Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Radio to go
Motorola recently dipped one toe into the growing mobile music market with its iTunes-enabled ROKR cell phone. Now the electronics giant is jumping head-first into deep waters with a more intriguing and unique service called iRadio, to be accessible in the next few months on a line of Motorola mobile phones marketed by some of the leading service providers.
Instead of satellite's 125 channels, iRadio will start with something like 500 options - and grow from there. "The sky's the limit," said spokesperson Paul Alfieri. "iRadio is extremely customer-friendly."
Thanks to deals made with record labels including the Universal Music Group, users will find channels dedicated to specific artists - including 12 just for Universal country headliners, including Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Shania Twain and George Strait.
iRadio also is looking to make deals and give exposure to gazillions of indie acts with their own musical streams, as well as to podcasters, with their own talk outlets.
And while satellite radio offers decade channels, iRadio will let you narrow the focus to just a favorite musical genre of that decade - say '70s disco, California folk-rock or British blues - and ignore the rest.
Priced at $6.99 a month, iRadio will operate a bit like a streaming Internet radio service. The main difference is, you can take it with you. To get content, visit the iRadio Web site, pick out channels you'd like to hear, and drop your new generation mobile phone into a docking station. The next morning, you'll find it loaded with content. You can listen on headphones, on a home stereo or take it on the road.
For car tuning, a small box is connected to the CD changer jack or the satellite radio input on the back of your in-dash stereo. That box now wirelessly receives the Bluetooth-transmitted audio signal put out by your mobile phone, and plays it through the car stereo's speakers.
Here's where the process gets magical: Artist and song information show up on the car radio's display. The radio's preset buttons let you jump from one iRadio musical stream to another. You can pause the music at any time - and that happens automatically with incoming phone calls.
There's no backing up and re-listening to a tune, though. Like a streaming online channel, the music disappears as it plays. But if there's a song you want to add permanently to your computer hard drive or mobile phone, just press/hold a button when you hear it playing. Return home and dock the phone again. The song will be download automatically and you'll be charged accordingly. And the iRadio phone gets replenished with new content, replacing only the tunes you've already heard.
While Apple has limited the Motorola ROKR to carrying just 100 songs per memory card, there will be no such restrictions on the iRadio-ready phones, said Alfieri. "A typical, 512 megabyte card should give you 15-20 hours of content."
Responding to another concern, the Moto-man swears that listening to iRadio will not unduly diminish your phone's battery power. "The real power users on a phone are the screen and the cellular technology - neither of which is used when listening to music. In my tests, I've been getting about seven hours of talk and listening, between charges."

Link to complete article:

Saturday, December 10, 2005



Dear Radio World Editor,
I strongly disagree with the conclusions drawn in the article "5 kHz Bandwidth Restriction suits AM" by George W. Woodard, PE, Dec. 7, 2005 Radio World.
This article not posted to web-No link yet available.
The conclusions he reached are not supported by his own data, and is contrary to the bulk of over 100 years of acoustic, medical, and electronic research.
His data and text show a -16 dB loss on his "Best" tested radio. At about 9000 Hz (NRSC-1 and 2 dictate high frequency pre-emphasis and a 10, 000 Hz cutoff) for broadcast AM. When the preemphasis that he mentions is included, this is reduced to about -6dB. NOT BAD! I'll settle for that.
Then he proposes that broadcast AM would sound better and more intelligible if the fidelity were cut in half to 5 kHz. Perhaps on short wave communication where sky wave with selective fading and selective sideband cancellation occur this might be an advantage. In AM broadcast where the primary coverage is ground wave, such effects are minimal.
Almost all acoustic, medical, electronic, speech, and other research strongly show higher fidelity, greater signal to noise, lower distortion, improve natural sound and intelligibility. The research for this is compellingly conclusive. If you have any doubt, study the research or ask any competent audiologist, medical doctor, acoustic engineer, or other knowledgeable professional.
The link below is to a recent white paper showing that speech intelligibility is increased with better response up to 14 kHz and there is a very significant loss of intelligibility when frequencies between 5 and 9 kHz are missing. (See Figure 2).,1687,1809,00.pdf
Add to this the very loud hiss created by HD radio-IBOC-iBiquity and AM radio is destroying itself. The level of the IBOC hiss belies it's actual loudness and loss of intelligibility because of the nature of the digital waveform vs. analog waveform. Square waves are much louder then sine waves of the same level. In addition, with most common radio detectors it is almost impossible to completely tune out this annoying and distracting digital hiss.
FM IBOC takes about 5 channels and is jamming favorite nearby stations in populated metropolitan areas, where most listeners live. It does not take a genius to divide by 5 the 100 available FM channels to see that about 20 unjammed channels is about the most you can expect in congested metropolitan areas with digital HD Radio (4 of those channels are likely to fall in the non-commercial low end of the dial, leaving only about 16 of the most powerful commercial FM stations unjammed).
The most favorable projections only predict that less then 10% of listeners will purchase HD radios in the next 5 years. Can broadcasting as we know it survive with less then 10% of it's current listeners?
HD radio is an expensive, destuctive hoax.
Richard Franklin

Monday, November 21, 2005


Common Cause demands CPB to publicly disclose all evidence shared with its board
November 17, 2005: Common Cause has sent a letter to top officials of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, demanding the release of all evidence uncovered during a recently completed Inspector General's investigation -- including e-mail correspondence between ex-CPB Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson and White House adviser Karl Rove. "This goes beyond the public's basic right-to-know," said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. "What's at stake is the public's confidence in the CPB to dramatically change course and regain our trust and confidence in this important American institution."

