Digital Audio Bullshit

Welcome to another Grumpy Old Man rant!

Now Switzerland seems to be intent on pushing DAB(+) and abandoning FM radio in the near future. Much better quality, more space for dozens of stations, and additional features for hip young people!

Except that:

  1. hip young people use their flatrate data plans for listening to internet radio and watching dancing cats (therefore increasing load on data networks, requiring additional capacity — but that's for another rant...)
  2. digital broadcasting is shitty if you have interference, like in a moving car or train
  3. instead of 80% shitty of 10 stations in total I will be able to listen to 90% shitty of 50 stations in total — progress!

While travelling in the train on Monday, I tried to listen to the news on the radio. These fancy new trains are well shielding radio signals (nothing new, as fifteen years ago it was already difficult to do amateur radio QSOs from trains), and so you get noisy FM reception of the main official Swiss stations, or very intermittent reception with DAB.

But I much prefer the noisy FM, because it's still easy to follow. Although worse than AM (or SSB, but that's apparently not for the plebs), FM still deteriorates in a decent way, whereas DAB like all the digital stuff either fully works or fully not. And it's f.cking annoying to listen to chopped audio!

I assume the push for DAB simply is because commercial users would like to get more frequencies to flood us with shit, and DAB allows for that. I don't believe it is really advantageous or required for the listeners. And don't tell me the sound quality is insufficient for the majority of people listening to the radio while driving, riding a bike, a train, taking a shower or while cooking their dinner!