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A Dim Radio Outlook?

Readers comment on HD Radio data, RDS field length and a historical photo

A Dim Radio Outlook

Mr. Jurison, why have you wasted your time reviewing a radio using technology the public does not care about (“Insignia: A Glimpse of Artist Experience,” Jan. 4)?

IBiquity continues to attempt to resuscitate IBOC through ploys like “Artist Experience” but it is all for naught.

I believe the failure of HD Radio to gain any traction in the marketplace is a great example of what happens when a company tries to force an unwanted (and unnecessary) technology into the market.

I find it more than interesting, too, that this radio is made by Best Buy. Have you read the recent report in Forbes that predicts they will go down the same path as did Circuit City a few years back?

Terrestrial radio no longer has relevance to most people, when they can go to Pandora or MOG and virtually build their own programming. What, did you say I can’t get weather reports or local news? Sorry, Mr. Jurison: These are pushed to my smartphone and my desktop simultaneously. And traffic alerts pop up on the GPS I use in my smartphone. Can your HD Radio station do all this?

I’m glad I do not own any radio stocks. Just as the birth of TV severely reduced at-home listening to radio, the birth of services like Pandora, MOG and others will kill off what is left of the commercial radio stations. I suspect the last ones standing will be the public radio and college stations at the low end of the spectrum.

Tim Britt

The author moderates, a site that serves FM tuner enthusiasts.

Field Length Matters

Big thanks to Al Jurison on his article about RDS text standards (“When It Comes to Text, Concise Display Is Best,” Jan. 18). I standardized this with my announcers and programmers about four years ago.

With the WideOrbit SS32 V6.2.2 DSM32, you can get these nice professional-length fields; however it’s dependent on what goes into the cart labels and how the DSM as well as the SS32 is set up to make it all happen.

Thanks for a good article; I will be sharing with my boss about field lengths. I set the field limits per artist and title fields a long time ago and it’s been working pretty well.

We’re one of the few stations in Michigan using RBDS to a fuller degree, more than most. I view everything on a standard eight-character display. If it shows well this way, then cars with big, full displays should show things better and more completely (like in the Yukon or Escalade).

Also, you might want to keep in mind how your field lengths work on your Web page. A lot of pages and apps use site applications like TuneGenie to put title and artist on a station’s page via your RBDS data via an IP pass-through.

Making RBDS work with cars, home stereos, phone apps and Web pages definitely has set the bar higher for programming and engineering in today’s multi-media environment.

Marvin Walther
Chief Engineer
Carroll Broadcasting
Tawas City, Mich.

The Luck of the Cook

Wonderful photo and accompanying history (“KSFO Staff Photo, 1942,” Jan. 18). I was born in ’42. My dad served in the South Pacific aboard the Navy refrigeration ship Delphinus (AF-24) as radioman.

He tells how one of his duties was transcribing news headlines picked from stateside AM broadcasts, and delivering them to the ship’s captain. KWID might very well have been one of those stateside stations.

He adds that late-breaking stateside sports scores were like currency. He regularly gave them to one of the ship’s cooks in exchange for hand-delivered coffee and sandwiches (the radio shack was at the top level of the ship). Evidently there was a bit of wagering on sporting events among the crew, and this particular cook had an amazing run of luck …

René White
Redwood City, Calif.

Author John Schneider replies: Thanks for the comments. I loved your dad’s story about the cook! If you want to know more about KWID and other wartime shortwave stations, you may find my article on the subject interesting: