Broadcasters, Labels, Want To Force FM Radio Into Your iStuff

The National Association of Broadcasters and the Recording Industry Association of America, which have often bickered over royalties rules, have agreed that your iPhone and iPod need to have built-in FM radio capabilities via special microchips and want to push laws to make it happen.

The Consumer Electronics Association isn’t happy with the plan. A representative told Apple Insider: “Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace,” NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do.”

If you’ve got an iThing, do you wish it had FM radio?

NAB, RIAA seek to push FM radio into iPods and iPhones [AppleInsider]
(Thanks, fantomesq!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. SonarTech52 says:

    I thought ipods already had FM Tuners..

    • tamaracks says:

      The latest iPod nanos do, but none of the others, afaik.

      • evilrobot says:

        yes. current nanos have built in FM.

        if there was an option on it that i could remove and not miss – it would be FM radio.

        • smbizowner says:

          my nano has fm radio, never use except for maybe NRP – once in a while. seems to suck more battery than tunes and who wants to listen commercial radio anyway – same rotation of tunes and advertisements……….

    • SomeWhiteGuy says:

      There was an extender that plugged into the 10-pin port on the old iPods that gave it a FM receiver/antennae. It worked just fine for many of the local channels and stronger signals.

      • freshyill says:

        I had that and I loved it. I used it for the radio once in a while, but it was mainly great for the controls on the remote. Eventually, after a few years of use, the headphone jack on my iPod started dying and that saved me since it plugged into the dock connector. It eventually met a sad end in a car door.

    • MSUHitman says:

      Zunes had them first. I guess Apple has followed suit with the IPod Nanos.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Only current generation Nanos have FM radios (and I bet you less than 1% of people that own them actually know that there IS an FM radio in them, and maybe 10% of them actually use it.) But I do remember the first iPod I owned (5th gen 30Gb) had a $60 option to give you an FM radio — the iPod radio remote. I actually bought one of those – the thing hardly worked in receiving much of anything, and let’s face it, by then I was (and still am) listening to downloaded podcasts on my way to/from work.

    • evilpete says:

      The way that the FM radio is set up in the iPod nano is as a portal for you to identify new music to later buy from iTunes.

  2. cvt2010 says:

    As long as we’re making laws to protect dying/dead technology, why don’t the floppy disc manufacturers unite and try to get a law requiring that all laptops have floppy drives? Or VHS companies could push to make a law mandating that all DVD or Blu-Ray players also include the ability to play VHS tapes. Or have the casette tape industry demand that all car stereos have the ability play casette tapes? Really, I could go on all day. This is just ridiculous.

  3. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    No. I consume mostly NPR, and all that I can have via Podcast as well.

  4. FS1 says:

    Keep yer darned FM broadcasts out of my devices, household, and cars, thank you very much!

  5. qwickone says:

    They want to make it a law that iDevices have FM tuners?? Why would that be necessary?? I’m sure they have to say they’re necessary in some way in order to make it a law, right?

  6. ap0 says:

    Sure, why not? I always like to be reminded of why I don’t listen to terrestrial radio. This would just make that convenient.

    • farcedude2 says:

      I find it hilarious that your avatar is of a character whose day job was to run a call in radio show. heh.

  7. tamaracks says:

    I don’t care all that much whether my iPhone has an FM tuner, but I really don’t think there should be a law about it.

  8. andyg8180 says:

    i have iheartradio app… the hell i need a tuner in my phone for? It would be nice, but why force a redesign which will ultimately get passed down to the consumer in the form of a “courtesy fee”

    its bad enough the iphone 4 had reception issues from a simple touch…

    • vastrightwing says:

      But you don’t understand. This is about graft and keeping a dying industry alive. It has nothing to do with making any sense.

  9. RickinStHelen says:

    There called Apps, and I have several local radio station apps on my i-thingy. Maybe the RIAA can sue us because we listen to broadcast radio via a phone without paying a larger royalty. Or perhaps they sue us for unauthorized use of broadcast media.

  10. farcedude2 says:

    Rarely. I wouldn’t mind being able to catch NPR on my iPod touch without going over wifi, but this is not the way to see it done. I figure that one reason it hasn’t happened yet is that the batteries in a lot of the targeted devices won’t support that great of playback times.

  11. octowussy says:

    Most non iDevices already have (and have had) FM tuners since forever.

