listening experience.
2014-02-13 07:01:49 PM
3 votes:
TuteTibiImperes:...a better plan would be to just kill it and auction off the spectrum for wireless broadband.

Yeah, I can't wait to try WiFi on a 1.6 Mhz carrier. [eyeroll] AM radio isn't broken and doesn't need saving. It is what it is, a lo-fi broadcast medium that serves low budget broadcasters.
2014-02-13 08:14:26 PM
2 votes:

Lee451: fusillade762: unlikely: AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.

Came to say basically this.

I sense a lot of butthurt in the fact that absolutely no one listened to AirAmerica. Conservative opinions are far more prevalent than liberal ones. You'll grow up and get over it.


Liberals don't need an echo chamber to validate their beliefs.
2014-02-13 08:00:10 PM
2 votes:
I'd like to see some of the deregulation that lead to media conglomeration rolled back. That's part of the death of both AM and FM.

I'm lucky enough to be able to pick up several college FM stations at work and a few good music AM stations (at least during the day). I'd certainly like to have those college stations on AM as well so I could get the stations in the suburbs. It's about finding some new music.

Sure, AM is a wasteland of talk radio most places, but I'd hate to have FM become that, and there are vast swathes of the country that are undeserved by TV and radio, and AM is a lifeline there.

I would like to see more music on AM. I don't know what all the answers are for it, but it seems silly to throw it out. My AM dial may not be where I'm at most days but it's full so someone is listening.
2014-02-13 07:43:14 PM
2 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: BizarreMan: dnrtfa:  What's the point?

They list a few reasons, but a better plan would be to just kill it and auction off the spectrum for wireless broadband.

If their stance is that AM radio is cheaper to operate and thus leads to a more diverse broadcast voice, internet radio is cheaper still.

Let's put out enough spectrum that truly unlimited LTE becomes an affordable reality for everyone.


Wireless broadband?  You may want to think about that for a minute. The frequencies involved are really only good for what they're being used for... there is very little 'band width' available in the AM broadcast band.

540-1610 kHz -- that's kiloHertz.  That's a total span of about 1mHz of bandwidth.

a 4G LTE signals use 10 to 20mHz

You couldn't even license one carrier in a geographic area to provide any reasonably "high speed" wireless data in that range.
2014-02-13 07:21:28 PM
2 votes:

oldernell: BizarreMan: Clear Channel

That once meant something good.  At night you could listen to "clear channels" everywhere in the nation.  WLS, WSB, and many others were the only ones allowed to broadcast after dark on those frequencies. They often played music you couldn't get locally.  Yeah I'm old, but I remember when preachers once burned R&R records.  When I was stationed in Germany we constantly listened to the pirate radio to hear what we wanted.  Same thing with Texas Radio.


I once worked at a clear channel AM station that reached 38 states and 4 provinces of Canada after dark.  One time I got a postcard from a guy that was picking us up loud and clear in Iceland.  Crackpot preachers until midnight, then country music for the truckers overnight.  We'd get requests from all over the country.
2014-02-13 07:18:52 PM
2 votes:
Get off my lawn.
s22.postimg.org
2014-02-13 06:25:46 PM
2 votes:

unlikely: AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.


One of the AM stations here simu-broadcasts the morning TV news, so I listen to that on the way to work instead of the "WILD AND WACKY MORNING ZOO CRUE!!" crap that seems to be on every single FM station.  Easy enough to switch it back to FM for the drive home.

Plus, around 10PM AM radio here has that "Ground Zero" show.  If anyone ever really wore a tinfoil hat on his head, it had to be that guy.
2014-02-13 06:19:09 PM
2 votes:
Back in the day before Rush and his tribe took over, I liked AM. Local talk was pretty decent.

As mentioned, it's now only right wing echo chamber and sports talk. Yawn.

Now I only use my car "stereo" to listen to MP3's, usually eAudiobooks. That and NPR.
2014-02-13 05:05:16 PM
2 votes:
Seeing as how AM radio is all talk radio and mostly right wing and sports "experts", I don't have any use for it.  I wonder how may of Rush L's listeners are AM. I put Sirius in my truck 8 years ago and haven't even listened to any commercial stations since.  There are so many options open for people who want to hear music that AM isn't a choice, and if you don't like continuous commercials, FM isn't either.
2014-02-13 05:04:47 PM
2 votes:
I'm a hipster, I only listen to longwave.  And not the standard frequencies either, 209KHz out of Mongolia.  It's pretty obscure, you've probably never heard of it.
2014-02-13 05:04:14 PM
2 votes:
Okay, now I read the article and other than nostalgia, and emergency broadcasts he didn't really explain why we need to save AM.

