Wireless

Is FM broadcasting slowly dying?

There are some news heard that Norway will totally shut off FM radio broadcasting until the end of 2017. Later some other countries considered to do the same thing. Audience has different reactions to this decision. Some just accepts it, because it is known for a long time that traditional radio is slowly disappearing, but others however are shocked and wonder what the world without the radio will be? If this happens people will need to spend more money on internet and other things where to listen to music and news. And that will lead to more swrafi sesxi.

It really is true that Norway is planning to support the methodology that allows FM. They have decided to move to a complete DAB system – Digital Audio Broadcasting. That means radio itself isn’t dying, however FM really might be losing its effect. So many people probably are wondering what will change because of this?

First we need to understand the difference between FM and DAB. The short answer would be – DAB is improved and advanced version of FM. DAB or digital radio is a way of audio broadcasting in which analog audio signal is converted into a digital signal. This digital signal then is transmitted on an assigned channel in the AM or FM frequency. So it only means that it can provide higher quality sound.

DAB also can provide more programs than FM. FM usually can provide only 5 national radio stations, but DAB has a space for more than 20. Also the cost of providing these programs is a lot lower. So it is lot more convenient to use DAB instead of FM for both, radio providers and the audience.

If we talk about the quality, then DAB is superior in many aspects, but it has some disadvantages as well. There is a need for specific DAB receiver. Usually standard FM radios are not equipped with this DAB receiver. As DAB is nothing new to Norway and some other countries, huge part of households are equipped with radios with DAB receivers, but others will need either to upgrade their radios or buy new ones.

So in the conclusion we might say that it is worth to change the way of broadcasting from FM to DAB, because of its many benefits. The need for new radio is not an obstacle to these changes. Probably many countries will follow the example of Norway and use DAB instead of FM. That is only question of time. So, yes, FM is slowly dying, but radio itself isn’t. It is only upgrading and that’s a good thing.

Thnx to out sponsor – onlain sesxebi!

internet-radio

The best web radio stations for every taste

There are many good web radio stations, but because of the easy creation of them, they are all somewhere between thousands of poor and unprofessional stations. It might be quite challenging to go through all of them and try to find something good. We decided to make it easier for you, so here is a list of some good web radio stations that represents different music styles and content.

Let’s start with the speech radio stations. The first one is Audio book Radio. The name of the station tells everything. It is a radio station that broadcasts audio books, short stories and even theatric plays. The content is really amazing. Listeners are able to enjoy high quality literature without even buying a book.

Blog Talk Radio is another typical speech radio, but it provides very interesting content. Anyone who wants to talk about some specific topic can offer their ideas and make a talk show. There is all kind of topics covered in this station, but it is not in amateur level. Usually talkers are professionals and know what they are talking about. So it is a great way how to educate yourself in many fields.

WKSU also is a speech radio station, but there is also some great music broadcasted. It is small, non commercial radio station. WKSU is more appropriate for mature personalities. The program mostly consists of serious, inspiring talks and educational broadcasts, but there is also some good music broadcasted. Every morning classical music is played and later in the evening there is also some serious contemporary music. Although it is non commercial station, the radio-makers really can offer high quality content.

Then there are also lots of great radio stations that provide only music, interviews with musicians or other broadcasts related to music. One of them is Shuffler.FM. It provides all kinds of music. That is a station where you can find amateur music from each and every music style. It is the best radio station if you are willing to listen to original music from new artists, not just popular music hits, which are offered in most of the web stations.

Jazz 24 is a high quality web radio station that broadcasts only Jazz music and some interweaves with best Jazz musicians. The general manager of this radio station is a huge Jazz music fan. This station is his passion, that’s why there is the best Jazz music selection provides. There is everything from the well known classic Jazz musicians until the best new artists. This station is a dream for each Jazz music fan.

Rock-It Radio provides nothing else but rock & roll music from 50s and late 60s. The website of this station looks very plain and simple, so some might think that it’s another amateur radio with some boring talks and bad quality music, but it really broadcast some good music. It is a throwback to the time rock & roll music was everything.

THE 90s BUTTON is another great throwback, but this time to the 90s. Although 90s is not so far away, still it is a great way how to get nostalgic feelings. This station broadcasts only the hits that were popular in the 90s and late 80s. Radio-makers in this station really know how to make a great broadcast schedule and please listeners with greatest hits from the childhood or youth.

radio-programs

Types of radio programming formats

As there are many thousands radio stations worldwide that provides different content, there is a need for some systematization of them, so listeners would be able to understand what they want to listen to. That’s why there are radio programming formats.