  12. Alex says:

    An FM radio? Not even an HD radio? That’s BS. No thanks.

    Replace mine with a second video camera for 3D video awesomeness!

  13. Derigiberble says:

    Forcing FM radio just reeks of rent seeking by the broadcast industry and they aren’t even trying to hide it.

    I’m surprised they didn’t push this under the guise of public safety, selling it as being so that people always have access to the emergency broadcast system. Even then FM wouldn’t be the best method. I would love for my cell phone to be able to pick up NOAA weather radio S.A.M.E. text alerts to tell me that severe weather is coming.

    • v0rt says:

      From the linked post:

      “the NAB said in the report that it “would argue that having radio capability on cell phones and other mobile devices would be a great thing, particularly from a public safety perspective. There are few if any technologies that match the reliability of broadcast radio in terms of getting lifeline information to the masses.”

      They’re only doing this in the interest of our safety! Hooray!

      • tamaracks says:

        Yeah, but does this mean they should force people who don’t have a radio to get one? The reasoning would be the same.

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      You can actually sign up for NOAA email alerts about severe weather and stuff, if you’ve got a smartphone or other device that can receive email.

      The only problem is that I was getting emailed CONSTANTLY, even when there really wasn’t anything of note going on. It got so bad that I unsubscribed, since I have a weather radio at home and can check the NOAA web site from my phone, but it was a new system then and they may have improved it.

    • CyGuy says:

      I listen to FM Radio constantly on my iPod touch, but it’s from a station in Chicago and I live in DC. It has an MP3 audio stream that even prior to the iOS upgrade could play intjebackground while I used other apps onthe iTouch.

      How about instead, every FM radio station be required to provide just that sort of stream online that doesn’t require any kind of third party app and uses royalty free compression?

  14. andyg8180 says:

    Remember when the RIAA wanted to charge you everytime your ringtone played a song?? lmfao

  15. pantheonoutcast says:

    So, essentially, for years, RIAA, you told us that listening to music for free was bad, and now you want us to listen to music for free?

    Go away.

    • avenger339 says:

      Oh, no, it’s not free at all, at least not for us. Instead of investing in a solution to become relevant (and maybe not terrible), they’d rather make others pay to keep themselves kind of relevant (which those costs would most likely be passed onto the end consumer).

    • summeroflove says:

      And just wait until they want to start employing premium or tiered pricing.

  16. avenger339 says:

    The RIAA is against adapting to today’s standards?


    • BurtReynolds says:

      The industry as a whole has apparently realized that they are better at lobbying and litigating than actually creating a product people want to pay for.

      Music sales are down? Well there is no way it is because the current crop of “artists” being pushed by the labels and Clear Channel just don’t inspire people to go out and buy some music. It must be because of piracy. Call the lawyers, they are our new business plan.

      Radio listenership is down? No way it is because they fired or pushed out every decent talk show host (Stern, O&A, Corolla, Leykis, Big O and Dukes and Mike O’Meara here in DC), every station sounds the same, plays the same songs (by the same “artists” mentioned above with poor album sales), and has a lame cookie cutter morning show. It must be because there aren’t enough portable devices out there with FM tuners. Call the lobbyists, they are our new business plan.

  17. George4478 says:

    Damn, another mandated upgrade. Last week I was forced to have iBuggyWhip installed.

  18. Duckula22 says:

    Not that I care about iCrap, but FM, AM, etc.. radio stations are doomed, what happened to analog TV will happen to them as well, we’re all moving towards digital. Why don’t we lobby for a mandatory vapor engine since we’re at it.

  19. solipsistnation says:

    I don’t listen to music on the radio because they don’t play anything I want to hear. That’s the whole point of having an iPod. Adding an FM tuner would be a pointless expense. (Yes, I listen to NPR in the car, but that’s when I’m, you know, in the car. I don’t listen to the radio anywhere else, and not because I don’t have the capability. I just don’t want to.)

    If broadcasters want to return to relevance, they need to ditch the ClearChannel model of ubiquitous awful programming and return to the days of DJs who cared about music playing music they cared about. The robo-playlist trend has made sure that radio is homogeneous, bland, and unadventurous, so people who actually want to listen to music have turned to other sources for new music.

    Radio broadcasters did this to themselves, and they have only themselves to blame.

    • farcedude2 says:

      Hear, hear!

