Radio 2.0

I have an idea for a radio device. It would be able to tune into the entire FM band in one shot and pull out all the audio streams. It could then separate the streams into songs and identify the songs, similar to how the iphone app can identify what a song is based on how it sounds. 

It would buffer up these songs and present them to the user, one by one. The user interface would just be 3-5 buttons that correspond to how much the listener likes or dislikes the current song. If the dislike is strong enough, the radio will move on to the next song. If the user likes the song, it will play till the end. In this way, the radio would then remember which songs the user likes and which stations the user likes. This information could be used to improve the playlist generation in the future. It’s also possible that this information could be valuable to groups that collect data on what people are listening to.

Another feature could be the ability to make micropayments to the radio stations for what songs you listened to and actually enjoyed. This would offset the “lost revenue” from you not listening to advertisements.

The major shortcoming that I see with it is that it would not be easy to allow the user to listen to things other than songs in this system, without some sort of metadata available on what the programming is. Talk shows, news, long techno sets and like would all confuse a system like this without additional work.

  1. This is possible using a variation on the Software Radio project, and RDS instead of song recognition. Of course that restricts you to RDS-enabled stations, but a lot of them are out there.

  2. The song recognition software available on some mobile phones is like 99.99% accurate or something so that really isn’t much a technological hang up.

    Coming up with a small package for several hundred superheterodyne receivers is…

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