I had one item a year ago on my Christmas wish list: an Internet radio. My Logitech Squeezebox Boom radio arrived and I was not disappointed.
Internet radio is the future of radio, even more than HD Radio. For me it was simply a matter of program choices. Nobody locally plays big bands or beautiful music, let alone polkas. Try finding any of these formats on HD Radio.
Tom Nornhold says program choice — including sites like www.247polkaheaven.com — demonstrate why Internet radio appeals to him so much. One local radio station had a four-hour weekly program, “Melodies of Germany and Austria,” which was cancelled when the station was sold in 2008. The program had been on the air for almost 30 years. So far no other station has jumped at the opportunity of putting it back on the air. What we find on HD Radio is more of the homogenized mainstream radio formats.
Look at the success of 24/7 PolkaHeaven.com. Recently they had a “The Best of” Ballot, which chooses polka music in several categories. There were more than 7,000 ballots cast. I got a personal e-mail from the network operations manager letting me know that my vote had been registered and counted. The network keeps growing, with more than 30 “IJs,” or DJs as most people call them.
The Internet radio quality sounds every bit as good as HD Radio, if not better, when listening on my big stereo speakers and throughout the house on a 70 Volt constant impedance system.
Looking at the problems plaguing the broadcast industry — the high cost of land, steel, utilities and building costs — the Internet makes a lot of sense, especially for daytimers trying to reach a nighttime audience. The investment is basically a computer.
Given time, with Wi-Fi, satellite and cellular technology, Internet radio could be available in our cars, cellphones, etc. If you are the typical 18-to-35-year-old who likes the homogenized mainstream radio formats, they too are available on Internet radio — in fact, more and more variety than over the air.
T.N. Communications Inc.