[bct] radio and thermostat.

  • From: "jeff" <j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "blind cool tech mail list" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 17:44:34 -0600

Hi all;

I wrote a whole breakdown on our local radio but it was so negative that I erased it and started over. Basically, commercial radio is pointless, public radio wastes a lot of it's budget, sports events are great like games, our only jazz is broadcast on a high school station, religious radio is mostly a cash grab, and among each of these categories are shining exceptions to these rules. That's about as positive a spin as I can put on our radio scene.

XM radio needs to lose the sounders and stupid noisy clips it uses between songs. Just play the music, and upgrade the signal quality from it's current level to reduce the digital artifacts that are far too common at this time. Serious has better sound quality but far less content to choose from. Maybe these changes are already in the works. 128 kbps mp3s are not quite good enough for long-term listening. Maybe 192 or 256 would remove all the noise and tinny sound. I have some pretty top notch equipment and I want to hear good quality sound. I prefer CD audio but it is just too difficult to use once your collection gets larger. My friend has between 1500 and 2000 CDs. She has brailed each and every case but must still keep switching them in and out of the player to hear them because anything more than one at a time leads to confusing discs and cases. I have a 400 CD player and a 300 player too. I was running them both off the computer with a "slinky" s-link device made to work with Sony brand players but it is a very touchy setup and I took it all apart, ripped all my cds to as high a quality as I could store reasonably, 320 kbps MP3, and stored them away in boxes. At least that way you can use Jaws or whatever screen reader you have to access your choices and create playlists. I'd really be interested in what others do for music listening.

I use the radio mostly to get news or weather, but that can all be gotten via computer or cellular too. Calling 1-800-555-8355 which is 1-800-555-TELL gets you to "tell-me" where you can get the weather for the U.S. as well as driving directions for most areas of the U.S., not as good as internet based services but usable. Locally, we have 511 service which is traffic reports from the D.O.T. as well as 777-3456 which accesses all local movie times. One of my sighted friends gets news and weather sent to his cell phone via SMS twice daily. Radio needs to change or I think it's going to get left behind over time. I read an interesting book a few years ago about the Media Lab at the Massachusetts institute of Technology. They predicted the shift from broadcast to "narrowcast" because of all the new ways that individuals can access information. They predicted a time where a person would come down to breakfast and be read a choice of traffic, specific to one's travel route, weather, news or sports scores you asked for, email, and anything else you wanted from a fully customizable talking internet access appliance in one's home. Well, they were pretty spot on with that prediction. you can do it all right now if you want. Once we get to the point of connecting our car radios wirelessly to our computers, what is the point of most radio?

Jeff Armstrong,

Other related posts: