diamond geezer

 Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Pure digital

Six months ago my lovely digital radio stopped working. I took it back to Dixons who immediately offered me a full refund, there being no more Pure Evoke Is in stock. Never mind, they said, the super stereo Pure Evoke II will be out soon, maybe you'd like to wait for one of those. So I did. The launch date for the new radio was originally at the end of May, then pushed to the start of July, then the middle of July, then into August. I began to wonder if I'd ever be able to listen to radio free from pirate interference again. But, joy, today the new Pure Evoke II was finally released, and I duly trotted down to Oxford Street to collect mine. First one out of the shop it was too.

I've always suffered from appalling reception in my flat (TV, radio and mobile) but now I can get 39 different digital stations, just so long as I position my new radio the right way round balanced on top of the CD rack beside the television. I can now listen to all 11 BBC stations (that 6Music is a bit of class isn't it, and there are some comedy gems tucked away on BBC7) plus a whole lot of commercial stuff that, rather wonderfully, isn't quite commercial enough to be interrupted by commercials. I can go clubbing, I can go indie, I can vegetate to what appears to be the Simply Red station, and there even appears to be a channel solely devoted to the sound of distant birdsong. Sadly the scrolling text doesn't tell me whether I'm listening to a thrush or a starling.

A few years ago the imminent death of radio was being predicted. Not any more. A whole new world of digital services has opened up, on the telly, on your mobile, online and on demand. Computer-playlisted radio risks becoming very bland indeed, but the mass availability of new digital technology should hopefully lead to a outbreak of innovation and diversity instead. Whatever you want to listen to, it's probably going to be out there somewhere. Or, of course, you could just stick a good CD on...

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