What I thought was interesting about it was that one of the suggestions to save AM was to give all of the stations an FM re-translator.   You expect people to listen to AM on FM when they wouldn't listen to AM on AM?

The biggest thing that is killing radio is Clear Channel and the other conglomerates that just coalesce everything down to 10-20 songs per genre station and that's all they play.
2014-02-14 12:17:19 PM
1 votes:
I don't know why it hasn't been mentioned yet, but one of the coolest things that can be done with AM is park a bit transmitter in Seoul and broadcast the real world to a bunch of people who are starving for information in "Best Korea"

I am not sure if they are doing this, but there is a REAL use for AM that can really change the world.  I assume that they are.
2014-02-13 10:26:05 PM
1 votes:

AgentKGB: Representative of the unwashed masses: Branch Floridian: It still puts a smile on my face when I can pick up my hometown radio station (KMOX 1120 in St. Louis) in my car from over a thousand miles away.  Only at night or early morning, but still I think it is pretty cool.

I once was able to listen to a Los Angeles Dodgers game on an LA station one night when I was helping out on my uncles farm in Saskatchewan.  I thought that was pretty damn cool

This. I grew up in Saskatchewan and some nights you could go through the AM dial and get LA, Phoenix, etc.


I used to regularly listen to WOWO (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) and WLS (Chicago) at the oceanfront at Virginia Beach, VA

/and the rock and roll or WRNO on the shortwave band
2014-02-13 09:40:20 PM
1 votes:
And none of you mention WLW, the Big One, AM 700 Cincinnati?  For shame.  My college roommate was a Reds fan, and I showed him how to use the AM in his car to listen to the Reds games.

These days AM is limited to 50 KW, but back in the 1930s WLW experimented with a 500 KW signal.  That's serious Radio Moscow or BBC or Voice of America shortwave power.
2014-02-13 09:25:43 PM
1 votes:

Lee451: fusillade762: unlikely: AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.

Came to say basically this.

I sense a lot of butthurt in the fact that absolutely no one listened to AirAmerica. Conservative opinions are far more prevalent than liberal ones. You'll grow up and get over it.


Of course.  This is why Obama was elected twice.  Try again.

Right-wing derp radio sells because it's confrontational and sensational.
2014-02-13 09:02:43 PM
1 votes:

optikeye: I think it's in the best interested of the public. We have lots of older radios that only pick up AM. Tube style radios are immune to a EMP (Either from a Man Made or Natural). And to really put on your tin foil hat...Crystal Radios.
Don't even require a battery. And a six year old can build one.

[thumbs2.ebaystatic.com image 223x225]


Also Digital Signals don't degrade gracefully...they are there are they're not so there's no "Buzzz...Crack" losing just a bit of info occasionally. If the Signal is week YOU GET NOTHING. (Wonka.jpg).


These.

Also, the AM band has very little usage possible other than what it is already being used for.  You know how sound quality on AM radio is crap?  Imagine what that means for data.  "Freeing up" the spectrum just means it'll sit there unused.  May as well make the most out of it.

Also, while the sound quality isn't great on AM, it's more than enough for news/talk/weather and even passable for certain types of music.  Rap and Hip Hop aren't going to do very well on AM, but Country and some Rock sound decent enough.  Getting sent to the middle of nowhere in Nevada for work sometimes I spent a good chunk of time listening to a "Classic Country" AM station from as far as 250 miles away, and the music sounded alright.  Not great, but alright.
2014-02-13 08:38:51 PM
1 votes:
You had your time.
You had the power.
You've yet to have your finest hour.
2014-02-13 08:24:31 PM
1 votes:

enry: Let it die.  FM can go too as far as I care.

/Sirius FTW


Sirius FTW?

