Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Public Radio Tuner

RRC founder Tom Church once said you can’t go to Radio Shack and buy a public radio. He was right when he said it. Today, thanks to computer technology, we could actually create a “public” radio.

It's name could be The Public Radio Tuner.

It’s an icon in the system tray of the computer’s desktop. As soon as you click it, it starts playing your favorite public radio station via the web. Just one click and you get sound. Just like turning on a radio.

Some extra features. Roll the mouse over the icon and it shows the tuner, which has presets for additional public radio streams, a button to access your podcast downloads, and a link to the station web site.

And those little balloons that remind you that you have software upgrades? They can be used to send alerts to listeners. Your newscast is ready. Fresh Air is on now. There’s a dollar-for-dollar match going on right now.

An on-line radio tuner isn’t a particularly new idea. The idea here is that public radio could, and should, own the space.

6 Comments:

Blogger Aaron Read said...

The immediate thought I have about this idea is that it's trying to force a radio schema onto a web medium. I just can't see that working. This idea takes power away from the end-user by forcing them to only have public radio choices, rather than choosing whatever they want to listen to via a podcast or something.

From the producers' standpoint, there's an inherent conflict in that the big pubradio moneymakers (like Car Talk, ME, ATC, Wait Wait, TAL, etc) would disproportionately fund such a "public radio desktop" venture, yet the point is that such a venture would give equal opportunity to listen to all the little-guy pubradio shows; many of which have nothing to do with NPR, PRI or APM.

10:10 AM  
Blogger RadioSutton said...

No reason The Public Radio Tuner couldn't have a link to PRX. And it should provide fast access to on-demand dowloads as well as streams. But it would be to public radio's advantage to make it easier to hear on-line. Why tag on to commercial ventures? We're big enough to make it on our own.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

This reminds me of Rabbit Radio, a Dashboard widget for the Mac -- perhaps a step in this direction.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I think it's a great idea. I see the web medium providing more choices for the listener. NPR needs to be in the system tray as well as on the dashboard.

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Richard Cuff / Allentown, PA said...

You mean no one here knows about http://www.publicradiofan.com?

It's two clicks away, not one...

4:11 PM  
Blogger chuck singleton said...

Not a pubradio-only site, but somebody just hipped me to www.radiotime.com. Anybody know this site?

It lets you "tivo" your favorite radio shows (and download to mp3 player), and offers the schedules of thousands of stations.

CS

4:38 PM  

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