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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star

I used to listen to the local radio station a lot before I came to Singapore. That was way back when Traxx.fm was still called Radio 4, which was about the only worthwhile English language radio station at the time with their famous Big Breakfast Show every weekday morning, US Billboard Top 40 every Saturday afternoon, and Sentimental Tunes (or was it Sentimental Melodies? Definitely Sentimental something) every Sunday night.

Those were the days when "listening to the radio" was a common hobby even among youngsters. Without the internet and CDs to download or rip music from, I had to resolve to recording my favourite songs from the radio. This involves an empty or partially empty cassette tape readily mounted in the cassette player with the radio station tuned into.
I would listen attentively to the DJs so I could catch the song name and press "Record" if it was the song I wanted. At the end of every song, I would make sure to leave the tape to run without recording for a few seconds before stopping so I get intervals between songs. Then I would write the song list on the cassette tape cover complete with my own illustrations.

That, my friends, was music piracy in its primitive days.

Today, with so much you can do on the computer with high-speed internet, listening to the radio has lost much of its attraction. Good news is, there are so many more choices of great radio stations to pick from. Sometimes as I miss home, I find that one very effective way to cure homesickness is by listening to a Malaysian radio station (made possible by online streaming). It makes me feel more connected to my fellow Malaysians in Malaysia, like I am sharing something in common with the rest of the Malaysian listeners. It makes me feel like I'm home.

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