The type of radio programming format actually is the provided content of the radio station. However there are some radio stations that offer very wide verity of programs and music genres, most of the stations still represent one specific theme or genre. All the stations that provide similar content can be placed in one format.

The first format is speech or talk radio. Stations that are under this format mostly provide talk shows, news, literature readings etc. Speech radio stations itself can cover wide verity of themes and topics for example, sports, politics, science etc. The themes are almost infinite. Some speech radios also broadcast some music between the shows or programs, but most of the content consists of talking.

The next format is religious stations. Usually they offer both, talk shows and music, but the main focus is on spirituality. There is only religious content broadcasted. Most of the religious radio stations are very small non-profit stations and they are not too popular among listeners.

Then there are collage radio stations. This format offers talking and music as well, but the content is either entertaining or educational. They are meant for college students, so they provide content that is binding for this specific audience. They are even smaller than religious stations and mostly volunteers work to provide them.

The next big format is music radio stations, but as it is so wide format, it is subdivided by the music genres broadcasted. The most common music radio format is popular music radio. There are many popular music stations that offer all kind of pop music. They are quite popular and mostly commercial.

Contemporary format also provides popular music, but the music schedule is made only from the hottest hits. Stations of this format focus on pop music tops. These tops are made based on the voting of the listeners or most listened songs.

Then there are many local music stations. They broadcast only local music of the specific country or state. Also local music radio format can be subdivided by different genres, but in smaller countries there are stations that broadcast all kind of music that local artists offer. It is a chance for many local musicians to gain some popularity among listeners.

And also there are radio stations that represent only one specific music genre. For example, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, soul, classical music, country music, rock, alternative music etc. This kind of stations in FM or AM broadcasting is not so popular, but they are very common in web radio.

radio-station

Types of radio stations

From the very beginnings radio has come a long way of development. It has become very sophisticated and diverse. Instead of using only FM and AM broadcasting, there are many ways of broadcasting. Here is the list of most common categories of radio stations divided by the way of broadcasting.

First category is the national radio. Those are all the biggest radio stations which are broadcasted national wide. That means they are available only in one specific country or state. Those can be either independent commercial broadcasts or stations that are controlled by government or other national force. This is one of the most popular types of radio stations which attract huge numbers of listeners. Usually they are broadcasted in FM frequencies.

The next ones are local or regional radio stations. These radio stations are broadcasted in lot smaller areas, so they have a lot less listeners. Usually also the quality of these kind of stations is lot lower, but locals still listens, because mostly there are some local news provided. They can be broadcasted either in FM or AM frequencies.

Then there is satellite radio. They transmit signals through antennas and they are broadcasted through satellites. The principles of it are similar to cable TV. That means it is possible to reach a lot wider areas and also provide lot higher sound quality and selection of radio programs. Unfortunately it is not possible to listen to these types of stations using traditional analog or digital radios. There is a need for specific satellite radio or other device that can perceive these signals.

Internet radio or podcasts are stations that are broadcasted through the internet, not using the radio waves or satellite signals. The variety of internet radio stations is huge. Almost anyone can make an internet radio station and broadcast it whole day long. That is why there are many low quality internet stations, but there can be found something good as well. Some of the most popular internet radio stations also use other broadcasting ways as well.
Collage of non-profit radio stations are very small, independent broadcasters. They are broadcasted in very small areas. Usually they are made to play music of some unknown artists or to start a career as a radio DJ and prove the professional abilities. There are lots of these small radio stations, but they are quite unpopular.

The last type is pirate radio. Actually those are FM channels that are not regulated. They are illegal and usually broadcast some kind of controversial or unwanted content. They are made for many reasons, but mostly they have some political backgrounds, for example to spread some political ideas through the audience.

web-radio

Will web radio replace the traditional radio?

Nowadays internet is accessible almost anywhere and that is why web radio is becoming more and more popular. Just like traditional radio, also web radio can be listened at car, at work, at home or any other place. Does that means traditional radio is no longer needed and web radio will totally replace AM/FM radio?

First let’s sort out what exactly we are talking about. The traditional radio is the type of radio which is operated by the electromagnetic radio waves, but the web or internet radio is an audio service transmitted or streamed through the internet. So traditional radio represents all the AM/FM radio stations, but web radio represents Internet-only radio stations.

For the time being traditional radio is still more popular than web radio, but the issue is that the popularity of web radio is staidly increasing, but traditional radio remains the same popularity for more than 10 years. That is happening, because of the development of internet and newest technologies. If few years ago web radio was assessable only in a computer or mobile phone, because those were the only widely used gadgets with internet access, than now you can listen to web radio in smart TV, smart watch etc. As the technologies are developing further, it is believed that also web radio will be develop and even might replace the traditional radio.

