Monday, October 8, 2007

Radio: Internet Radio or HD Radio. You choose!

The first video is a pitch from Ford for their new optional SYNC, which, among many other things, allows one to listen to any Internet Radio from anywhere in the world.

The second video comes from an actual HD Radio test drive demonstration in the Chicago market. The only thing lacking was a station playing Bruce Springsteen’s “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On).”

I searched in vain for a Ford pitch video on HD Radio but, wisely, they didn’t do one.

Which one would you rather have? SYNC or HD Radio?

What would you want your company to be allied with? SYNC or HD Radio?

Here’s the choice - supplementary channels of varied audio quality from the same radio chains that deliver today’s unimaginative terrestrial radio formats or worldwide radio of every imaginable format and style where the passion is in the performance?

(I know I’m stacking the deck and swaying your decision – but, please understand. I never have and never want to be associated or connected with any current HD Radio product from Ibiquity and the HD Radio alliance.)

Let’s say you’re one of the rarified few that actually found what you believe to be a half-decent HD Radio channel. Chances are you’ll find the same exact station streaming on line – and considering it’s a side channel – it’ll probably sound better on- line than on an HD Radio. And you won’t lose the signal when you’re driving by tall buildings or near hills and mountains.

Amazing, isn’t it. The HD Radio Alliance filled the unreservedly worthless job of running the joint with the unreservedly useless Sgt. Bilk-o, ex of Clear Channel where he was just as pathetic.

How can he knowingly subject the radio industry to further traumatic events?

Can’t wait for the blame game to begin. It didn’t happen because…..

I wonder how Sgt. Bilk-o sleeps at night knowing that while the iPod will go down in history as one of the most effective marketing campaigns since Windows – HD Radio’s will be forever enshrined as number one in the High Tech Hall of Shame.

And we used to be convinced that the failures of Circuit City’s DiVX DVDs, the CueCat, and the Eyetop Wearable DVD Player could never be topped?

Maybe the sanctimonious Sgt. Bilk-o can recycle the excuses for the failures of AM Stereo and FM Quad – except that even they were more successful in reaching consumers than his folly.

At this stage, Sgt. Bilk-o has to be wondering what, if anything, will mark his time on earth.

Maybe he’s asking himself who will mourn HD Radio’s passing.

And, most of all, who’ll apologize for the time and money spent, the years the radio industry bought into it, and the deceitfulness suffered because of Ibiquity and the HD Radio Alliance's misguidance.


Ibocsux said...

All I can say is that Hybrid Digital (HD) radio sounds pathetic with it's constant drop outs and boring bland SOS programming. Gotta love those 2nd channels (wow! channels between channels!), they sound just like the boring main channels.
AM was even worse repeating the same line twice although the FM debacle was hard to beat, Internet radio sounds like it would be very interesting. HD? Never in a million years, if it allowed to continue it'll be the end for terrestrial radio, yes I wonder how Bilko will sleep at night... well, actually never mind will, I wonder how he sleeps at night now?

Anonymous said...

Yea, this whole HD Radio thing is just a scam:

“HD Radio on the Offense”

“But after an investigation of HD Radio units, the stations playing HD, and the company that owns the technology; and some interviews with the wonks in DC, it looks like HD Radio is a high-level corporate scam, a huge carny shill.”

But wait - HD Radio has found religion:

"The HD Radio Lunatic Fringe"

"The new HD evangelists - who preach hell, fire and brimstone about the necessity of switching terrestrial radio stations from analog to digital are now apparently targeting the religious broadcasters who might be able to multicast to many audiences using HD's ability to form subchannels."

This HD Radio farce has almost stopped being funny, anymore - didn't terrestrial radio used to be a proud industry?

Rob Bowen said...


You tell it like it is. There had to be colusion between radio and Ibiquity to have gone this far with such a losing proposition.

This isn't a dumb move on radio's part. I will bet the big boys somehow made money on this and the smaller chains that jumped on the HD radio bandwagon will get screwed over badly.

Your videos serve as the best comparison I have seen between internet radio and HD radio.

Anonymous said...

Loved the comparison. Yes, I will get an HD radio....only kidding.

I will be leasing a company car this year and the opportunity to have Sync and to be able to listen to internet radio during long drives on the road won me over.

I have satellite radio in my current lease and though there are a lot of good things I can say about it, I would rather have access to internet radio. I have Sirius and I did like them at first. I enjoy all kinds of rock and roll but I feel Sirius has condesending jocks and playlists that have gotten tighter.

Thank you for the comparison videos.

Anonymous said...

There is NO comparison. HD radio is the only way to go.....waste your money that is. This is the best side-by-side review I have seen. What makes this HD radio group (Sergeant Bilko) so dumb is that SYNC serves a number of purposes from internet radio to ipod docking to cell phone. HD radio is just HD radio & if Chicago sounds that bad I can only imagine what other cities sound like.

Take this HD & shove it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, Gorman. Aren't you beating a dead horse with your constant attack on HD radio? Wait, I just answered my own question! Now I have a question for my question. What is the difference between a dead horse and HD radio? Absolutely nothing.

Xohmbie said...

John Gorman,

You should also mention Sprint's XOHM as another service which will allow people in cars to listen to internet radio.

I agree that once you listen to internet radio terrestrial has to do some extremely compelling programming in order to lure you back on occasion.

Anonymous said...

I know it was morning drive when that HD radio demo was shot in Chicago and it made me realize that morning radio just about EVERYWHERE sounds the same. Ugh! The HD side channel selections were not very good either. I can't afford either right now. When I can I will definitely get SYNC for my car or is it an exclusive with Ford? HD radio is a needless expense.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. The HD radio sample was a total waste. It sounded as bad as our regular radio no-man's land. Sync makes so much more sense. If I am ever able to afford a new car again, I will most likely be very interested in the Sync system. I just hope that Honda isn't on the HD bandwagon. HD just sucks.

Anonymous said...

I'm sold on SYNC and hope I can get it for my car. XOHM also looks interesting and if Sprint can straighten out their other problems I may check that one out, too.

David Esrati said...

They can't produce decent content for regular old FM anymore- so what makes them think HD or more channels will help.
Give me or any day. Until they put local back in local radio- there is no reason to listen.

Agent Smith said...

The only problem with the Sync demo is that they are using an HTC Excalibur, which is EDGE-only. Trying to maintain a stable Internet stream connection at even mediocre vehicle speeds would make constant drop-outs and rebuffers on EDGE.

Picking a low-enough bandwidth stream to prevent buffer underrun would be such poor quality that it would make your ears bleed.

Chances are their Excalibur was on a WiFi network.

The only way to get enough bandwidth to do such a streaming experiment is to have something on a 3G or EV-DO network, with stereo bluetooth capabilities - and while you're at it you'd best have a car charger in your vehicle as using the 3G data radio and the stereo bluetooth transcoder will sop the battery in no time.

All that said - HD radio still wouldn't be worth the hassle, analog radio sounds clear enough for the content they are serving! It's just a blatant attempt to keep radio "up to date" with HDTV and XM and Sirius. By that I mean they lose.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, I can listen to "virgin radio" in the uk. Woopee, Sound's pretty useless to me. Internet radio sounds almost as bad as "HD" radio. Sorry, But I'll keep my satellite over either of those losers.

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