The GCap network has decided to close a couple of its radio stations, claiming that there is “no future” in digital radio. I think, for the moment at least, there is a place for DAB, since no other medium is quite as portable. To achieve the same effect via internet radio, one would need wireless devices that were much more durable than laptops, with much more powerful sound than PDAs and mobile phones, as well as a prevalence of open wireless networks. None of these innovations exist at present, but it would be foolish to suggest they will not emerge in the next few years. Indeed, since broadcasters can switch from DAB to the internet comparatively easily (many, including the BBC, broadcast via both mediums anyway), there may not be sufficient incentive for them to promote DAB.
Nostalgia of CDs
A correspondent of mine, currently at university, has observed that iPods may be killing off nostalgia too. Previously, in halcyon days gone by, she and her friends would listen to a CD or mix tape on their stereo, while they were all hanging out together in their shared flat. Since changing a CD is an inconvenience, they would often listen to the same album for months on end. These days, however, they are much more likely to be listening to their iPod (perhaps with one of those sound station amplifiers), with its near infinite playlist of tunes. No one CD evolves to become the ‘soundtrack of the summer’ which reminds them of days gone by, nothing to bond them to this time and that place. (h/t Harri)