I know there are a lot more important things going on in the world, like my ongoing protest of the planned megachurch that threatens to desecrate the hallowed ground that I’ve annointed with my sacred urine, but I had to chuckle at the sheer chutzpah of the RIAA, who along with the National Association of Broadcasters, wants to mandate an FM radio in every cellphone and iPod. I’m sure Congress will get right on that, as soon as they’ve mandated that every car has a buggy whip holder.
Comments are closed.
Chad N Freude
Exactly when did The Onion adopt the Ars Technica logo?
FM? I’d figure they’d mandate AM, since with Rush, Boortz, Savage, Beck, O’Rielly, Hannity (I could go on with about another dozen names), they completely own that part of the dial.
How else can we be sure that every citizen can hear the CONELRAD alerts? Sounds like a wise precaution.
Why should television be left out? And shortwave? I want my BBC radio and the ability to listen to Arabic. And I want to be able to get all the NFL games from all the markets. It should also have closed captioning, the good kind that doesn’t obscure the crawl. Also, the ability to order a steaming beverage. Or a soup bowl filled with creamy SHUT THE FUCK UP, RIAA!
I want to bite the hand that feeds me.
that’s the craziest thing i’ve heard in a long time.
Radio…. Radio…. hmm… rings a bell…
OK, ya got me. What’s a radio?
I love that they’re using public safety as a justification! Because if I’m out running, I need to know when to duck and cover.
Shorter RIAA: we no longer have a viable business model, so we’re resorting government intervention, like any self-respecting American company would.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Mandates because they believe in the free market.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): Aren’t mandates unconstitutional? They said so during the health care debate.
This is great news! I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get my iPod to play the same 10 songs over and over again in an infinite loop. Now I won’t have to!
Some of my friends sit around every evening and they worry about the times ahead. But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed.
I have an mp3 player with an FM radio and it sucks. It’s just too small to have a good antenna. An FM antenna is optimally over 15 inches long, way to big for even the smallest cell phone.
This is great news! I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get my iPod to play the same 10 songs THAT I DON’T EVEN WANT TO HEAR over and over again in an infinite loop. Now I won’t have to!
Fixed for accuracy.
Honestly, ever since I saw the “World’s Smallest Radio” – a tiny little ear bud with a “scan” button on the back – I was baffled as to why phones and mp3 players didn’t all have it native. Back in the days before streaming internet radio and wireless capabilities in every cell, this would have made a lot of sense. Sometimes I really do want to just flip over to the local rock station and listen to whatever.
But the RIAA is at least a decade behind the curve on this. It would have been a non-laughable requirement in the 90s. Now, in the age of Last.fm streaming from my iPhone over my car speakers via Blue Tooth, it’s insane.
How do you get a job with the RIAA anyway? That has to be the sweetest gig on earth. I’ve always wanted to meet a dinosaur. Imagine getting to work for one.
My prediction, if they decide to run with this insanity, they’ll go with a pearl clutching panic approach.
They’ll front it as a safty initiative. Something about the emergency broadcast and how people will drive into wildfire zones in CA, or into the paths of oncoming hurricanes if they are stuck being in the “dead zone” of non am/fm capible devices.
Every radio station I listen to either has an iPhone app or is picked up by the MLB AtBat app when games begin. Access certainly isn’t the issue. So what is?
So I wonder when the RIAA will come after the people who did this. (The original.)
Audio geeks are debating whether this really is a full Justin Bieber song slowed down 8 times (with special software that keeps the pitch the same) or a careful remix using elements of the song as a starting point. Either way, it’s pretty lovely ambient stuff. I don’t have Discreet Music or Music for Airports on my computer, so this is my longform audio for the day.
August J. Pollak
Yeah the mandate seems ridiculous (especially since in the sense of emergencies, mandating AM radio would make much more sense since that’s where most of the traffic alert/news/emergency broadcast bandwidths are) but I can’t help but be annoyed at how they want to demand this while, five years ago, I would have paid EXTRA for an iPod that had a radio on it.
I still miss the radios that picked up TV stations.
So I just read that John bolton said Israel has 8 days to attack Iran
why the fuck is this guy or anyone allowed to go around saying this shit?