    • Ladybird says:


      I don’t listen to the radio (often) because I don’t want to listen to the same 10 songs forty times. I don’t care about shout outs and lame attempts humor by the DJ’s. Just play the damn song!

      • parv says:

        Speaking of lameness, and rant, for that matter, a local commercial station has ~2p-6p show on weekdays where a male host says something along the lines of “Good morning sunshine. Yes I know now is afternoon, but I just like to say that.”

        Every time I hear it (which is rare), I change the frequency. Listening to same (non-pop) songs is much less annoying.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Exactly! I’ll add that the entire payola / big labels / RIAA cabal did this to themselves. Please, oh please God, let them die!

    • aloria says:

      I listen to Pandora anywhere my Droid has signal, otherwise I stick to mp3s. I don’t see the point in listening to the radio when I can customize Pandora to play the kind of music I like and tell it to NOT play songs I hate/am sick of. You can’t do that with the radio.

    • kc2idf says:

      I don’t listen to music on the radio because all of the radio stations seem to think they need to turn their multiband digital dynamic range compressors up to ∞:1 with an attack of 1μs and thus destroy any semblance of dynamics that existed in the music, all to get the RMS up as high as they can. I can listen for about five seconds before my head wants to implode. It makes every muscle in my body tense.

      Yes, I’m a sound engineer, and an audiophile.

    • Conformist138 says:

      I have many items that can get FM radio with varying levels of quality and portability. I never use them, ever (clock radio is just a clock, audio tuner just used for DVD sound, etc). Why do they want my iPod to have one?

      Even more important: In what moronic universe is it cool to create a law forcing technology no one wants into consumer products? Companies gotta spend more to make them, we gotta spend more to buy them, and still no one will listen to the radio unless the radio becomes less retarded.

  20. SwoonOMatic says:

    I have a commercial free policy for all my media devices. FM radio has commercials.

  21. paul says:

    My last couple of phones have had FM radio tuner built in. The problem is that there’s no antenna, so it only works when headphones are attached (the headphones act as the antenna). Also, the receiption at my job (where I listen to headphones) sucks, and I only get 2 or 3 stations anyway. So it is basically useless.

    What I’d really like is an AM tuner, or short-wave, but a 3-foot ferrite antenna sticking out of my phone might look funny…

    • Taliskan says:

      Would love to have AM radio on my deivces. Most of them already have FM, but, sorry, I like some AM radio news and shows. I also read a majority of my news on newspapers. Call me old fashioned.

      • SJActress says:

        Here here. I exclusively listen to AM radio in my car. I would love to have it on my iPod so I could plug it into the sound system at work in the morning (I work in an outdoor pub).

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        But to get one of those tightly-wrapped (and rather large) antennae that would receive an AM radio signal would make your i(anything) rather large. I’m guessing you know Dear Leader Jobs doesn’t like big things. You’ll see an AM radio in anything from Apple the day the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. In other words, don’t hold your breath.

    • Enduro says:

      Chalk me up as an AM fan too. They’d have a better argument if they were lobbying for Weather and live AM news as a safety feature in the iDevices.

  22. chaesar says:

    I usually side with most of the NAB’s positions, but this a bit much….of course the news is coming from “Apple Insider” who, by name alone, probably won’t offer an unbiased account.

    I wonder if I can find a more objective report? Oh, here we go:

    • fantomesq says:

      Seems your ‘non-biased source’ parroted the same position and many of the same facts. I’m a huge fan of Ars Technica but did their coverage actually lead you to a different conclusion? :)

      • chaesar says:

        I actually didnt read it, HA!, just posted the first link I got from my google search

        I imagine ArsTechnica came to their own conclusions their own way, if it happens to include the same facts and come to the same conclusions so be it. I figured if you want a straight story, dont go with the publication whose name contains the name of one of the companies involved. Would you get your unbiased health news from GlaxoSmithKlineWeekly?

        As for “parroting”, have you ever tried to re-write a press release? There are only so many ways to say the same thing, especially under a deadline.

        • Conformist138 says:

          Um… you kinda seem… unsmart. You claim there is an obvious bias while not reading the other source which happens to show that this particular piece was not biased. If you’d read the article you yourself posted, you may have reworded your comment in a less biased way, since your (incorrect) assumptions showed your opinion meant more to you than the facts. Just sayin’, future reference, RTFA when you’re the one linking to it.

