The Battle Over Internet and Shortwave Radio and Why SWLs Should Use Both

In the shortwave radio community, there are many listeners that detest the idea of internet radio. Some will say that it’s not real radio; others say it’s just not the same as shortwave. There’s certainly some truth to these claims, but it is a matter of one’s opinion. Of course, everyone’s experience with radio is going to be different in terms of what technology is being used. However, what surprises me is so many SWLs (shortwave listeners) are so adamant about internet radio.

The reality of radio these days is constantly changing. Part of this comes from newer technologies while some of it is economic pressures. Some broadcasters are wondering if their medium is a viable source of information and entertainment given listeners are listening elsewhere or if they are making enough money to stay on-the-air. While this applies to all radio, shortwave has received the “short-end of the stick,” so to speak.

Over the past 10-15 years, many international broadcasters on shortwave have either scaled back programming or have been forced off-the-air…especially in places like North America and Europe. Stations such as the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Netherlands, and Deutsche Welle have reduced shortwave services in many areas and are in the process of completely abandoning the medium. Some of these broadcasters have sought survival through local AM/FM radio stations, satellite radio thru XM/Sirius and others, and the internet through podcasts and streaming audio. Few have completely ending their radio stations (regardless of medium) completely.

Here’s where the true battle between shortwave and internet radio begins! In regions like North America and Europe,  many broadcasters have stopped their shortwave services. For some of them, they can only be heard on internet radio. Of course, it is possible to hear these stations on shortwave via broadcasts aimed to other regions but it doesn’t guarantee optimum reception. Unless one has the most state-of-the-art receiver and antenna and favorable conditions, it is going to be hard to catch these distant stations.

For some SWLs, that’s enough for them. They would rather listen to a barely audible frequency mixed with loud static and hear the same station on internet radio. To each their own, but there are some listeners that would rather hear a weak station on shortwave versus a clear, audible station on internet radio because web streaming is “not radio.” Now, let’s say this same station came in with strong signal strength on a radio set. I would I listen to it on an actual radio since it will sound better (and not electronic) and I won’t have to deal with buffering issues or lack of internet connection. Traditional radio can work anywhere, however wi-fi and 3G/4G web services have made internet radio a portable experience as well. I will tend to listen to stations I can clearly receive on a radio set. Otherwise, I will tune in using my iPod Touch or smartphone.

Basically, it all stems down to how you view radio. Your personal preference will shape your listening habits, of course, but why limit yourself. There is a wealth of stations on both shortwave and internet radio.  Each have amazing content found nowhere else. Personally, I view “radio” not as a physical medium but as content as well. The radio experience can be heard on some many devices: radio sets, iPods, computers, car radios, podcasts, smartphones. Honestly, what’s the difference aside from what device you are listening it on.

While I am not keen on many shortwave radio stations abandoning shortwave and just solely relying on internet radio. Some broadcasters have noted that shortwave is no longer viable and will have a larger audience on the web. I beg to differ. Even though shortwave listenership is the lowest it has ever been, internet radio is much lower. Since it is a new medium, web radio does not have a large audience because many people are not aware of it, web services are limited, it can be blocked in some regions, some cannot afford it, and some servers can only support a certain limit of listeners for the bandwidth. Web radio is still in its infancy. Until it matures enough to support a large audience, internet radio is not a worthy replacement to traditional radio.

Likewise, I think internet and shortwave radio can compliment each other. If a signal cannot be heard on a receiver, then you can still tune in online. If you are still not convinced, then you’ll miss out on a lot of content.

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“The Chris Freitas Show” On The Look 24/7 Playlist – July 27, 2011

Today,  I will be airing my show on “The Look 24/7.” To hear the station online and more information, click here! My shift will be on each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Central) or Noon – 4 p.m. (Eastern). I will be playing a vast amount of rock music, along with some classical, jazz, blues, and soundtracks from movies, TV shows, and video games. Prior to going on-the-wifi airwaves, I will be posting my playlist of songs that you will hear during my show. Please note that these are subject to change. If you want to request a song during the show or for the other DJs, click on the Request link! Here is a listing of songs that I will be playing this week.

