… transistor radios?
That might sound like a bizarre introduction. FM Radio is everywhere, all around us, and better than ever. How do you get it? It certainly was easy when I owned something like in the image above.
Let me start with a dog.
Jaimie and I go for our first walk of the day early in the morning. Since we go for over an hour, I always load up my old iPod Nano with a bunch of tunes and a podcast or two to entertain me on the trip. It’s part of my routine before going to bed. It also has the added advantage of charging the battery.
This week, I went through my regular morning routine, grabbed the dog, grabbed the iPod and we were off to pound the pavement. As I’m walking, I’m getting the iPod and ear buds in place – looking like any other morning until I tried to turn the iPod on.
I did what every rational user of technology does and pressed harder.
As I looked at the iPod, I expected to get that “sucks to be you” icon on the screen indicating that the battery was perilously low. There was nothing to be seen. Mind racing, I thought that perhaps it had locked up. I did the typical Apple reset sequence – lift the left leg, bit on your tongue, hold the select button and play button at the same time.
You got it – nothing.
Maybe I got the sequence wrong. I tried all of the possible press combinations that I could think of. No luck.
I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps the battery is really dead or even worse, completely shot.
It was at this point that I started kicking myself for not loading up my phone with music as a backup. I’ve just never had to do that and decided to leave room for applications instead. Not a problem; I’ll just walk and enjoy the sounds of nature. It’s at this point that I should point out that we’re walking on a commuter route that is 80km/h and then 60km/h once we round the corner. Even the screeching of a Blue Jay can’t be heard.
I decided to listen to some YouTube and that worked fine until the phone went into standby and turned it off!
I reached our turn around point desperate to listen to something other than cars and trucks going by. Then I remember. Most smartphones have an FM receiver built into them. I remember fondly my first Motorola which had it placed right on the front page.
You can probably guess what happened next. Without it, there would be no blog post for today.
When I got home, I started poking around and discovered all kinds of conspiracy theories about data companies wanting you to stream and use up the data in your plan rather than providing an FM Radio application by default. The bottom line – searching the Google Play store and the Samsung App store reveals all kinds of FM Radio players. I downloaded one and should never be caught like this again.
So, for a Sunday morning…
- Did you or do you still own a transistor radio?
- Did you ever make your own at school? Hey, here’s a makerspace project.
- Do you listen to media when walking, running, biking, …?
- What’s your poison? Music or podcasts?
- Suppose you do listen to streaming media and you do have a cap on your data plan, how do you monitor it to make sure you don’t go over?
- Do you have an “over the air” FM Radio app on your Smartphone?
- Whatever happened to transistor radios?
- Where’s the antenna?
As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the replies below.
Since this is a series, you can check out all of the previous posts here.