Tuesday Talk ~ Radio, radio

radioWhat’s the point of music radio any more? I have very ingrained radio habits. I listen to NZ National from 7am till about 1, to catch up on what’s going on in the world from the country’s best journalists, then I switch to Auckland’s BFM, which I prefer for the music, some of the Wired journalistic-style features and, let’s face it, the consistently funniest ads you’ll ever hear. My only gripe with BFM is that some of the DJs think I want to hear them discourse at length about whatever takes their fancy. They’re wrong.

But I was listening to BFM the other day when I realised the DJ was actually playing tracks from Apple Music. I’m not saying I could figure this out due to some kind of extremely fine-tuned musical perception combined with my long time close association with all things Apple, because no – I knew because he said so!
Now, in iTunes, you can listen to radio without even using Apple Music. Open iTunes, make sure you’re on Music, and along the top centre, you’ll see Library (your music), For You (Apple Music), Browse, Radio and Store. Yes, it’s called Radio.
There’s plenty there, and it’s well worth a look, but the difference between that and Apple Music is that Music has you pay a subscription but then it curates to your tastes, even making suggestions to encourage music discovery, which is really cool (Spotify and the like does the same thing).
Which brings me back to BFM. I listen to BFM because about half the music they play, at least, is music I like, and it’s been my primary source of music discovery since the 1980s. With Apple Music, I would get a more tailored experience, discover new music, no ads at all (even though BFM’s are very witty), and no annoying DJs who wrongly assume I will be dazzled by their brilliance about everyday life when all I want them to do is put another track on.

So, radio, it might be time to reinvent yourself and ask once again ‘what do listeners actually want?’

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk ~ Radio, radio”

  1. Radio NZ National is my morning listen too. Not every day but when in the car or my workshop that is the only station I listen to. I think Kathryn Ryan is the best interviewer/presenter in NZ. I listen to a wide range of music, have 2,500 in my iTunes library and (on summer evenings mainly) listen to Pandora stations.

    The “thing” that is holding me back from using Apple Music is what I see as an insidious process of having to pay ongoing fees, first (effectively) being forced to use iCloud to store iMovies and more recently pushing iCloud storage for photos and videos and backups. There are benefits in this of course and I know this is a trait of “old people” but while the cost for each is small it is obvious that this is the way Apple is herding users.It it is becoming more difficult to not use the cloud with each new product release. The monthly cost will continue to rise which is the squeal all us retired fixed income people worry about. Having said that I could never go back to the PC so may have to take a leap into the real world and start being a cloud savvy senior.


    1. I also dislike the strain on data, the slowness of NZ’s internet anyway, and having your images ‘somewhere’ instead of where you know they are (on your device).


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