  23. Murph1908 says:

    Not once have I been out and about in with my iThing and wished I could access commercial ridden, moronic DJ infected FM radio on it.

    The fact that they have to try to make it a law and force it upon us tells you exactly how much people want it.

  24. krom says:

    My “iThing” or more appropriately “Z-thing” already has an FM radio built in.

  25. balthisar says:

    The only radio station I listen to is a 50 kw clear channel station (those are all AM). And I get much, much better sound with their iPhone app than I do from their broadcast. So, uh, I wouldn’t even want a mandated AM tuner.

  26. stock2mal says:

    If I wanted an FM tuner I would buy a fucking radio.

  27. Griking says:

    The only benefit that I can see is that an FM tunes wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) involve any data bandwidth. It could be a cheap way of listening to local news or sports.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      I don’t know where you live, but my local news and sports come in via AM radio. FM radio in NYC consists of 5 stations of jabbering idiots, five stations of the same 10 pop songs played over and over interspersed with jabbering idiots, and thirteen Spanish music stations playing what seems to be the exact same song 24 hours a day.

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        Wow, that’s funny, Austin has the exact same mix. What a coincidence. And this is supposed to be a music town…

    • vastrightwing says:

      Yes, but the benefit isn’t for you (dear consumer), it’s for the broadcasters and the RIAA. The broadcasters think they’ll get more listeners and the RIAA gets to charge broadcasters a ton more money. It’s the consumer (again) that gets the shaft.

  28. Enriquez the Water Bottle says:

    I already have an FM radio in my car. That’s why I have an iThing.

  29. sanjaysrik says:

    YAY, one more reason to never consider buying crapple products.

    On that note, my Evo already has FM radio, matter of fact, it has three radios. Or at least three radio chips.

    • Tim says:

      It says “iThings,” but the proposed regulation would apply to all mobile devices.

    • Conformist138 says:

      You won’t buy an apple product… because they’re not legally mandated to include an FM tuner that their target customers have never requested?

      I know a lot of good reasons to not buy apple, but this isn’t really one of them. and yeah, this counts for all mobile devices, even regular cell phones.

  30. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    My Sansa Clip+ already has an FM radio built in, and I love it!

  31. SomeWhiteGuy says:

    If I wanted an FM receiver in my iDevice I’d buy something else. Apple doesn’t include one in their devices for power consumption and aesthetics. You can buy pretty much any other brand and get an FM receiver in your MP3 player.

  32. says:

    And they should have a built in cassette player and a jack for my Victrola! (In my best cranky old man voice).

  33. BeerFox says:

    At last, I’ll be able to listen to my Little Orphan Annie while taking the trolley to the malt shop! No more pestering Frankie for the latest secret message after I get home.

  34. wbeem says:

    Radio is dead to me. I have no desire to have it foisted upon me.

    • vastrightwing says:

      and your point is? This is exactly what broadcasters want: to force you to listen. You’re not doing it on your own, so now you must be forced into it. Not that it will help their business model.

      And what about TV tuners on devices with displays?

  35. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I have been known to listen to local radio stations on my iPhone with their Internet stream. It was nice the time one went off the air, I tapped my phone which was attached to my dashboard and connected to the car radio (at the time a Windows mobile phone… Back when the iPhone didn’t do 3G, but same concept) and kept right on listening.

  36. kc2idf says:


    If I want an FM radio, I will seek one out.

    I already have enough. They barely get used. There is a reason for that.

  37. quail says:

    Can I just say what idiocy and horrible marketing skills radio station owners and the RIAA have? In the early 1990s they had tech that would have allowed you to pick up information from your FM radio about what services could be found at an interstate exit or that could alert you to traffic conditions. But radio owners would never commit the money to it. And currently they’re pushing digital FM radios, but to find a digital FM radio in your local store is impossible (unless it comes within a Zune). And now they’re trying to force the hands of all MP3 manufacturers? I do have a radio on my Nano and I do enjoy using it from time to time. But that was a choice I made when I purchased it. Seriously, these guys are so anti-consumer/ anti-capitalistic it sickens me.

  38. Slusy says:

    They can pass a law to force an FM radio into my iPhone when they pass a law forcing non-crappy music into FM radio. I think that’s fair.

  39. progrocktv says:

    You can lead a horse to water…..

    Just because it’s there doesn’t mean people will actually use it.

