FM Radio - what's it like in your area?

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J. PUPSTER

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Went to get us some take out Teriyaki for dinner tonight; and on the way got a wild hair & decided to turn on my car's FM radio (which I don't do much anymore BTW.) So I tried an old rock standby here in Sac. 96.9 "The Eagle" (Classic Rock) and for the 10 min. over to the restaurant it was all commercials; then on the way back home I heard one song (Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane) and the rest commercials for another 10 minutes. So in 20 minutes one song - Geez peeps :rolleyes:
 

Sonik Wiz

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Went to get us some take out Teriyaki for dinner tonight; and on the way got a wild hair & decided to turn on my car's FM radio (which I don't do much anymore BTW.) So I tried an old rock standby here in Sac. 96.9 "The Eagle" (Classic Rock) and for the 10 min. over to the restaurant it was all commercials; then on the way back home I heard one song (Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane) and the rest commercials for another 10 minutes. So in 20 minutes one song - Geez peeps :rolleyes:
Yeah so pretty much never listen to FM radio ( no static at all) in my car for the same reason. Actually I am not much of an even casual music listener. Not at work, in my garage, headphones while cutting the grass. Musical enjoyment is pretty special for me & I tend to sit down & give it my full attention. So , 2:1 ratio commercials to music makes it even worse.
 

Mark Anderson

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My car has HD radio, My home stereo also has it. I have been bummed that HD has been dropped by newer versions of both and don't understand as it is such an improvement. I get that streaming and downloads and large capacity of or phones can replace that but why eliminate an improvement.
Ah......now I get it, 20 minutes of commercials, don't need to hear that on HD radio
 

Lute

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Here in Japan, FM radio is all talk with only a few songs. It’s been like that since I’ve been here. The DJs seem to go on and on forever here. It’s more like a talk show. Some people here really like to listen to them. I suppose there are some interesting interviews or discussions, but it gets boring real quick for me. Commercials? Hmm, I am sure there are some, but honestly I never listen long enough to find out. Also, the reception is awful. Surprising, huh?…seeing that all those radios used to be built here. Compared to here the radio stations in Indy still seem to be way better (that is whenever I visit the folks back home), though there are plenty of commercials on Indy radio, too.
 

J. PUPSTER

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There are two college stations, one jazz and one eclectic, and the local NPR station. The rest is absolute dreck.
Sacramento also has the NPR stations-
KXPR (88.9 FM) a classical music-formatted radio station & KXJZ (90.9 FM- some night time Jazz), and the two stations are known as Capital Public Radio. They have good content when they’re not talking; but when I’m driving I’m more likely to want to rock out.
 

Lute

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I love listening to NPR back home... classical in the early hours of the morning and jazz in the afternoon. The rock station Q95 was a lot of fun back in the 70s and 80s. Now the alternative rock stations have some interesting music (not sure what their names are). Anyway, the car is definitely a good place to rock out.
 

Soundfield

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In the UK we are blessed with a fine FM network. The BBC broadcasts it's four main radio channels, with a very broad range of content on FM :
radio.JPG

together with it's local radio stations. Frankly FM is my main source of music and entertainment throughout the day - I have Radio 3 and Radio 4 on from breakfast to dinner! I can't imagine life without it! Reception is pretty good in most parts of the country and in a strong signal strength area like mine the quality is very high indeed. I still record a lot of live concerts from Radio 3.

There's some national commercial stations on FM (eg. Classic FM) but they don't have the audio quality of the BBC. There are also lots of commercial local pop stations, although they have no interest to me. Commercial radio has always hung by a thread in the UK - in the evenings you can go for hours without hearing an advert!

The government had a plan to switch off FM in favour of the ghastly DAB system at one time but thankfully it seems to have been forgotten.
 
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hobie1dog

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Typical classical and NPR on the 87-91 section, top 40 from the 70's 92-107 section, typical country and religious station thrown in. SSDY
 

paligap

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Sacramento also has the NPR stations-
KXPR (88.9 FM) a classical music-formatted radio station & KXJZ (90.9 FM- some night time Jazz), and the two stations are known as Capital Public Radio. They have good content when they’re not talking; but when I’m driving I’m more likely to want to rock out.
Our local NPR station occasionally has some music programming, and its sister station is all classical music.
 

quadsearcher

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NPR, formula rock and country, and the same religious station repeated several times.
We have a small made-for-cars FM transmitter that hangs off a dedicated old computer, broadcasting WFMU.org to the house and yard 24/7. It has essentially become our local radio station. And it is freeform programming. In the car, just AM oldies and news (sometimes an FM college jazz station when it comes in.)
 

