The Joy of Radio for Elderly Listeners

As older readers will remember, radio was at the centre stage of home entertainment before television became the home media of choice. Gradually, TV pushed radio from prime to background “car and kitchen” entertainment.  Although government owned and operated radio station s are still in service, commercial stations now dominate the airwaves. Consequently, the commercial objectives of these stations resulted in a dumbing down of content, further cementing the background status of radio.

In the early days, radio signals were transmitted in (AM) shortwave, later FM (frequency modulation) giving the listener a much higher quality signal. These days DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) is the ultimate quality signal, requiring special receivers. 

Coming to the point of this blog, there is a much more interesting and varied source of radio – the internet!  Anyone who reads this blog is obviously connected to the internet, thus able to access thousands of radio stations from all over the world.

There are various ways of benefitting from this vast resource.

PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone not only give access to what is available, but also allows reading information about programmes, artists, authors etc.  Since most people don’t hook up their computer to a sound system, for better listening quality, it is better to use an internet radio. These radios usually include FM and DAB.

It connects to your modem, giving you access to radio stations from all over the world. Menu- driven searches can be done by country and genre. This medium is ideal for listeners who don’t need a visual input. It is just like a conventional radio. For discerning listeners, the internet radio can be hooked up to a stereo system for high quality sound.

A particularly useful augmentation to real-time broadcasts is the downloadable PODCAST, covering every imaginable topic.  The advantage of podcasts is in that you can listen when you want. Downloaded onto a portable audio device such as smartphone, iPod or Sony Walkman, you can listen where you want.

If you live in a noisy environment or if you don’t wish to disturb your neighbours, portable audio devices are the ticket. Noise cancelling earphones can reduce background noise such as traffic. A cheaper solution is a plug-in earphone such as the Marley Jammin collection.

Posted by Hans Gfeller

Posted by editor on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:06

 

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