The Beatles – Come Together
Bad Company – Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy
Velvet Revolver – Dirty Little Thing
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation
Aerosmith – Jaded
Van Halen – Unchained
Atreyu – Wait for You
David Bowie – Under Pressure
T.Rex – Teenage Dream
Fuel – Bad Day
Scott Stapp – Hard Way
Collective Soul – Forgiveness
AC-DC – Shoot to Thrill
The Beatles – Help!
Sixx: A.M. – Pray For Me
Hitoshi Sakimoto – Theme of the Empire
3 Doors Down – Kryptonite
Bad Company – Bad Company
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
Incubus – New Skin
Hoobastank – What Happened To Us?
Kiss – Rock and Roll All Nite
Shinedown – Son of Sam
Switchfoot – The Blues
Cream – Crossroads
T. Rex – Bang a Gong (Get It On)
AC/DC – Black Ice
Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
Killswitch Engage – My Curse
Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
U2 – Beautiful Day
R.E.M – Orange Crush
Jimi Hendrix – The Star Spangled Banner
The Who – My Generation
Queen – Killer Queen
The Doors – Light My Fire
Rob Zombie – Reload
System Of A Down – Toxicity
Takeharu Ishimoto – A Changing Situation
Chevelle – Still Running
Metallica – Fight Fire With Fire
Megadeth – Burnt Ice
Killswitch Engage – The Arms of Sorrow
Dragonforce – Body Breakdown
Evanescence – Lacrymosa
The Black Mages – Grand Cross [From Final Fantasy 9]
Audioslave – I Am The Highway
Smashing Pumpkins – Untitled
Bullet For My Valentine – All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)
U2 – City Of Blinding Lights
P.O.D. – Sleeping Awake
Nubuo Uematsu – FINAL FANTASY I-III Medley
Alien Ant Farm – Attitude
Avenged Sevenfold – Almost Easy
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California

“The Chris Freitas Show” On The Look 24/7 Playlist – July 13, 2011


Today,  I will be airing my show on “The Look 24/7.” To hear the station online and more information, click here! My shift will be on each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Central) or Noon – 4 p.m. (Eastern). I will be playing a vast amount of rock music, along with some classical, jazz, blues, and soundtracks from movies, TV shows, and video games. Prior to going on-the-wifi airwaves, I will be posting my playlist of songs that you will hear during my show. Please note that these are subject to change. If you want to request a song during the show or for the other DJs, click on the Request link! Here is a listing of songs that I will be playing this week.

Nubuo Uematsu – Liberi Fatal (FF VIII)
3 Doors Down – Citizen/Soldier
Linkin Park – What I’ve Done
AC/DC – Highway To Hell
Aerosmith – Livin’ on the Edge
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
Alien Ant Farm – Calico
Elvis Presley – In The Ghetto
The Beatles – Paperback Writer
The Black Mages – Hunter’s Chance (Final Fantasy IX)
Blink-182 – What`s My Age Again
Blood Red Shoes – Colours Fade
Billy Joel – Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
Boston – Peace of Mind
The Cars – My Best Friend’s Girl
Collective Soul – December
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Suzy Q. (Part 1)
Chevelle – The Clincher
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
The Eagles – Witchy Woman
Blondie – One Way Or Another
Flight Of The Conchords – Robots
Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
Fuel – Won’t Back Down (Bring You Hell Remix)
Journey – Who’s Crying Now
Johnny Cash – Ring Of Fire
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man
Kansas – Dust in the Wind
The Beatles – Yellow Submarine
Elvis Presley – Burning Love
Linkin Park – Numb
Nobuo Uematsu – Opening-Bombing Mission
The Offspring – Self Esteem
R.E.M – Losing My Religion
The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
Remy Zero – Over the Rails and Hollywood High
Shinedown – Devour
Smash Mouth – All Stars
Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
Pearl Jam – Alive
Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle
Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
The Black Mages – Clash on the Big Bridge (Final Fantasy V)
Weezer – Say It Ain’t So
Chevelle – Emotional Drought
Flight Of The Conchords – Bowie
Budapest Symphony Orchestra – Ride Of The Valkyries
E. So – Lift Down
Elton John – Crocodile Rock
Deep Purple – Smoke On the Water
Iron Maiden – Powerslave
The Charlie Daniels Band – Devil Went Down To Georgia
Billy Joel – Goodnight Saigon
The Killers – Mr. Brightside
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Like a Rock
Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me