One of the most important things any live musician can do is keep listening to music on a daily basis. It’s no secret that you are what you listen to and it’s in any musicians best interest to listen to the widest variety of music possible. One of the reasons I love satellite radio so much is because of the wide variety of non-stop music available to listen to.
I have been subscribing to satellite radio for about 5 years now and had all but given up listening to my local radio stations. But there are some drawbacks to satellite radio broadcasts. The three biggest drawbacks are the monthly subscription fee, the fact that you can’t receive it indoors without a good antenna and the fact that it doesn’t sound as good as a CD. So I was very intrigued with the development of the new HD Digital Radio format.
HD Digital Radio is broadcast in the same bands as AM and FM but it is a digital signal which takes much less bandwidth to broadcast. There are many advantages to broadcasting digitally but the most important are incredible sound quality and the ability to broadcast many data streams in the same amount of bandwidth. That means that we can get more channels on radio than ever before and they’re all free! Not only that but you can receive the signals anywhere you can receive AM and FM broadcasts but without the noise and hiss associated with analog broadcasts.
HD Radio sounds many times better than satellite radio and it has the ability to be broadcast in 5.1 sound as well. There is the chance that some HD Radio streams will still sound compressed because broadcasters can use variable compression rates but from what I’ve listened to the sound is simply blowing satellite radio away.
So I’ve been waiting to get a good HD Radio receiver and I think I’m ready to take the plunge with the new Microsoft Zune HD. I like to have my favorite albums with me but I also like to listen to the radio when I’m working out at the gym or running. I have the first generation Zune as well as a video iPod and I have to tell you, I take my Zune with me to the gym everyday. The main reason is the built-in FM tuner and the bigger screen for watching movies while I’m on the treadmill.
I haven’t gotten the new Zune HD yet but with the addition of the HD Radio tuner and the amazing OLED screen it’s looking very attractive. I’m thinking I may have found this years Christmas present. There’s some pretty good savings to be had on eBay right now too as you can see from the following listings.
[phpbay]Zune HD player, 6[/phpbay]