December 16th, 2003


Net Radio Over Radio

Since Normsoft added Shoutcast support to Pocket Tunes back in November, I've been listening to a lot more net radio stations. One of my favorites has been the Radio Tiki Experiment which has the feel of a public access show, but over the radio. It's nice chatter to listen to while falling asleep, and occasionally it's pretty funny. I also really like most of the channels at SomaFM, a netcaster out of San Francisco. The Secret Agent channel has a lot of nice lounge tracks, and the Groove Salad channel delivers on the ambient promise.

Of course, there's some irony in the fact that I'm using a cell phone's two-way radio to connect to the net and play radio stations. Some would say that I'm abusing Sprint's "unlimited" data plan, but as far as I can tell, this is all within my contractual rights. I'm not using the Treo 600 as a modem for another computer, I'm just running software on the phone and hooking up mini speakers. I wonder if this is the future -- will we get to the point where all "radio" is really just individualized streams sent to the listener over a wireless network? Can this scale? Who will pay for it? Would it safe a lot of energy to only transmit the radio signals to the people that want to listen to them via lots of small transmitters versus giant high-power towers?
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