And the threat of anthrax infected, remote controlled model airplanes piloted by monkeys trained by the Taliban. We need an early warning system for that – especially in places that don’t have cell towers.
Think of the children, for God’s sake!
Bill in OH
I always thought the line was “the promise of an early death”. I guess it works either way.
First Amendment sucks, doesn’t it?
Whenever I hear this kind of news in These Days, I find myself asking the same questions: Who had the means? Who had the motive? Who had the Opportunity? And my favorite — Who stood to profit?
The Moar You Know
@burnspbesq: The RIAA’s cut of revenue from streaming audio is about a tenth, under the best scenario, of what it is from radio. In the case of indie artists who have forsworn the RIAA entirely, it is zero.
So part of it is money. But that’s not the main issue, I don’t think. The RIAA is about ten to twenty years behind on the technology curve, and I think they’ve just figured out that their main bread and butter, the distribution racket, is done for. Hence last-gasp, stupid attempts like this.
As a former artist who got fucked by the RIAA, I can say this with a clean conscience: I hope they all die of starvation in the gutter like the dogs they are. They certainly wouldn’t have cared if that had happened to me.
This link is relevant.
Ummm…I can already listen to radio on my iPhone. There are dozens of apps that let you listen to radio broadcasts on your phone. This is true for Andrpoid pohones as well.
But, one thing I do note is that you are not allowed to listen to local sports broadcasts on these radio station apps. Maybe that should be something Congress fixes. If you are going to offer internet access to your broadcasts (advertising and all) you better damn well offer all your programing too, including local sporting events.
You either shut up or get cut out, they don’t wanna hear about it, it’s only inches on the real to real. And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools tryin’ to anethnetize the way that you feel.
As for the National Association of Broadcasters’ tacked-on rationalization that it is concerned about public safety, the plan needs something else. Another mandate. Whoever has one of these devices should be required to keep it turned on (and tuned into an FM station) at all times. Otherwise one could miss the emergency alerts.
p.s.: I love the CONELRAD reference, jeffreyw.
‘reel to reel’, lettuce, not ‘real to real’.
Snarki, child of Loki
What a GREAT idea!
And while they’re at it, they can do a LOT to improve cellphone text messaging: just add a Morse key.
.-.. – – – .-.. .-.. – – – – – – – – – – – -.. .-. …
@Billy K: I dunno, but “Radio, Radio” is a great Elvis Costello song.
Amanda in the South Bay
I’m still waiting for the glorious day when the RIAA sues everyone whose ever downloaded songs legally from iTunes.
Wouldnt put it past them.
I know Nanos have an FM tuner in them now. Which, yeah, came about five years after I would have cared to have it, but it’s there. I can’t tell if other iPods have tuners in them because it seems people care so little about them, Apple doesn’t even list it as a feature for Nanos.
Still, this story made me go WTF. But if this is all about money, then I’m all for saying fuck ’em, and feel free to remove the tuner in my Nano if it’ll help.
ETA: Did I trip moderation because I can’t spell my name right?
I design audio products. Everybody is asking for fm tuners these days. So its not just the riaa
I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no reason to have this discussion here.
Hm. Both my MP3 player and my cell phone already have FM radio on them out of the box, so I guess I’m safe. Now if the RIAA would put something on FM that I want to listen to, that would be news.
@Allison W.: Thanks, but I had already heard that story on the radio.
Isn’t there a Carrier Pigeon Ap for the iPod and IPad?
And there are rumors that Apple is going to release a new next generation technology device, the iHamRadio.
@August J. Pollak:
Ah yes, one of the consequences of the switch to digital TV.
That’s what she said!
*Sorry, I was so shocked that no one else said it, I couldn’t resist.
But seriously, this was my favorite quote from the article:
The RIAA has somehow figured a way to also represent portable device makers it this “negotiation”. Pretty amazing considering that none of this involves the portable device makers.
The main problem with the RIAA, as with many companies unable to adapt to the new technological landscape, is that they have for years invested money in the wrong resources. They have invested so much money in lawyers and marketing, that they have no idea that the problems they face have nothing to do with laws and regulation or exposure.
