Digital Radio

5am, ahead of today's digital radio launch.
5am, ahead of today's digital radio launch.

I got out of bed far too early this morning.

I needed to be in Martin Place by about five for the “official launch” of digital radio in Australia.

I woke at about 4.15, and hit the shower until I was absolutely awake and then caught a cab into town.

There weren’t too many people around in Martin Place at about five this morning. Well, there were lots of radio station marketing people, and a few producers and announcers. From what I could see, I was possibly the only radio station manager, the remainder of whom were probably, sensibly, home in bed.

The only non-radio people I noticed at about five this morning were the garbos, and a few blokes in suits. “Do you think they’re going to work or coming from the bars?”, I asked a colleague when we overhead a couple of blokes in suits chatting on the way through.

Shooting the group photo for the digital radio launch in Sydney.
Shooting the group photo for the digital radio launch in Sydney.

Overall, it was a reasonably enjoyable morning, with a large crowd of people attending, and a genuine sense of comraderie in the air. Even though we’re all rivals in some way shape or form, many of us have worked together in the past, and there was a good feeling in catching up with people you only ever see occasionally.

As for digital radio itself, I think the potential is pretty amazing. Already there’s a few new stations on air, though with nothing you couldn’t otherwise find on the net. And more are bound to be launched over the next 6 to 12 months.

Digital radio launch in Sydney group photo.
Digital radio launch in Sydney group photo.

Although I have access to one at work, I haven’t actually bought a digital radio yet. Personally I think they’re still too expensive, and I’m prepared to wait for the next generation of receivers – only a few months away – which also incorporate internet radio, tapping into your home wireless network. In my lounge room I have my computer set up to my sound system, so I can listen to good quality audio over the net all the time. I’m keen, however, for something in my bedroom which is where I also do a fair bit of listening.

In the midst of a couple of busy days, I came home for a couple of hours to break up the long day, and even managed to have an hour or so asleep on the couch.

I went back to work about 3, and did a few more things.

Coming home tonight I was impressed by a lovely moment on Sydney buses. You don’t often hear about bus drivers being kind and considerate, so I thought I’d share this story of a bloke asking for directions at Railway Square. Rather than just tell the passenger he was at the wrong spot, the driver said, “Grab a seat and I’ll drop you off on the way”. How cool is that?


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