Radio tuning dials in high

By Sarah Duffy
November 12, 2004

Ten-year-old, Erica Feulner, dangles her feet in the back seat of her mother’s Honda Accord singing along to the 88.5 radio show, “Kids Corner.” “I’m on an Internet…radio, I’m on an Internet…woohoo…radio.” This childlike variation of the popular ’80s song, originally performed by Wall of Voodoo, is an updated spoof on technological advancement.

Some baby boomers may not have been able to imagine it, but never-the-less Internet radio has become a reality. Broadcasting the radio over the Internet is a growing trend for over 2 million radio stations worldwide. But has it become a trend for listeners?

“You mean like listening to the radio over the Internet?” Erica asks. “Ummm…that’s just weird,”

Her eight-year-old brother, Austin, lifted his head from his Game Boy, “Why would someone want to listen to the radio on a computer?”

The children’s mother, Mrs. Feulner ponders, “Why would anyone want to play a video game in the car?”

“Because I can!” Austin exclaims.

The convergence of Internet and radio may not be as popular a wave to hit the entertainment industry as video games, yet it is nonetheless emerging as a standard in the recording arts.

Small radio stations, like the college’s own WYBF, are able to reach listeners across the world during web casting. In contrast, the radio signal for 96.1 can only reach a radius of 15 miles.

The general consensus among students who work on WYBF is that Internet radio is a huge benefit.

When MTV broadcasted their very first video, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by The Buggles, it was unlikely to foresee how these two elements of media could work together. Twenty-three years later, both are thriving.

A similar tug-of-war exists today as radio battles many other forms of entertainment: Digital Radio, MP3 players and I Pods all present a threat to the traditional form of radio. Online broadcasting allows local radio stations to evolve with the technology.

The free rein of Internet broadcast has, however, encountered a number of snags with the Recording Industry Association. RIA sees Internet radio as a threat to further encourage file- sharing and enabling the copying epidemic. High fees and mountains of paperwork have made Internet broadcasting more difficult.

But for families like the Feulner’s, listening to the radio is no longer limited to car rides. Austin was able to find “Kids Corner” online within 5 minutes of pulling in the driveway.

Posted to the web by Paul Nasella

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Sarah Duffy

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