Archive for the ‘HD Radio’ Category

Start Celebrating Early in DC!

July 3, 2009

Start Celebrating Early in DC!

Washingtonians: Want to really declare your independence? Start celebrating Independence Day tonight, July 3rd at 9 PM.  Tune your radio toWAMU-FM 88.5 and listen to a special Independence Day edition of American Routes with Ponderosa Stomp, the Del McCoury Band, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It’s not the same old Sousa.

The program features portions of live concerts from New Orleans’ French Quarter. The Ponderosa Stomp is dedicated to the “unsung heroes of rock ‘n’ roll” and their rockabilly, soul, country and R&B classics. Then the Del McCoury Band cooks up hot Bluegrass in Preservation Hall, mother church of hot jazz, along with the resident masters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  Program details here.

Declare your independence from HD radio, too. Tonight’s broadcast is on “real radio,” WAMU-FM’s main frequency, 88.5, not WAMU’s HD2 channel, where show is usually heard in Washington (Saturdays 8 PM-10 PM).  If you  are among the millions in the Washington area without an HD radio, this is a rare chance to hear American Routes on something that sounds better than your laptop.


Live DC Bluegrass Broadcast Tonight 6-8PM

April 3, 2009

Live DC Bluegrass Broadcast Tonight 6-8PM One of the best Bluegrass bands in the Washington DC area is Rockledge (Darrell Slone-Banjo; Mark Clifton-Dobro; Lynn Healey-Guitar; Bradley Sams/Bill Taylor-Bass). The band will sing and play live in the WAMU-FM studios in the Nation’s Capital on Katy Daley’s Open Mic program this evening (Friday April 3rd, 6PM to 8PM EDT), but you can hear them from anywhere on the planet through

There’s more. Thanks to to a cutting-edge breakthrough in wireless radio-telephony,  people in Northern Virginia and parts of  Maryland can hear this exciting live concert free on those ordinary FM radio receivers found in many homes and motor vehicles! Astounding. Simply set the indicator on the device to 105.5 megahertz.

Both of the Bluegrass fans who actually own HD(tm) radios can hear the digitally-modified broadcast at HD 88.5-2 if they live near the transmitter.

This is a seriously awesome band. Hear Rockledge on the radio tonight and in the flesh each Wednesday at FireFlies in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.


Image by Mike Licht, who is proud to have played bass for amazing singer and guitarist Lynn Healey.

Broadcast Bluegrass Returns — in Reston

November 21, 2008

Broadcast Bluegrass Returns -- in Reston

Bluegrass radio is on the air in Northern Virginia. Why is this news? The transmitter, mighty 250-watt W288BS-FM (105.5 MHz), is the “translator” or relay station for Washington’s WAMU-FM which, after 47 years, deleted Bluegrass from its programming during the Great Bluegrass Purge of 2001. The American University public broadcaster put Bluegrass out to pasture way beyond the North 40, in the sideband Siberia known as HD Radio ™.


New NPR CEO Got It

November 13, 2008

New NPR CEO Got It

National Public Radio (NPR) has a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from the New York Times (NYT) who is not “out-to-lunch” (OTL).  Vivian Schiller, new President and CEO of NPR, ran NYT’s digital side, the website and blogs. She seems to understand a few things her public radio predecessors didn’t:

Top-down organization is fine for conventional networks and direct satellite broadcasters, but it is not appropriate in an organization funded by member stations.

Distributing audio content to the stations that finance it while also offering it directly to listeners as free podcasts and circumventing terrestrial stations by offering the same shows on SatRadio’s XM-Sirius-Telstar (whatever) is an awkward business model.


Bo Diddley Radio Special Sunday 6PM on WAMU-FM

June 6, 2008

Bo Diddley Radio Special Sunday 6PM on WAMU-FM

Hear Nick Spitzer’s 2002 interview with Bo Diddley on WAMU-FM 88.5 this Sunday, June 8, 2008.  Rock n’ Roll icon Bo Diddley (Ellas Bates McDaniel) passed away on June 2nd. Bo Diddley lived here in Washington, DC in the early 1960s, worked with local musicians, and recorded the classic Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger in his basement at 2614 Rhode Island Avenue, NE.


Radio Road Trip

May 23, 2008

Radio Road Trip

Washington, DC-area radio listeners can take a classic American “road trip” this holiday weekend, even if they stay home. WAMU-FM will air a special broadcast of the American Routes “Kings of the Road” program from 2PM to 4PM on Monday, May 26th (Memorial Day) on the main frequency, 88.5 FM.

That means if you are on the road or vacationing within a 40 mile radius of the Nation’s Capital, you can hear this program of classic roots music and discussions of road chroniclers Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Jack Kerouac.


Week In Review and News Forecast

March 28, 2008

Week in Review and News Forecast
Credit: Mike Licht,

The graphic lists the highlights.

In the coming week, look for:


SatRadio Update

February 29, 2008

 SatRadio Update

Merger negotiations between XM and Sirius Satellite Radio (SatRadio) companies were slated to end today but the two have extended negotiations until May 1, 2008. Earth broadcasters have filed all kinds of motions with DOJ and FCC, delaying the process and costing XM and Sirius millions in legal expenses. 


HD™ Radio and Satellites: Radio Interference

February 29, 2008

HD Radio and Satellites — Radio Interference

HD™ Radio, beneficiary of an FCC-authorized monopoly, is broadcasting desperation by crying “monopoly” and “Lemme in!”  on the proposed XM Radio –Sirius Radio satellite radio (SatRad) merger. What balls gall. To add insult to injury, huge Clear Channel Communications, long a target of media-consolidation foes, argues that a SatRad merger should include HD reception on SatRad radios, though the technologies and business models have nothing in common at all. 


HD Radio™ Fantasyland

October 22, 2007

HD Radio(tm) is NOT “High Definition” - it is “Hybrid Digital-Analog”

The FCC recently adopted the HD RadioTM standard over competing technologies, and stations have begin a radio campaign to convince listeners to stop listening to their broadcasts, buy new radios, and listen to other stations.

Let me repeat: Stations are running ads to convince listeners to stop listening to their broadcasts, buy new radios, and listen to other stations.

Need further proof that the HD RadioTM effort makes no sense?

Read the two-year-old blog post by Mark Ramsey, “The Premature Death of HD Radio,” Holland Cooke’s recent “Is HD Radio Dead on Arrival?” or Ramsey’s analysis of a recent survey:

“. . . less than 9% of households will possess an HD radio by 2010. Compare that to the 99% of households that have at least one conventional radio now (the average is five per household).”

Broadcasters and equipment manufacterers have decided that Americans will have HD RadioTM as the Next Big Thing and convinced NPR and its public radio station affiliates to be the vanguard of the unproven technology. They just forgot to check with American listeners and consumers first or tell listeners that the HD RadioTM streams can only be heard over about 25 percent of the normal FM station’s reception area.

Promotion of an immature technology to obtain a corporate foothold only makes people wary of a later one that really works.  HD RadioTM will merely postpone adoption of viable digital radio in the United States.

Image by Mike Licht, who reminds you that HD-RadioTM is NOT “High Definition,” but “Hybrid Digital-Analog.”