Where are the transistor radios?

I’ve come across Zing a couple of times this weekend. I gather this little gizmo is still in prototype but it sounds interesting. For lack of a better word, they’re little radios that have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios built in. The radios are used to download music and to upload data about what you are listening to. If you have one of these players, you can do cool things, like see what your friends are listening to, then play samples of those tracks, or buy songs and albums directly from the player. The first Zing-powered players should ship this year, carrying the Sirius brand.

radioAs I read about this I mentally pictured all the people I see listening to iPods. Which begs a question: Why don’t I see anyone walking around with a transistor (do they call them that?) radio? I mean, there are some really great radio programs…are we only listening to them in the car or at the office? Why? If I’m willing to stand in line at Subway with nano earbuds hanging down my face…why not listen to my local radio station?

After all, what could be easier? No iTunes to futz with and sync. Just drop your little transitor radio in your pocket and go. I’m missing something here, aren’t I?

6 thoughts on “Where are the transistor radios?

  1. Talk about stream of consciousness! Transistor radio….the first one I ever saw belonged to my brother Langdon. I must have been about 6 years old, and for a smart kid, pretty gullible and far from brave. In his most serious big-brother style, Langdon informed me that inside the radio were little men–tiny workers who could only rest when the dial clicked to “OFF.” When bedtime came, and I refused to go to my room, he threatened to take the back off of the radio, and let the little men out. I was terrified! Amazingly enough, the transistor radio I got for my birthday four years later ran on batteries. The tiny men changed jobs… they are the gremlins in my computer, and they are really scary.

  2. Steve, I’ll get right on that. On a somewhat related topic, I’m guessing mid-Missouri has also seen the advent of the Blue Tooth hands-free cell phone geeks. They’re now everywhere, usually men, although I tend to notice more the women, BLATHERING on and on. I can see where this is an important and useful technology for jet setting corporate types, but do hyper-caffinated soccor moms really need to be in constant touch while they’re perusing the produce at Piggly Wiggly? Just wondering, not like I’ve been thinking about this that much or anything.

  3. Bob: I am comforted to know the loyal “transister” radio is alive and well and clipped to your belt as you pedal yourself around Madison. Here’s your photoblog assignment for the rest of June. Snap photos of everyone you see that appears to be listening to some sort of portable device. If possible, find out what they are listening to.

  4. Well, I still listen to my transister (that’s what my wife calls it), often while commmuting on my bike — mainly to keep up on local and state news I use a cheap, single earphone, which leaves the other ear open to hear sounds of approaching traffic. I don’t own an i-Pod, but if I did I would not use it in that fashion, for fear of ending up on the hood of some driver whose approach I wouldn’e be able to hear. I also listen to the occasional ball game on said transister. I am aware this makes me a geek, but not a techno-geek.

  5. JW: “Loading up your iPod is a lot of work…” Waa waa. Don’t be such a techno-pussy. 1.You plug in your iPod. 2. iTunes sees the iPod (and whatever is on it). 3. iTunes downloads new podcasts to iPod. Whew, what a hassle.

  6. Content or the lack thereof. Where did all the walkman’s go? I think any portable device in the future, better do it all like the new cell phones are doing. This is also why I was reluctant to jump on the I-Pod bandwagon and have been bullish on Sirius. Loading up your I-Pod is a lot of work, and a hassle to cart around. It’s a lot easier to flip the switch and listen. When it becomes a swiss army knife of technology, I’ll start carrying one with me.

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