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View Full Version : Why no AM radio love?




Catonow
Sep 9, 2009, 04:05 PM
The new radio feature (esp. the pause button) on the new iPod Nano got me really excited.

(I've always wondered why nobody seems to have produced a DAR [DVR or TiVo for radio] for the car -- please correct me if I'm wrong! One where you can record programs ahead of time, and listen to them at your leisure [and fast-forward through commercials, etc.] You'd think it'd be a lot easier -- and cheaper -- to make, compared to a video recorder. But I digress....)

I don't understand why Apple restricted the new Nanopod radio to just FM. AM radio has a lot more talk stations (NPR, etc.). Who hasn't been listening to a great discussion while driving and regretted having to leave it behind while running into the store or whatever other errands you're on?

Sure, the same can happen with a great song on FM. But it's a lot easier to get a song later (either from your existing library or by downloading it from iTunes). A topical discussion is much harder to recapture.

The ability to pause and return to AM radio programming would be awesome. Please, Apple (or somebody else?), consider bringing this feature to AM radio!



SeaFox
Sep 9, 2009, 04:12 PM
NPR is an FM station where I am, as it's also a classical music station.

AM reception usually uses a ferrite bar antanne, maybe they couldn't fit something that thick into the Nano's case.

marioman38
Sep 9, 2009, 04:12 PM
HAHAHAHAHA, you're kidding, right? Right? :eek:

dccorona
Sep 9, 2009, 04:16 PM
I'd assume its a combination of iPods being geared towards music (FM is the music one, everyone knows that), and Apples obsession with thin as a razorblade gadgets. Its amazing they crammed a FM receiver in there. Adding an AM too would just be impossible

SeaFox
Sep 9, 2009, 04:17 PM
HAHAHAHAHA, you're kidding, right? Right?
You know, sometimes using the quote feature makes it more obvious who you are replying to or what part of their post you are addressing. :rolleyes:

swingerofbirch
Sep 9, 2009, 04:17 PM
Some parts of the world don't seem to have AM radio. I remember buying a radio for a summer house in Sweden as a child, and it was quite a fancy german model of some sort, and it only had FM, and I think someone told me they only had FM stations there. So, it could partially be because the iPods are sold internationally. I think it's the same for the Zune.

Viremia
Sep 9, 2009, 04:19 PM
HAHAHAHAHA, you're kidding, right? Right? :eek:

That's one hell of a helpful post you got there :rolleyes:

To the original poster, the lack of AM reception has been an annoyance for me with all the mp3 players that have come out (Apple and others). I listen to a lot of AM talk radio stations and it would be great if I could do it on the go through my iPod. My feeling is that it's most likely an antenna problem as has been mentioned.

ziggyonice
Sep 9, 2009, 04:19 PM
Man, why didn't they put an 8-Track player in there? :mad: :rolleyes:

Catonow
Sep 9, 2009, 04:26 PM
NPR is an FM station where I am, as it's also a classical music station.

AM reception usually uses a ferrite bar antanne, maybe they couldn't fit something that thick into the Nano's case.

1. Sorry, I meant to cite Air America as an example.

2. Didn't realize that AM radio antennae were so bulky.

I still think it would be a good idea. Is anybody aware of any DAR alternatives?

marioman38
Sep 9, 2009, 04:29 PM
Man, why didn't they put an 8-Track player in there? :mad: :rolleyes:

Chhh, 8-track is so 1970's!

I'm just pissed it doesn't have a Mini-Disc player!! :mad:

SeaFox
Sep 9, 2009, 04:31 PM
1. Sorry, I meant to cite Air America as an example.
Doesn't Air America have their stuff available as podcasts?

Catonow
Sep 9, 2009, 04:51 PM
Doesn't Air America have their stuff available as podcasts?

That was just one example. There are thousands of AM stations with millions of listeners in markets across the country. And speaking of international audiences, most foreign-language radio in America (e.g., Spanish) is found on AM.

redknives
Sep 9, 2009, 05:44 PM
The antenna is the problem. Most mini AM radios use the headphone cord as the antenna - C.Crane has a Sangean AM/FM mini radio that looks like the 2G Black Nano.
I'd love AM for sports radio but I am happy with podcasts (I don't remember what I listened to before podcasts).

marioman38
Sep 11, 2009, 03:51 AM
Does the HD radio tuner not pick up BOTH FM and AM stations on one antenna? Not sure why apple wouldn't just add an HD tuner. I suppose costs. Anyhow, I thought the headphone cord acted as the antenna.

Scott-n-Houston
Sep 11, 2009, 08:24 AM
Is Air America still in business? I would think you guys and the other 5 listeners could get together and come up with a solution. lol :)

I agree with the original poster. I'm not only surprised that there's no AM on the iPod, but I'm surprised more car stereos don't have the DAV feature. I can't stand when I'm listening to good talk radio and I have to take a call or something.

shady825
Sep 11, 2009, 09:50 AM
I'd LOVE to be able to listen to Coast To Coast AM on my nano!!
Dont care for AOL radio on the iPhone to much, she gets pretty hot and I fall asleep with it on a lot of the time.

ski2moro
Sep 11, 2009, 10:04 AM
FM stations around here have are woefully lacking in the news department. They have virtually no traffic info in the rush hour, and no emergency weather notifications for tornado/thunderstorm.

I'm in a smaller market, and many music stations are robo-stations without a DJ.