You mean FM Lite, with censored songs, playlists as shallow as a high school cheerleader, and shiatty, over compressed sound that makes AM sound good?
2014-02-13 08:17:10 PM
1 votes:
B.B. Bumble and the Stingers, Mott the Hoople, Ray Charles Singers
Lonnie Mack and twangin' Eddy, here's my ring we're goin' steady
Take it easy, take me higher, liar liar, house on fire
Locomotion, Poco, Passion, Deeper Purple, Satisfaction
Baby baby gotta gotta gimme gimme gettin' hotter
Sammy's cookin', Lesley Gore and Ritchie Valens, end of story
Mahavishnu, fujiyama, kama-sutra, rama-lama
Richard Perry, Spector, Barry, Archies, Righteous, Nilsson, Harry
Shimmy shimmy ko-ko bop and Fats is back and Finger Poppin'


Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
Gotta turn it up louder, so my DJ told me (whoa whoa whoa whoa)
Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
At the end of my rainbow lies a golden oldie
2014-02-13 08:07:33 PM
1 votes:

Representative of the unwashed masses: Branch Floridian: It still puts a smile on my face when I can pick up my hometown radio station (KMOX 1120 in St. Louis) in my car from over a thousand miles away.  Only at night or early morning, but still I think it is pretty cool.

I once was able to listen to a Los Angeles Dodgers game on an LA station one night when I was helping out on my uncles farm in Saskatchewan.  I thought that was pretty damn cool


As a kid in Baltimore I would hear Radio Cuba late at night.  In New Haven CT I could get some radio out of Tonawonda NY. That's where I first heard Elton John.

CSB- at my friends house after leaving 8th grade ceremony.  He's showing me the radio he received as a gift -"what's this FM dial do?"
"Oh it's like Dentist music"
"Really?"
"Yeah here listen - it's mostly nothing and a bit of  - HOLY CARP!"
It was the Yale University FM radio playing Lydia Pense and Cold Blood's brand new "THRILLER" LP
- we were never the same -
2014-02-13 07:57:43 PM
1 votes:

optikeye: I think it's in the best interested of the public. We have lots of older radios that only pick up AM. Tube style radios are immune to a EMP (Either from a Man Made or Natural). And to really put on your tin foil hat...Crystal Radios.
Don't even require a battery. And a six year old can build one.

Also Digital Signals don't degrade gracefully...they are there are they're not so there's no "Buzzz...Crack" losing just a bit of info occasionally. If the Signal is week YOU GET NOTHING. (Wonka.jpg).


"You get nothing" was one of the selling points of FM in decades past - at least around here.  No static just smooth nothingness.
I have no idea where THAT went though, most times when in my auto there's plenty of FM static - sounds just like AM did - at least as bad as WABC during a Yankees game.

BTW- THANKS for the image of the crystal set.  I was trying to explain it to students and they were looking at me like I had 3 noggins.
No Physics or Electronics in HS I guess.
2014-02-13 07:56:58 PM
1 votes:
I must point out that the real quality of AM radios has been going down over time, and just getting cheaper because that is a place that manufacturers can cut corners.

Old school radios, even in old cars, have better reception.

now you can't tune in a station to save your life unless it has crazy amounts of power.
2014-02-13 07:50:15 PM
1 votes:

Billy Liar: Let's face it; without AM radio, we'd all still be listening to the farkin' Eagles and the flares on our patchwork jeans would cover our farkin' platform shoes...



Ahh..no. FM was where most of the "Cool Music" was in the 70's. Album oriented stuff.

AM was "Captain and Tanelle", the Carpenters, Glen Campbell, and Jon Denver. Stuff for 13 yo girls.

FM was Pick Floyd, Led Zepplin, Rush, YES, Zappa, Queen, Suptertramp, Blue Oyster Cult...and things that wouldn't play on non Album oriented AM "Sugar Pop" "Bubble Gum" stations.

Heck---- Most FM stations in the late 70's would have a "Album" hour..and play a entire Album with no commercials,...or a new Album. And encourage people to fire up their cassette decks. With a pause after 45mins for people to flip the sides of the cassette tape while the DJ turned the Album over to side 2.

A little known fact was in the 1970's each black Cassette Tape you purchased had a few pennies pushed back to the RIAA. So, not only was it legal to copy albums and FM radio shows---it was actively encouraged.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy

Sorry..that's a shallow search..but gives a reader an idea.You could copy for friends and trade with friends just don't sell or publish.
2014-02-13 07:35:59 PM
1 votes:
Without AM radio, how would I listen to Art Bell and Coast to Coast late at night?  Phil Hendrie is also on my AM stations.  Neither seems to be right wing wacko.

If you don't know Phil Hendrie or Art Bell, you don't know true artistic ventures.
433 [TotalFark]
2014-02-13 07:22:23 PM
1 votes:

nekom: I'm a hipster, I only listen to longwave.  And not the standard frequencies either, 209KHz out of Mongolia.  It's pretty obscure, you've probably never heard of it.


If you're listening to Mongolia, you are listening to shortwave.