  40. dg says:

    I haven’t listened to FM radio since StaticChannel took over all the stations and coordinated the play lists, and commercial play times. When that happened, everyone had the same 7 songs, or the same repeats from yesteryear, and played their commercials simultaneously so you couldn’t just “channel surf” away from the commercials.

    When that happened I got a CD player that could handle MP3’s and multiple discs. When I got bored with that, I got an iPod connection to my stereo…

    I rarely, if ever, listen to the radio and NO, I would not be in favor of mandating some crap added to my music player just to prop up a dying industry. Just like the V-chip in TV’s – no one will use it… but we’ll all pay for the privilege of having more useless crap added, w/o the ability to opt out…

  41. Concat says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but they don’t include a radio transmittor because it already sends/receives Wifi and phone calls. One more antenna just complicates things and leads to more clever engineering designs. Bottom line is that phones get more expensive, and/or you get more dropped calls and general interference.

    If it was as easy as putting in a tiny 2 dollar chip, they’d have it already.

  42. Rachacha says:

    IHeartRadio App, and a variety of local station streaming apps on my phone gives me access to streaming radio feeds when I need/want them.

    The ONLY possible advantage that it would have would be the ability to have access to emergency information if/when needed, the theory being, if I always have my phone with me I will always have access to the latest news and emergency information in a reliable media. The thing is though, I am usually at work (internet access and stand alone radios and delevisions are easy to find), in (or near) the car (I have my car radio, so I don’t need it on my phone), or at home (again, radio, TV and internet are easy to get).

    During a disaster like 9/11 or a major weather event when phone/data networks are overloaded, broadcast media is the most efficient way to disseminate information to the masses, so for that purpose alone I would agree that an FM receiver would be important, but the fact is that we have done without a law that requires an FM receiver in everyone’s phone for +100 years, why is is SO IMPORTANT now?

  43. tape says:

    In a word: No.

  44. Chaosium says:

    No, I bought an iPod/iPhone because I hate commercial radio. HATE HATE HATE their ads and rotations. It’s all emo/nu-metal nickelback crap.

    DIAF, RIAA, NAB. Take Clearchannel down with you.

  45. milrtime83 says:

    They want it required in all portable electronic devices, not just iCrap.

    Just pointing that out because it isn’t obvious from your title and small write up of the subject.

  46. framitz says:

    I don’t think there should be a law, but FM radio should be included, it costs very little and is a LIVE source of news and information. I always see having FM radio as a PLUS.

    Useful in a disaster situation if FM broadcasting is still operating.

  47. rbiro says:

    Yeah, FM/AM would be nice. But the market has already gone, meh, so move on.

    There is no law that says the alarm clock by my bed needs to have a builtin radio that can also be tied into the alarm mechanism. At the time there was a need and the people filled in. There was (and still is) no compelling public need/safety issue to force the addition of the radio to my alarm clock.

  48. teke367 says:

    Do they list a reason why it should be mandated? I do see they mention the Emergency Broadcast, but even then it sounds like they added it as “just another thing.”

    Anytime I used a portable device (phone, walkman, etc) with an FM tuner, I got horrible reception. The FM tuner on my Evo requires me to use headphones that double as an antannae, and even then, hardly works

    It seems like the RIAA isn’t even trying to hide the fact that they want to add tuners, knowing nobody will use them, just so they can add it to a list of reasons why they can charge more for rights.

  49. Just_A_Guy says:

    What the hell is the RIAA doing now? Can someone please put them out of their misery, like Ol’ Yeller? Please? Next, they’ll be telling us that everyone has to listen to fox news for an hour a day, and creating a mandatory creationism app.

  50. WHC999 says:

    All this says is that these broadcasting Nazis WANT it to happen via a law…not that it is GOING to happen. I WANT it to be a law that says every citizen must pay me $1….but that ain’t happenin’ anytime soon either.

  51. Star-D says:

    interesting question. On the one hand, I can receive FM radio streaming on my iPhone using the Stitcher app. On the other hand, point-to-point streams are much less efficient than broadcasts. Regardless, the whole idea of the broadcast industry dictating the configuration requirements of my mobile or music device is ridiculous.

  52. smirkette says:

    If I wanted my device to have an FM tuner, I’d buy one that included this feature in the first place. Sorry mainstream radio, you did this to yourself through centralization and crappy programming.