If instead, the RIAA (and its members), would have hired a few technical people, and asked them, “Would it be possible to use this Napster thing to improve our distribution?”, instead of just shutting it down. They would be in a very different place today. So would Apple, for that matter.
Because they (the member companies) lack any in depth knowledge of the technologies, they believe it when the lawyers tell them that the next court decision, the next piece of legislation they buy, will finally be the one that will get things “back to normal”. The end is always “just over the horizon”, and it is.
Since the RIAA is intent on investing money in lawsuits and lobbyists, instead of research and adaptation, that end which lies just over the horizon , is the RIAA itself.
Kinda like when Neo finally allowed Agent Smith to “copy” him at the end of “The Matrix: Revolutions”.
I don’t even have an FM radio in my house. If I want to listen to the radio, I have an app for that.
The radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools.
Allison, I know that turd is killing you.
RE: SFAW comment.
Perhaps obscure reference to another Elvis Costello song, Alison
It was a slight alteration of another lyric by some guy named Declan something-or-other.
If your name were Barbara or Sadie, I wouldna done it.
Yes. (Beat me to it.)
Obscure? Yeah, maybe in another thread, but in this one? I’m hurt.
No, I mean… what the fuck, seriously?
I listen to the Stephanie Miller Show on AM 1090 on my way in to work every morning. I can count on one hand the number of times in the last 20 years that I’ve willingly turned on music radio.
This is like mandating hand crank starters on a Prius. It will go nowhere.
Balloon Juice–Come for the political snark, stay for the clever Elvis Costello references.
@SFAW: but you probably could have done Veronica or Chelsea (sort of)
i’m plenty tech savvy, but i enjoy listening to college radio and npr. and when all i’ve got on me is my ipod, it’s annoying not to be able to listen to today’s news if i want to. this is especially true at work where streaming media is pretty well-blocked.
Sorry. My aim was true.
I didn’t want to go there.
At the risk of sound like a Randian idiot (as opposed to my normal, everyday idiocy): if someone in Teh Free Market hears enough of you saying that, it will eventually appear. Combine that with the “Let’s Sue the Shit Out of Little Guys for Copyright Infringement, Just to Make Examples Out of People Who Can’t Afford to Defend Themselves” crew at the RIAA, and I think the mandated-tech route gets fewer votes here.
I’d be wounded, but I got no heart.
OK, so I just contradicted myself, just so I could continue the riff. Damn! Next thing you know, I’ll be asking to see Obama’s birth certificate. You betcha!
Heres’ the thing, I really LIKE that I have an FM radio in my MP3 player. I use it to listen to MPR and NPR. What I want though is an AM radio so I can listen to the local AM station when the weather is crappy so I know if a tornado is about to touch down on my head.
Step 1: Demand FM radios in all mp3 players
Step 2: Become outraged when consumers use their mp3 players to record songs from the radio
Step 3: Demand the right to charge a royalty on mp3 players (as they still do on cassettes and CDs). Profit!
It’s got the underpants gnomes beat…
@RareSanity: You beat me to it.
But only because I just got here. And, I can’t believe you ruined the ending of The Matrix: Revolutions for me! Sob.
I don’t have an iPod or mp3 player, so I have no skin in this game, but it sounds spectacularly stupid to me. Not surprising, but stupid.
Someone’s scratching at the window, I wonder who is it.
It’s either Alison, or Veronica, or Chelsea [sic].
Thus is the circle completed, and the universe is at one with itself.
Christ, that sounds like I just smoked about half a pound.
OK, I better quit, ASAP.
I will now admit to having two strokes in the last five years.
I apologize for the reel to reel thing.
I want to bite the hand that feeds me, I want to bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they’d never seen me.
You mean THIS RIAA business model?
What a depressing set out articles. (I didn’t read all of them, but the ones I did were enough to give a very vivid picture, unfortunately.)
When they started the lawsuit bullshit, I thought they were being dickheads. After reading your link, it seems apparent that they have the all the class and scruples of people like Ken Lay or the Wall Street Masters of the Universe.
Great way to start a Wednesday. On the plus side, my doctor says my blood pressure is dangerously low, so this will help it get back to normal.