Take Note: Remembering rock ’n’ roll radio

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Do you remember the golden age of wireless?

Well, if you’re in Oslo – god dag! – hissy static interfering with your enjoyment of Ed Sheeran may be over. The Norwegian government is the first in the world to phase out FM broadcasting.

However, apart from DAB receivers being pretty pricey, reception isn’t always perfect. If an analogue signal becomes more distorted or hissy, you can still pick out, somewhere, the dulcet tones of Little Mix.

However, DAB is either crystal clear… or silent. Sometimes both in rapid succession, giving that ‘glitchy’ sound.

Fortunately, the switch won’t happen until 90 per cent of the audience can receive it, and by then we could all be listening via the internet – perhaps, rather than DJs, to Spotify or iTunes.

Of course radio jocks were once seen as expert curators, filtering the wheat from the chaff, theBuzzcocks from Black Lace. If you missed a new record on the John Peel show, you’d have to take the word of a music
journalist. And just like music bloggers, anyone can become a DJ, webcasting their old record collection via the internet.

But, like vinyl, there’s still something hearing your music through radio’s hiss and crackle. Well, when you can hear anything at all…