  53. JMILLER says:

    If the NAB wants this to pass, I will assume they will happily make all radios sold have access to satelitte radio. They of course wanted it REQUIRED that all Sirius XM radios be equipped with FM on them. Sirius said it would not do that under any circumstances. The NAB is a group that wants to be a cartel. The problem is it is a cartel of things that is rarely used anymore.

  54. Guppy06 says:

    But what if the iThing is used to make perfect digital recordings of radio broadcasts?

  55. Remmy75 says:

    Someday the RIAA will embrace technology instead of fighting it. They would be so much richer today had they embraced MP3 technology and file sharing so many years ago. But not they wanted to keep thier cash cow going, force us to spend 10-15 bucks on a CD when all we really wanted was 1 or 2 songs.

    These guys are really attached to thier tried and true revenue streams and won’t consider budging from it no matter what the rest of the world is telling them.

  56. vastrightwing says:

    FM? What about AM? Isn’t this discrimination at its worst? What’s the matter? AM doesn’t rate? It’s been around a lot longer than FM. In fact, I can make an argument that AM tuners should be included, since the signal travels further and you can use it for emergency broadcasting. But then, no one would actually broadcast anything on it, as we already know.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      It would be rather difficult to stick an AM radio antenna in an iThing. With FM, you can simply use the headphone wire as an antenna. AM radio antenna wire needs to be tightly wrapped in a coil in order to receive the signal. Which means the antenna would have to be built into the iThing somewhere. That, let me assure you, ain’t gonna happen in the Happy Land of 1 Infinite Loop.

  57. Gnort says:

    My MP3 player has one already…that I never use. In fairness: I rarely use my MP3 player either.

  58. Twonkey says:

    I wouldn’t mind having one in my iPod. Dunno if there ought to be a law making it mandatory to include it, but I wouldn’t mind having it if it were there.

    Or something.

  59. lukesdad says:

    I would actually like a radio tuner in my phone/iWhatever (HD radio please!).

    A law mandating it is rigoddamndiculous however. And why am I not surprised to see who’s behind it?

  60. SnotSucker says:

    What’s FM??? ;)

  61. Pax says:

    While I do sometimes wish my iPod Nano (2nd Gen) had FM radio capabilities … I don’t think there should be a LAW about it, at all.

  62. FrugalFreak says:

    They don’t care that you get your tunes, just as long as you get the advertising back. keep the devices with songs only and keep commercials OUT

  63. coren says:


  64. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Let’s not forget the obnoxious, moronic morning radio idiots who think they’re hilaaaaaaarious and are anything but.

    And commercials. I f-ing hate commercials.

  65. PencilSharp says:

    Sure. No prob. But I demand a “record” and “edit” button to the iWhatever in the new law, so I never have to pay for iTunes purchases again! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

  66. menty666 says:

    Has it ever dawned on them that maybe people buy these because they DON’T want to listen to the crap on the radio? Why not force pop corn poppers to be built into DVD players too on behalf of the movie theater industry? At least that might be useful.

  67. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    I listen to FM radio between 0-3 minutes a day, depending on whether or not I wake up before the clock-radio beside my bed clicks on. I couldn’t care less whether anything that has a headphone jack and fits in my pocket has a built-in FM radio. I sure as hell don’t miss listening to 3 songs picked from some playlist from (insert radio conglomerate here), 2 minutes of inane DJ banter, 10 minutes of commercials, then repeat the process.

  68. The Marionette says:

    Didn’t they did the same thing with cd players before? I remember when cd players were still big (not entirely too long before mp3 players) they started coming with fm tuners. I used to use the tuner on those only because I didn’t like carrying a lot of cds around with me and if I happen to get tired of the songs I was listening (like when I was going somewhere kinda far) I’d use the tuner. But with ipods having as much storage space and apps (at least with itouches) there’s no real reason to have one unless you’re that much into listening to the radio which is understandable. Also with there being podcasts there’s even less of a reason to need an fm tuner.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Hey, I owned a couple of “portable” Panasonic CD players (yes, back around 1999 or so–heck, I think I still have them) that have both FM and AM tuners. One screwed up at the headphone jack, the other got wet one day. But those were great back before the days of iPods. Hell, when the 2nd one of those died, I bought another “portable” CD player that could also play .mp3 files burned on the disc (more music, less carrying) but alas only came with an FM tuner, not AM. Eventually I wanted something that would fit in my pocket, thus I had to accept reality and buy an iPod.