If the availability of both types of radio, is identical, than all is settled by the supply. That means listeners will choose to listen to the radio stations which conforms their taste and needs. Unfortunately, this also doesn’t speak well for traditional radio, because there is a lot more streaming music services than traditional radio broadcasts, beside in case of web radio, listener can choose what music exactly they wants to listen.

So, all shows that traditional radio really could disappear pretty soon, however the representatives of the biggest radio stations in the world are not so pessimistic. They claim that all the new ways to listen to the radio can’t replace the traditional radio. It only helps them to become better and think more about clients needs. They really believe that traditional radio is irreplaceable and as a proof they point out that lot of people is still listening to the traditional radio despite all the options those new technologies offers.

Only future will show how the radio will develop. We can only make predictions based on statistics, but it’s not said they will come to pass. If you are a fan of traditional radio, there no reason to be worry, because at least for few more years’ traditional radio will be broadcasted as usual.

radio-music

How is music selected on radio?

Almost 60% of each radio stations program consists of music, so the success of the radio station mostly depends on music played on it. It is very important and responsible task to choose the right music. It doesn’t seem like a hard job, but actually there are lots of aspects that have to be taken into consideration to make every listener satisfied. If you have ever wondered how the music is chosen on the radio, this is the answer.

Usually, in all biggest radio stations there is special office for that – a music director or music department. A good music director needs to know everything about music – history, classification, styles, musicians, music instruments etc., even if he doesn’t need to use this knowledge directly. Although it is hard enough to learn all about music, that is not all music director needs to know and to be aware of.

First thing that affect the choice of music is the format of the radio. All music stations represent specific music styles. For example, there can be mainstream radio that broadcasts all the biggest, newest hits, country music radio that broadcasts only country music etc. That means music director first needs to decide if the song is appropriate for the specific station or not.

Next important aspect for music choice is to know everything the target audience. Music director needs to be familiar not only with music itself, but also the listeners of the music. For example, if target audience is elder people, then more classic hits should be played, but for youngsters the newest hits. Sometimes radio stations even make researches to figure out what listeners want.

When appropriate songs and target audience have been found, music director needs to make a schedule of this music. That means he needs to know what music to play on what time. For example, at morning, when people needs to wake up, more fun music should be played, but at nights more calm and peaceful music, although this also depends on aspect mentioned above – the target audience.

When it is all clear about music and broadcasting time, next ting music director needs to deal with is the exact on-air time. Every song has different length, so it is not always possible to ply the songs that are most appropriate by other criteria. It takes a lot of time, to make punctual program.

So now you see how much work and knowledge it takes to make a radio music schedule. If sometimes radio program seems illogical or the same songs are being played over and over again, maybe that is what the target audience wants and you need to look for different radio stations.

radio

How does the radio work?

There is at least one radio or a gadget that has radio function at almost every house, but only few understands how it actually works. This gadget that is so commonly used and well known is actually quite complicated and it takes a lot of work and knowledge to provide the functioning of it.

The functioning of a radio provides the radio waves. These radio waves however are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They are made by transmitting the electrical energy from one place to another without using any kind of direct, wired connection. So there is transmitter that provides these waves and receiver that collects them. The transmitter is commonly known as a radio tower. Electrons are moving up and down the transmitter, creating these radio waves. Then radio waves go into the air and receiver is able to catch them. One transmitter can provide the waves for many receivers that are why so many radios can work at the same time.

The radio waves are all around us, but we can’t feel or see them. They are passing by all the time. Just like any other waves, they have specific speed, frequency and length. They are incredibly fast. When the antenna of a radio is extended, it can receive these waves and turn them into a radio program. A program is transmitted by adding it to a radio wave called a carrier. This all process is called the modulation. There are two types of modulations – frequency modulation and amplitude modulation and they need different type of receivers. That makes to types of radio broadcasts – AM and FM.

Although, there are not only radio waves into the air, so the radio must be able to catch only the right waves. Actually, these waves are separated by mathematical codes. It is self explanatory that radio, television and telephone signals don’t get mixed up, but the process, how it can be achieved is very complicated. The simple explanation would be that these waves have different lengths and frequencies, so the different gadgets can catch only the right waves.

Also the structure of radio itself is complicated. It contains of many components. The most important ones are antenna which catches radio waves, battery compartment which provides the power to the radio, loudspeaker which makes the sound louder, transformer which provides the function of radio stations and turning control which allows changing the stations.

So this simple gadget that we are using every day is actually very complex. From the creation of radio waves until turning the radio waves into the right station is a long way. Next time when you listen to the radio think of all the work invested to even make it possible.