The Australian radio industry has been talking up the potential of digital radio — better signal, multiple channels, on-screen information such as who’s talking or what track is playing — for years, but never seems to progress much beyond limited trials. The situation doesn’t seem to be improving. Neil Shoebridge reports in today’s Australian Financial Review (the paper that doesn’t put its articles online, so no link, sorry) that a previous plan for full-scale capital city digital radio broadcasts to commence in January next year has now been entirely abandoned. May looks like the earliest possible starting point, and with a government deadline of July 1, further delays wouldn’t really surprise me.
When I’ve played with digital radios before, I’ve been impressed with the sound and liked the extra info, but it seems to me that until we’ve actually got channels up and running with content you can’t get on conventional radio, no-one’s going to get that excited. Even then, the massive growth in online radio might have killed digital radio before it even began. Do you find the concept of digital radio tempting? Is your current car radio good enough for you? Have you abandoned conventional radio for podcast nirvana? Broadcast your thoughts in the comments.