  69. ElleAnn says:

    Every time there’s a severe weather system, I wish that the mobile devices I carry around could pick up FM or AM radio.

  70. Robert Terwilliger says:

    Hopefully this is the last cough of this dead media. Terrestrial radio is dead.

  71. Knittergeek says:

    I can’t get FM reception on anything where I live, why would I want it on my i-Things?

  72. brinks says:

    I still listen to FM radio. Columbus, OH has one decent rock station with an excellent morning show. I like my old-school terrestrial radio in the mornings because I get some local news and weather thrown in. However, I am the ONLY one of my friends who listens to the radio anymore, and my younger friends have absolutely no use for it. Ever. Mandating that a useful device makes room for a dying medium is absurd. That’s more cost that’s going to be passed on to consumers, and we’re poor enough already.

  73. evilpete says:

    My IPod has an FM radio AND I never have users it.

  74. HenryES says:

    I rarely even listen to FM in my car. Except for baseball games (on AM), I listen to my iPod exclusively. That said, give me some good music programming and I’ll gladly tune in.

  75. hardcle says:

    It would be nice sometimes, but by no means should it be mandated. What would be useful is if the FM chip would transmit as well as receive, so I wouldn’t have to buy a separate device to listen to my iPhone audio in the car.

  76. adamwade says:

    I think it would be a great thing, since manufacturers have forgotten about it this digital device generation.

    I would almost never use it, but in emergencies I think it would be essential. If there is some natural disaster or other event that you need immediate info on, voice and data are down, it would be really sweet to have a low-power consuming radio feature to check for emergency info.

    I’m not a doomsday-pusher, but I do think about a lot of our equipment in those situations. If the cell tower goes down, or you are just out of area, your phone becomes a brick when it comes to getting fresh data. A radio capability would really be nice in those situations.

  77. Mcshonky says:

    I have NOT listened to FM radio since Frankie Crocker, the chief rocker, on WBLS died.

  78. Levk says:

    Umm…. OK ok let me get this right, they want you to have FM stations so you can listin to the same 10 songs all month long? But the iPod has over 100 songs… that is way more then any FM station can give you and you do not even have to listen to commercials or boring DJ’s talking about there lives that you do not care about… So yea not like having the FM station on the iThings will give em more ratings >> just prove they are dieing out

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      100 songs? Must be a small one.

      I can cram about 500 songs on my MP3 player and it’s only a 4 gig.

  79. wildgift says:

    If they mandated HD Radio, I’d be more okay with it. I’m sure that some devices would run LInux and be able to become “personal radio recorders” that record songs off the air, and then split the up into individual MP3s. That would be so convenient, and save me a lot of money buying music.

  80. Bladerunner says:

    The last gasp of what I hope to be an organisation on life support. “Lets get FM radio on all phones, so we can continue our faltering business plan” What next from them, “The internet is a fad, cmon people get off of it!”
    RIAA, listen up, your time has come, and gone, either come up with a new business model that works for you and the consumer (Highly doubt that) or pack it up.
    Litigation does not a business model make

  81. BurtReynolds says:

    The only problem is that if FM radio was so great, most of us would have bought portable FM radios to carry around instead of mp3 players.

    I have an FM radio in my Sansa Clip, and my phone has one. I used to listen to one show on the radio before the station flipped to a different format. The problem was that the reciever on both devices wasn’t strong enough to pull the station when I was in the office, and I sit next to a window. Given the option, I just downloaded podcasts as they were posted. No reception problems, and I could pause if I got a phone call or had to head to a meeting.

    With that station gone, I only use FM radio for traffic updates on my commute. I already have a radio in my car. Other than that, my iPod Touch is more than useful for podcasts from shows (such as the one I used to listen to on FM radio) that are podcast-only now and of course music I would never hear on DC 101 or any other terrestrial station.

    If there was such a pent up demand for FM radio on portable devices, I am sure the manufacturers would make sure there was one included. The fact is, today’s corporate radio station sucks and is the reason why every new car these days comes with an Aux input, USB port, SD card slot, Sirius/XM, or even a built in HDD for people to choose their own media other than what Clear Channel decides to offer.

  82. psanf says:

    This is ridicules. Pretty soon the RIAA will be looking for a way to fine people for not buying their crap whenever anyone walks into a Wal-Mart.

