Not too long ago, I mentioned I found my old G.E. 6 transistor AM radio. I could hold it in my hand, and listen to Dave Maynard on WBZ. And I knew that Dave Maynard was broadcasting from the WBZ radio studio on Soldiers Field Road in Boston.
Which brings me to the latest object of my digital affection. Pandora Radio.
All I know is that, on the advice of the digitally-hip young dudes at World Headquarters, I downloaded the Pandora app on my smartphone. You pick the genre or the artist, and it creates a radio station for you. (For instance, ‘Beatles Radio’, or ‘Classic Pop Radio.’)
When I plugged it into my car radio, I was stunned at the quality of the audio. Clearer than FM, crisper than my iPod. And I had the same result when I plugged it into my home stereo. How? Why? Not a clue. And it’s free, which ended a passing thought to subscribe to satellite radio.
There are restrictions, which you can read about here, but this strikes me as a good deal if you have a smartphone with an unlimited data plan. This is old news to those with their digital doctorates, but for us digital diaper dandies, it’s another “eureka moment.”
Still, as much as I enjoy this, I remain a child of radio and refuse to abandon what’s left of live, local programming. Like Dave Maynard coming out of my little transistor radio, I know where Ray Dunaway and Joe D. are when I listen to them on WTIC, where Colin McEnroe is when he does his midday show on WNPR, and where Chaz and AJ are when they do their thing on ‘PLR.
As good as Pandora is, I don’t know where it is. I don’t know who it is. All I know is that it is.
It sounds great. But it’s not local.
It has a Motown channel. But it has no soul.