Statements given to reporters by Inspector General Kenneth Konz indicate that Tomlinson discussed programming and hiring decisions at the CPB with Rove and other White House officials from November 2003 to May 2005. According to Bloomberg News, Tomlinson wrote to Rove that he was "finding programs to balance the Moyers report" and working "to shake up" the organization and hire Republican staff. Konz described Rove's response as, "a cryptic encouragement, a congratulations." The White House refused to cooperate with Konz's investigation. Common Cause, joined by the Center for Digital Democracy and Free Press, said the CPB board and inspector general must immediately disclose all the information related to efforts to force programming changes onto PBS and NPR.
Common Cause calls for new leadership at CPB after report reveals ethical violations and 'political tests' in hiring
November 15, 2005: Common Cause on Tuesday called on Corporation for Public Broadcasting President Patricia Harrison to resign following the long-awaited release of a report that exposes extensive wrongdoing by CPB leadership. The report found that "political tests" were a "major criteria" in hiring Harrison to oversee the CPB.

Other findings of the report by Inspector General Kenneth Konz include:

Former CPB Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson "violated his fiduciary responsibilities and statutory prohibitions against Board member involvement in programming decisions" in creating the "Journal Editorial Report."
The report criticizes the secretive hiring of Republican operative Frederick Mann to monitor "Now with Bill Moyers" and other programs without authorization from the CPB Board.
While the report concludes the violations were primarily the result of Tomlinson's "personal actions to accomplish his various initiatives," it also identifies "serious weaknesses" in the CPB's governance system.
"The CPB must acknowledge its mistakes and act to restore public confidence, especially in the face of this critical report on Mr. Tomlinson's failures," said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. "We renew our call today for the CPB to be more transparent and accountable by making structural changes to better serve the public interest."

Click here to read the full response to the report by Common Cause and the Center for Digital Democracy and Free Press, coalition partners who also called for Harrison's resignation.



Dear CC,
There is an impending radio broadcast digital disaster as thousands of high powered AM and FM radio stations switch to digital transmission and jam the community independent stations off the air.
This deception, and destruction of the AM and FM broadcast bands, and media diversity is already in progress by the FCC, iBiquity HD digital radio, and media conglomerates and cartels.
Digital HD radio has been misrepresented as IBOC (In Band On Channel) when it is actually OFF CHANNEL, ALL OVER THE BAND digital transmission.
As thousands of these "HD Radio" stations sign on the air they cause loud, destructive, jamming digital hiss on two channels on each side of the assigned stations frequency, jamming nearby competing stations. EACH DIGITAL STATION OCCUPIES 5 FREQUENCIES INSTEAD OF THE PRESENT 1. Lower powered community stations and LPAM and LPFM stations signals are being destroyed as these giant broadcast conglomerates trespass on their neighbors broadcast frequencies.
Engineering studies by expert broadcast engineers show that as thousands of stations shift to this digital HD Radio transmission using the defective iBiquity digital system, the AM and FM broadcast bands will be turned into a hissing digital mass of interference, jamming smaller stations, and limiting wide area coverage to local area high powered stations only.
Other stations are expected to be jammed off the air. One proponent calls this "thinning the heard of cripples".
This pending catastrophe for diversity on radio is fully documented in entries on these blogs:
I hope you will spread the word about this threat to free speech and media diversity, and petition the FCC and congress to stop this digital destruction of the public airwaves.
LPFM and LPAM and community radio stations are being jammed off the air.
Richard Franklin

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Over the last five years, Congress has provided nearly $190 million in funding to CPB to assist both public radio and public television stations to convert from analog to digital transmission.
HD Radio, "IBOC will cause interference to analog signals and there is simply no way of avaiding it completely."
"Radio Guide - Radio technology for engineers and managers", Nov. 2005 Pg. 18
Barry McLarnon, B.Sc., M.Sc., formerly Project Leader-Radio Broadcast Systems, Communications Research Center, Canada