  83. Alessar says:

    I have an fm tuner in my sansa mp3 player. I never use it. These companies have no business trying to control the market in this way.

  84. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    Until recently I listened to FM in my car on my commute to work and back, but that was because my car had no IPOD/USB plug.

    So I channel surfed for the 25 minutes each way, occassionally finding a song I wanted to listen to.

    I absolutely hate and detest listening to the weather forcast and the traffic info. I hate commercials. I hate DJ banter. I hate radio news and especially entertainment news and sports news.

    Since I don’t want to buy a new car I broke down and spent $850 on a Navigation head-unit that has built in blue-tooth, and IPOD support. It also has both AM and FM, but I don’t turn to those.

    Now I’m happy on my commute.

  85. wrbwrx says:

    No thank you. Please.

  86. EZ says:

    Because a radio station isnt charged royalties for the playing of music, the RIAA is looking to push FM transmission onto mobile devices because it would open the market to assume added cost for the inclusion of said transmitter. I dont see this as a necessary addition whatsoever, and if i were going to be charged for this crap i’d charge my provider back for it. I havent listened to terrestrial radio in years because of what i own digitally or that which can be accessed for free.

    RIAA… just another dying and decrepit group of old people looking to push un-wanted and un-needed technology on us in order to make a buck. They arent making out like they figured they would with the file sharing lawsuits and are, in the end, losing money in their court battles even if they win.

  87. Bryan Price says:

    I like the idea of an FM tuner on my MP3 player. And my MP3 player has one.

    While my phone can play music (in stereo via bluetooth even), I don’t tend to use it for that. Battery life isn’t that great for a phone, let alone an MP3 player.

    So I have to say, kiss off.

  88. humbajoe says:

    My Zune HD has a built in FM tuner – it was one of the deciding factors in purchasing it over something like an iPod (the fact that it makes good use of this built in tuner by allowing me to instant-download any songs I hear over the air is also a huge plus). My last cell phone also had a tuner – which came in handy when I didn’t have an mp3 player.

    I use the tuner quite regularly at work to catch my favorite radio morning show once I’m at the office and out of the car (Preston and Steve are VERY popular in Philadelphia, it’s really not just a typical morning show).

    I find that there is a LOT of value in having this feature in portable devices.

    That being said – what the hell is the point of forcing it into everything? That’s just plain stupid. The radio industry is throwing itself in the same group as the newspaper industry, whom wants us all to be forced to pay a tax just to keep them afloat.

  89. Wolfbird says:

    Of course not. There’s a reason why FM radio is doing poorly– it’s saturated with adverts and the music is as bland as possible to prevent innocent children from accidentally hearing inappropriate things.

    My parents have that Sirius thing which is pretty cool but to me it’s not worth the price of paying for special equipment and/or subscription fees.

    When I do listen to music I go to Winamp radio. Some channels are better than others. I mostly listen to SKY FM 80s, which is heavy on music and light on WEB EX ads.

    I do have an oldschool AM/FM radio but it’s only for my birds, who can’t tell the difference between an ad for Pampers and Mozart anyway.

  90. Captain Packrat says:

    Why stop at FM? Why not require AM as well? And NOAA weather radio. And shortwave. And television.

  91. APCO25guy says:

    Terrestrial radio is just about DONE. Horrible corporate conglomeration ownership, “consultant” generated automated playlist of the same 10 washout songs in every format, annoying segues and voice tracking, all killed the once viable, FREE medium.

    Ibiquity screwed up and allowed Sirius/XM to make it into the dashboards of new cars, despite HD radio costing nothing. HD radio offers quite a bit more variety of programming, but availability of receivers are limited, they’re expensive, and in many cases, perform poorly. Too bad, as this could have saved it.

    The future of radio will be from streaming media via technologies like cellular and MediaFLO. Once mass produced receivers are pumped out at a low cost, your AM/FM radio will make it to the same pile as your 8-track deck, cassette player, and VCR made it into. Technologies of yesteryear now rotting in the graveyard.

    I do think radio will go back to it’s genesis: a handful of LOCALLY owned and operated stations, run by enthusiasts (read non-profits) with limited ad revenue, to serve the community. But Crap Channel, the Cloud Company, and their ilk will soon go the way of other corporate failures brought down by themselves.

  92. Zaphâ„¢ says: