Thursday, June 16, 2005

Smart Radio

So, my new car has a pretty decent sound system in it. 

I didn't get XM or any other satellite radio.  When it plays radio, it's playing good old-fashioned FM radio.

So, I crank it up, and discover that, when it is tuned to a radio station, a little display screen will list not only the exact number to which it is tuned, but the call letters of the station I'm listening to.  Also the type of music (e.g., "rock").  This seemed like a nice improvement over old radio.  I didn't question how it was done -- but I figured it couldn't be that hard.  Maybe pre-programming the radio with a list of local stations or something?

This morning, I put the radio on a station I rarely listen to.  And the display started showing words other than the call letters and the type of music.  It was showing the title of the song that was playing, and the name of the artist singing it.

Totally weirded me out.

My radio does not do that with all stations.  (Only one of my five presets does it.  Another seems to be trying, but picks up gibberish most of the time.)  I'm left with the conclusion that, when the radio station is broadcasting a signal that my radio interprets as SOUND, it must also be broadcasting a simultaneous signal that my radio interprets as text -- in this case, the name of the song and artist.  Did not know we had that sort of technology.  Totally cool.

3 comments:

pegluh said...

Some radio stations will send out the station call letters and song titles along with the audio signal, which is picked up by your car. It's pretty cool, but never when you actually want the title of the song.

jevanslink said...

I felt the same way when I discovered that my radio could communicate with me. Sensory overload in a way.  Iceland pics are awesome btw.  Mrs. L

andreakingme said...

Yep. But people could SO get into trouble with this kind of technology, though, if their eyes on the radio and not the road. You know?

(Well, I could.)