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Jun 1, 2006 12:00 PM, Kari Taylor, senior associate editor

Do you remember?

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About 18 years ago, Audio Precision was advertising its System One tape machine test equipment. System One provided response on stereo machines or multitracks up to 192 tracks, offered distortion across the entire spectrum and tested phase vs. frequency. For analog tapes, the System One tested VTRs, ATRs, reel-to-reel, cart and cassette formats using tapes the user made or standard reference tapes.

The system tested audio parameters including gain, frequency response, distortion, noise, frequency, phase and crosstalk. It was the first computerized test system and permitted measurements to be made in a fraction of the time previously required.

That was then

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With the recent attention on reception of HD Radio signals, a portable radio from the past caught our eye for its reception improvement.

In 1955, the Motorola Portables, a line of portable radio receivers, offered a handle that also acted as a rotating antenna. Users could turn the handle for a stronger, clearer reception. The ad touted the benefits: "Three times bigger than other portable antennas, the user could hear stations from farther distances than with other portables radios." The unit operated on ac, dc current or batteries.

The Citation portable radio came in charcoal, green, red or blue with a price tag of $34.95. The Spectator portable radio, featuring a taupe case with brown trim, cost $29.95. The Caribbean portable radio, with a "deluxe gold-trimmed design," cost $39.95.

Sample and Hold

Podcasting is popular for all

Age groups listening to podcasts 21%12-17 year olds 12%18-24 year olds 20%25-34 year olds 21%35-44 year olds 17%45-54 year olds 7%55-64 year olds 2%65+ year olds

Source: Arbitron, The Infinite Dial: Radio's Digital Platforms, 2006.