AM may be a dying, er, format, but hobbyists love it.  There are a number of evangelical stations in my area, as well as golden oldies, several country, and several hispanic.  Handful of talk radio, as well.  I'd be disappointed to see it go right away, but perhaps in 20-30 years.

I don't think it would be wise to give it up for wireless; UHF, HAM, VHF and shortwaves could still interfere.  I think.  I am not an expert.
2014-02-13 07:21:20 PM
1 votes:

Salmon: I thought they were reallocating the frequencies into cellular communication?


Not the AM radio band - the frequency is much too low for cellular or broadband communication.
2014-02-13 07:03:54 PM
1 votes:
The 540-1700khz band isn't useful for any type of communication except broadcast radio, so I can't imagine it going anywhere.

Agent Smiths Laugh: unlikely: AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.

Ooooh you make an excellent point.


Look, guys. Broadcast radio is a business. It has expenses and so it has to earn revenue. Whether you agree with it or not, people listen to this stuff, so the business can sell ads to meet expenses. You don't have to like it but that doesn't change the essential reality of the thing. The programming won't go away until it stops making a profit - if the AM radio band weren't there, the programming would be somewhere else.

And that's the whole problem. Broadcast radio is expensive and it requires a certain critical mass to stay viable. Back when there were only three radio stations in a city that wasn't hard to do, but nowadays everyone expects their entertainment to be customized to their preferences and it's just really hard to find something that appeals to enough people to be viable on a broadcast medium. If the Internet had been invented before broadcast radio, you'd never have heard of radio because it wouldn't have ever reached commercial viability. But now the infrastructure is there, and people are paying their mortgages from the revenues generated by radio, and it's no surprise that they'd like that to continue. Wat do? Local programming is awesome, but it's not free - that's why syndicated talkers came into being in the first place. It's cheaper than local talent.
2014-02-13 07:00:04 PM
1 votes:
I think it's in the best interested of the public. We have lots of older radios that only pick up AM. Tube style radios are immune to a EMP (Either from a Man Made or Natural). And to really put on your tin foil hat...Crystal Radios.
Don't even require a battery. And a six year old can build one.

thumbs2.ebaystatic.com


Also Digital Signals don't degrade gracefully...they are there are they're not so there's no "Buzzz...Crack" losing just a bit of info occasionally. If the Signal is week YOU GET NOTHING. (Wonka.jpg).
2014-02-13 06:52:21 PM
1 votes:

ladodger34: styckx: What use is the AM band really? It's notoriously shiatty to get reception with and a cat can interfere with the signal.

Sports


Art Bell too. Or whoever does is show now.
2014-02-13 06:48:47 PM
1 votes:

Branch Floridian: It still puts a smile on my face when I can pick up my hometown radio station (KMOX 1120 in St. Louis) in my car from over a thousand miles away.  Only at night or early morning, but still I think it is pretty cool.


This so much. AM isn't a line of sight broadcast like FM is.
2014-02-13 06:28:27 PM
1 votes:

unlikely: AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.


Ooooh you make an excellent point.
2014-02-13 06:27:47 PM
1 votes:
"I heard it, I heard it, I heard it on the X"


/old enough to have listened to it
//lived in El Paso
2014-02-13 06:27:25 PM
1 votes:
As someone who does play-by-play for high school basketball games on a Clear Channel station ... obviously, I hope it can be saved.  And I'd like to think it can be saved the way I'm working to save it -- with local, relate-able content that enhances events people are involved in.

Also, it can be saved as part of other media.  Stations have to stream, both via mobile apps and regular online channels.

The idea:  The medium itself (AM radio) may die, but at the very least, it should be doing what it can to make sure its content is able to translate to whatever the next media are.
2014-02-13 06:13:12 PM
1 votes:
Yes.

/I like AM radio, too.
2014-02-13 05:50:27 PM
1 votes:

BizarreMan: Clear Channel


That once meant something good.  At night you could listen to "clear channels" everywhere in the nation.  WLS, WSB, and many others were the only ones allowed to broadcast after dark on those frequencies. They often played music you couldn't get locally.  Yeah I'm old, but I remember when preachers once burned R&R records.  When I was stationed in Germany we constantly listened to the pirate radio to hear what we wanted.  Same thing with Texas Radio.
2014-02-13 05:44:25 PM
1 votes:

unlikely: AM Radio is safely in the hands of insane mouth-frothing right wingers. It doesn't need saving, it needs quarantine.


Came to say basically this.
2014-02-13 04:58:02 PM
1 votes:
dnrtfa:  What's the point?
 
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