Radio losing out

By: Steven Goodman – Columnist, Sophomore

If you’re like me, when driving around you like to have some music on in the car.

Personally, I tend to use the radio simply because that it’s a lot easier to cycle through radio stations than artists or songs on an iPod with the traditional scroll-and-click wheel. While it’s nice to have some music on in the car while I’m on my way to and from work (I’m on co-op this semester) I began to realize something after just a week: each station plays the same few songs all the time.

The country stations have their selections; pop stations choose their own songs and even rock channels will play a set playlist on repeat. Changes in the station’s setlist only seem to come when a new song is released. The only exception I’ve found are those radio stations that play classic rock. They seem to have the most variety in their mix.

The solution to this problem most likely seems easy to others: just use your phone or iPod to play music. The fact of the matter is, I’m surprised radio stations do not play a larger selection of music because of the competition from iPods and smartphones. Sure, somebody can call in and request any song under the sun and that station will play it, but this is only a small shift in the eventually tiring sounds of the same music each day.

According to the Pew Research Center 55 percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone. That means well over half of Americans have a device that could be used to play music in the car. Still, radio stations seem to offer a slim choice of music when compared to a smartphone full of music. It just seems so bizarre to me that a medium, which was the only easy source of music in cars for many years, would not be able to stand up with MP3 players in terms of song selection.

By no means do I expect every radio station to have every song ever created on hand to play, but wouldn’t it be nice to hear something other than the most recent popular song? Even if a new song has become your favorite, it can be listened to only so many times before you just get tired of it.

Sure, you could try satellite radio, but I have a hard time understanding why I should pay for something that has been essentially free for so long. All I’m saying is, radio in the car is great, but here’s hoping that stations will incorporate a little more variety. If not, I guess I’ll just have to use my iPod (only when I’m not driving of course).

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