J. PUPSTER

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My apologies to one of the best original rock stations in this area "a decidedly non-corporate" KZAP 93.3 FM, I'd had forgotten that they made a return back in ~2015, need to check them out again, but I believe their reception (power) is a little weak. Also an online app of course.

Home Page:
 

atrocity

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My apologies to one of the best original rock stations in this area "a decidedly non-corporate" KZAP 93.3 FM, I'd had forgotten that they made a return back in ~2015, need to check them out again, but I believe their reception (power) is a little weak. Also an online app of course.

Home Page:
Yeah, the FM signal is very low power and mono. The various streams (cell phone app, web page) are stereo and generally better, but the budget means that with very few exceptions the highest-quality tracks are only 320kbps MP3. And some of those are from iffy sources and less than great encoders.

I've replaced every track I know of that has outright errors in it (and slipped in the occasional FLAC for new tracks), but there are so many in need of general audio upgrades that I've tended to slack off lately because it's just overwhelming. When my ambition is high I'll at least try to upgrade some of them that appear in my shifts, but even just there it can get to be too much.

Having said that, I'm genuinely surprised how sometimes a 320k MP3 that's been further downgraded to 128k doesn't actually sound that bad. But I'm two weeks shy of 62, so take that with a grain of salt.

If you're using a Squeezebox or anything else that will take a raw URL, you can listen via http://janus.cdnstream.com:5160/live. We're coming up on the sixth birthday and that URL hasn't changed yet, so fingers crossed.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Yeah, the FM signal is very low power and mono. The various streams (cell phone app, web page) are stereo and generally better, but the budget means that with very few exceptions the highest-quality tracks are only 320kbps MP3. And some of those are from iffy sources and less than great encoders.

I've replaced every track I know of that has outright errors in it (and slipped in the occasional FLAC for new tracks), but there are so many in need of general audio upgrades that I've tended to slack off lately because it's just overwhelming. When my ambition is high I'll at least try to upgrade some of them that appear in my shifts, but even just there it can get to be too much.

Having said that, I'm genuinely surprised how sometimes a 320k MP3 that's been further downgraded to 128k doesn't actually sound that bad. But I'm two weeks shy of 62, so take that with a grain of salt.

If you're using a Squeezebox or anything else that will take a raw URL, you can listen via http://janus.cdnstream.com:5160/live. We're coming up on the sixth birthday and that URL hasn't changed yet, so fingers crossed.
I suppose my primary reason for this thread was for us old farts who don't have the latest and greatest Tech in our cars when driving around. Mine's a 2003 Subaru Forester and only has a CD changer and FM/AM radio (so very Low-Tech in todays standards I'd guess.) I'll be out running around some more tomorrow and see how well I can tune into K-ZAP, as I'm sure the content will be miles ahead of the others.
 

Sonik Wiz

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I suppose my primary reason for this thread was for us old farts who don't have the latest and greatest Tech in our cars when driving around. Mine's a 2003 Subaru Forester and only has a CD changer and FM/AM radio (so very Low-Tech in todays standards I'd guess.) I'll be out running around some more tomorrow and see how well I can tune into K-ZAP, as I'm sure the content will be miles ahead of the others.
IIRC an '03 Forester is a pretty manly man car. My transport is just the opposite, a little 2012 Mazda 3, hatch back. It handles great going around curves fast, approx 30 MPG and better acceleration than expected. Bought new in 2013 it has not quite 50k miles on it so I imagine it will be the last car I have.

But the factory sound is not good. No matter what I do to the bass/treble it is either boomy & muddy, or shrill & harsh. Take your pick. CD/AM/FM & analog mini jack for phone. It does Bluetooth playback from phone but that just sounds even worse. As I said earlier I'm not much of a casual listener anymore so usually it's just me & my thoughts.

In olden days I had a new '77 Lincoln Mercury Capri hatch back. Memory can be kind to things but I remember it having quite good sound, for the time period. Craig stereo 8 track in the glove box. Factory speakers in the front doors but to the players rear output I had two, KLH 8" 2 way speakers in the rear hatch area. Hooked up a la Hafler. Careful adjustment of balance made it a great listening experience. Until a passenger blocks the right front speaker.

Oh, & the most fun thing about tape play back was that it didn't fade out like radio going through tunnels...
 
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