Since the beginning of this century, we’ve had the ability to call up any song we can think of and listen to it directly over the internet, or store thousands of them on our computers, and since the introduction of smartphones, we’ve had almost constant easy access to music when we’re on the go.
So, why not offer the same easy access to radio stations? Whether you’re listening with your phone, your computer, or in your car, imagine being able to tune in to any radio station you can think of, from any style or genre, from every corner of the world.
So, although you might think of a radio as being an electronic gadget, the word has many meanings and definitions. For example, the verb (“to radio someone”) means to send energy with waves from one place to another without the need for wires, whether it’s from one room to the next or country to country. A piece of equipment called a “transmitter” sends out the radio signals, which are picked up by a “receiver”.
This is why the 1930’s and 40’s term “wireless” was used for household radios, as the concept was relatively new.
Radio still has a lot of uses, despite the belief of some in the early 2000’s who thought it would become irrelevant due to the rise of mp3 players and iPods. In fact, many people simply didn’t want to deal with new technology and stuck to their old ways, particularly older generations. Some people also preferred the radio because it constantly introduced them to new songs and artists that they wouldn’t necessarily hear with mp3 players.
Radio is still important in both more-developed and less-developed countries. In many developing countries such as Thailand and Nicaragua, it’s used as an educational tool for teaching topics such as nutrition and health education. In South Africa, there are more than 150 independent radio stations, whereas 30 years ago there were only 10 on the entire continent of Africa.
Despite Nikola Tesla’s demonstration of a wireless radio in 1893 in St. Louis, it was Guglielmo Marconi who transmitted the first radio signals across the Atlantic Ocean in 1901, and became known as the father of radio. In the following years leading up to the First World War, radio was primarily used to send messages to and from ships via Morse code, but was not used commercially. During WW1, it was almost exclusive to the military.
2017 - online radio