ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Car Radio

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It seems that every time we stop to take a breath some new technology, application, hardware or software is trying to get our attention. And almost every one of them, we're told, is going to completely change how we live our lives, how we do business, and how we interact with our friends.

HEAR DR. BURRIS' COMMENTARY:


We're also told it's all free. Unless, of course, you want an upgrade beyond the most basic of services.

But sometimes I think we just need to take a step back and go for a stroll down memory, some call it amnesia, lane.

So, can you guess which media form we use most often in our cars? Streaming audio, satellite radio, MP-3, an old-fashioned CD player? Nope, none of the above. The media device most people use in their cars most of the time is the old fashioned AM-FM radio.

Newly published research shows that when people are driving, more than 50 percent of their listening time is spent with AM/FM radio. CD's, MP-3s, satellite radio and on-line radio each account for only between 10 and 15 percent of our listening time.

Now, it is true that more and more cars are being delivered with internet connections pre-installed. But apparently listeners are using the old-fashioned radio. And why might that be?

Well, how much local news do you get from satellite radio? The answer, none. What about local traffic reports? You're not going to find that on streaming audio. Local weather? School closings? Festivals at the local park this weekend? Probably not on your MP-3 or CD player.

Oh, and by the way, AM/FM radio is free. Every station on the dial is free. Every program, song, and announcement is free. And even better, if you want to put an announcement on the radio, you can probably do that for free as well.

Sure, technology is making all kinds of changes in our lives. But sometimes the old ways are still the best.

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