Friday, November 18, 2005


HD Radio, The Plain Truth!
Radio isn’t dying because its programming isn’t sufficiently focused into musical niches; it’s failing because the product is irrelevant and unlistenable. Short playlists, especially in formats playing music from earlier decades, burn out classic tunes and ignore much of what the audience wants to hear. If they want an audience to listen to music-oriented programming, they need to relearn how to present it. Fortunately, some are trying.
Radio was supposed to be local. The technology–and the policy–initially demanded a local element to radio that is endangered now. If HD radio, with its niche formats, becomes the functional equipment of a juke box or iPod, what will differentiate it from satellite (or an iPod, for that matter)? If local stations pipe in nationally syndicated shows, what’s the difference? The only content that is truly local on far too many stations is the advertising. If that’s all they can do, then we won’t lose much by having them replaced by the satellite companies.
Nathan at June 14th, 2005 at 1:44 PM — Permalink

Radio’s Liferaft
Om Malik has written an article for Business 2.0 where he wonders if HD can save the traditional radio industry. This question is important, as terrestrial broadcasters are engadged in a fierce battle with satellite radio and podcasting.
One of the… at June 14th, 2005 at 3:09 PM — Permalink

HD Radio — Too Little, Too Late
I had been meaning to write about HD Radio for a while but Om’s article in B2.0 just reminded me to do so.
Rags' Soapbox at June 14th, 2005 at 10:47 PM — Permalink

The ugly truth is: HD radio doesn’t sound very good. The receivers are insanely expensive (Kenwood sells a $400 add on tuner to a $400 head unit. So $800 to get HD radio in your car.)
Ibiquity is so worried about making money off licensing the technology it’s been developing over the last 10 years that HD radio will probably end up being priced out of the market.
And given all the adjacent channel interference we’re starting to see from stations switching on their HD radio, it make be yet another nail in the coffin of traditional over the air radio!
Rusty Hodge at June 15th, 2005 at 1:33 AM — Permalink

If radio were still local, HD radio might work. The problem is that one company (Clear Channel) controls too many stations, and that company has claimed more than once that they are only in business to sell ads. They don’t care at all about local programming.
So all HD radio is going to do is give us 8 versions of the same crap on one frequency. Yeah, that’ll work.
Plus, it’s been established that most listeners don’t care that much about sound quality, because they’re buying iPods and encoding their music at 128 Kbps, so even if HD radio has better quality audio, it’s practically irrelevant.
The only thing that’s going to “save” radio is a fundamental shift toward local ownership of all stations. I’m not holding my breath…
Permanent4 at June 15th, 2005 at 1:19 PM — Permalink

HD is an abominal idea, it obliterates adjacent stations and will knock half the stations off the air at night for this reason even if they can afford the high price of conversion. ALL receivers now in existence will be obsolete if analog radio is shut off as they eventually plan on doing. It will severely limit the usable disance radio now can reach especially at night. Ibiquity says we have no right to listen to stations outside of our own market (who’s reception IBOC will ruin), what kind of self-serving arrogance is this? The ONLY way this overeaching scheme will work is if the FCC mandates that only HD receivers are sold and stations ONLY transmit in IBOC as they are doing now with television. Why does the FCC allow big corporations to dictate to the american consumer? The cure is going to be a lot worse than the disease and americans are just going to ignore IBOC as they did AM stereo but with AM stereo consumers could keep and listen to the same receivers, with IBOC if they shut off the analog signal as proposed AM radio will die, people are not going to spend $400.00 and up just for a new “savior” of AM radio.The real problem of AM radio is the fact that big corporations now own most of the stations and have made it so boring with their bland programing that it is a drone in the background 90% of the time.
Robert Young Jr at September 27th, 2005 at 8:33 AM — Permalink
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Friday, 11 November 2005
Digital radio still hard to hear
John Borland writes: "In most major cities in the United States, the future of radio is already on the air. But hardly anyone is listening. ¶ The problem is, hardly anyone can. More than 570 stations around the county are now broadcasting in the new digital radio format, but only a relative handful of actual digital radio receivers have been sold, or are even available to consumers who want to buy them. ¶ With competitive pressures growing from satellite radio and the iPod, radio companies had hoped that this year's shopping season would finally see a significant number of high-definition radios hitting the market. But several major manufacturers have pushed back releases until 2006, likely dooming these hopes. ..." Link: CNET
Friday, 11 November 2005 at 15:43 in Digital Radio Comments (0)
Also see:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Sony and others are distributing virus and spyware type programs with some of their audio CD's. HD Radio will have similar problems.
The RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, and performers rights organizations have said they will not grant HD Radio stations music licenses and broadcast rights to digital radio stations once the receivers are mass produced without digital copy protection in the HD radios. This has scared off most of the large radio manufacturers that have the capacity to mass produce large numbers of HD radios. They don't want to be involved in the huge lawsuit that the music industry has promised.
Here are some links:
Recording Industry Association of America,1412,63819,00.html
HD Radio may well wind up being only able to digitally play music from a hand full of unsigned independent musicians that are already available for download on the internet.
All this and digital jamming of analog stations too. The iBiquity version of digital radio, HD Radio, is a hoax.
All the best,

Saturday, November 05, 2005


CLICK HERE for the truth about HD Radio that the "Radio Cartel" has been preventing you from knowing.