AM seems to do a much better job. Once I am out of my car, it would be nice to have a choice to tune into local news stations on AM.

creon
Sep 11, 2009, 11:06 AM
New features creates new buyers.

Next September they will have AM & FM.

creon
Sep 11, 2009, 11:07 AM
FM stations around here have are woefully lacking in the news department. They have virtually no traffic info in the rush hour, and no emergency weather notifications for tornado/thunderstorm.

I'm in a smaller market, and many music stations are robo-stations without a DJ.

AM seems to do a much better job. Once I am out of my car, it would be nice to have a choice to tune into local news stations on AM.

I agree with you 100%. I listen to my iPhone in my car for music and AM for news. The DJ's don't even bother to tell you the song...which is why I love Shazam.

Lukeyboy01
Sep 11, 2009, 12:49 PM
I'd assume its a combination of iPods being geared towards music (FM is the music one, everyone knows that), and Apples obsession with thin as a razorblade gadgets. Its amazing they crammed a FM receiver in there. Adding an AM too would just be impossible

THEY DIDNT ITS INN THE EARPHONES SORRY FOR CAPS

AAMedia
Sep 11, 2009, 01:04 PM
Is Air America still in business? I would think you guys and the other 5 listeners could get together and come up with a solution. lol :)



I am a representative from Air America and yes, Air America is still around and actually launching a brand new website in two weeks. Earlier this summer, it also took ownership of the 1050 AM station in Washington, DC.

A few free podcasts are available on iTunes and there is an iPhone application as well. But in order to hear full shows or archive you have to subscribe to OnDemand content -

http://airamerica.com/ondemand

You can also listen live to the shows here:

www.airamerica.com/listen

Hope this helps answer a few questions....

petermcphee
Sep 11, 2009, 01:08 PM
New features creates new buyers.

Next September they will have AM & FM.

I don't think so. Mainly because, as other posters have pointed out, this addition would be USELESS for many of the international iPod users.

But, hey. Crazy speculative predictions is what this site is all about. So go nuts with that AM radio talk.:D

dXTC
Sep 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
Caps forgiven, Lukeyboy01, as you are at least partially correct. Apple uses the headphone cord as the FM antenna in the new nano. There wasn't enough room to make the FM antenna internal, as iFixit's nano disassembly (http://www.macrumors.com/c.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ifixit.com%2FTeardown%2FiPod-Nano-5th-Generation%2F1157%2F1&t=1252726202) shows; space was very tight indeed.

The two public radio stations (NPR and one other) here in Louisville are FM as well.

AM would have been nice, especially for fans of talk radio, gospel and Latino listeners. There's always the next gen, though...

bloodycape
Sep 11, 2009, 11:31 PM
Does the HD radio tuner not pick up BOTH FM and AM stations on one antenna? Not sure why apple wouldn't just add an HD tuner. I suppose costs. Anyhow, I thought the headphone cord acted as the antenna.

I know the Zune HD has HD radio(and RDS support that shows what is now being played), so I doubt it cost. Plus, I am pretty sure that on Zune HD there is no AM radio, or else there would be a mention of it. Plus as stated AM radio antenna is to large for the Nano and most mp3/media player devices.

Chundles
Sep 11, 2009, 11:45 PM
AM antennas are usually large wire loops, the ones that come with all our AM-capable radios are about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Not gonna fit in a nano...

michael31986
Sep 12, 2009, 01:50 AM
they are racist lol jk. who knows.

Aussie Trav
Sep 12, 2009, 02:10 AM
Being in Australia, I would much rather that they put a DAB+ tuner in so that we could listen to digital radio, although with the US going with a different standard than the rest of the world I could imagine a few headaches for Apple in trying to implement digital radio in the iPod's.

I know this would cost more than an FM tuner, but it would be so worth the extra cost.

bloodycape
Sep 12, 2009, 02:28 PM
I dunno if a small Korean company like Cowon, or iRiver can put DMB in models for Korea, and then give the rest of world the same model sans DMB, I would think a large company like Apple could do.

macsarethebest
Sep 12, 2009, 03:22 PM
I'd assume its a combination of iPods being geared towards music (FM is the music one, everyone knows that), and Apples obsession with thin as a razorblade gadgets. Its amazing they crammed a FM receiver in there. Adding an AM too would just be impossible

the headphones are the receiver;)

dXTC
Sep 12, 2009, 05:56 PM
the headphones are the receiver;)

Close, but no banana. The headphones act as the antenna only.

How do I know this, you ask? If Apple had put the actual "receiver" in the headphones, we would be stuck with using Apple's headphones in order to use the FM radio. I have one of the new nanos (see my sig), and the radio works perfectly fine with my V-moda Vibes.

The nano's FM radio software is programmed to detect whether a headphone is connected. If not, then the software refuses to launch. Apple's dev guys probably realized that without some sort of antenna, FM radio reception was going to be really crappy, but there just wasn't enough room in the case. Hence, the headphones-as-external-antenna solution.

bloodycape
Sep 12, 2009, 11:53 PM
My last Cowon A2, which had FM, acted the same way you need headphones to be plug in to get FM reception, I was told it was due to fm antennas on an mp3 can easily get busted/bent.

SkyBell
Sep 13, 2009, 12:01 AM
AM antennas are usually large wire loops, the ones that come with all our AM-capable radios are about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Not gonna fit in a nano...

I understand that they probably can't fit an AM antennae in an iPod, but most pocket radio's seem to fit one into a pretty small space...