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Death of the clock radio? #tuneinradio


A few weeks ago our expensive DAB clock radio died. It never worked  particularly well at low volumes which is what we need when lying in bed but it was useful in being able to easily tune into lots of different DAB channels.

We replaced it with the FM clock radio from our son Tom’s room. Tom no longer lives at home and he doesn’t need it. The only problem with Tom’s radio is that whilst it works find you have to manually tune it with the dial on the side of the radio.

So this morning, which is Sunday morning, we are lying in bed listening to the radio when, of course it being Sunday, the Sunday service came on (Radio4). This is always the cue to switch off.

At the same time @mrstevenallen who is a radio presenter and comedian I engage with occasionally on Twitter mentioned that he was on air on 107.5 fm somewhere in deepest Essex . I tried clicking on the links he provided to listen in but none of them seem to work very well on my android. The TuneIn radio app, however, worked a treat so in I listened.

I mentioned to Steve that I was listening and even got a mention myself on the radio (yay fame at last).

After listening for a few minutes I decided to move on – the music was not really to my taste. Instead of faffing around manually with the bedside radio i just tried a few channels  in the “recent” list on TuneIn radio. I hopped around a couple avoiding the inevitable religious content and settled on radio 3.

The clock radio will die off. With TuneIn radio on my phone  providing many more channels at the click of a thumb why should I bother? When I eventually get up the radio will just follow me, using the phone whereas before TuneIn radio I would have had separate radios in the bathroom the kitchen etc etc etc.

The only value the clock radio now provides me is a large digital display showing the time. Being nearly blind I can just about make this out through blurry eyes on the neon display first thing in the morning.

I can’t imagine our kids, who all have android phones, going out and buying a clock radio when they leave home.

Another household appliance destined for a museum display cabinet?

Time go get up.

PS this post was mostly dictated using the wordpress app for android.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

5 replies on “Death of the clock radio? #tuneinradio”

Likewise, our broken down clock/radio was substituted by the BBC iPlayer radio app running on an iPad that we already owned. The app has got a sleep timer, night mode and an alarm function. This setup does the job very well for us, and it’s reduced the household device count by one.

I’ve got a WiFi radio as DAB and FM in my flat are problematic.

Just don’t forget that the internet wasn’t designed as a broadcast medium, and Freeview for TV, and FM (or even DAB at a pinch) are so much more efficient for one way broadcast.

The internet is great for interactivity 🙂

@James – actually the Internet was designed for broadcast, using the multicast protocol. The problem is the protocols haven’t been widely implemented by the Internet Service Providers, especially in ways that makes it easy for third-party content providers to utilise.

There is use of multicast within ISP’s own networks, for example for IPTV content distribution but it’s not so easy for you to pop up as a content provider and start streaming multicast to the Internet at large in the manner that the protocol designers originally envisaged.

I have quite a nice 8 year old DAB/FM radio which has a sleep function as I tend to listen to a talk radio station as I drift off to sleep.

I tend to sleep though most alarm clocks or it takes a while before I wake up when they are going off (I managed to sleep through the small earthquake we had in the UK some years ago) so I actually ended up buying an alarm clock designed for the deaf that has a 120 decibel alarm and red flashing LEDs on the front and if both of those weren’t enough it comes with a vibration device that can be placed under he mattress to shake you awake but there’s no way you could sleep through that alarm so have not needed it.

I’ve gone down the WiFi/DAB radio (from Pure) route. It actually complements both my phone and tablet – I can stream from either phone or tablet and the bedside tablet dock is connected to it’s audio-in jack so it doubles as an external speaker for the tablet. And as I often end up leaving the phone in the kitchen or living room, having an alarm that’s separate from the phone is very useful.

Also, as it knows the difference between weekdays and the weekend, I’m no longer woken up by the Sunday Service.

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