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Immediate request radio station

Most people request the same songs anyways.
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Whether they are rock, hip-hop or country, most popular music radio stations follow the same recipe. Play mostly songs from a list of currently popular hits interspersed with some classics, sprinkle lighty with empty banter, then fill with commercials. When radios allow requests, most people ask for songs that would be played soon anyways, whether it's current or classic.

This radio station would allow people to call in and request a song, and that song would be on next. The playlist is always filled at most one or two songs ahead, and your phone call doesn't go through if somebody else has already called in to request the next song. A computer keeps track of what songs have been played recently, so you have to ask for another if your song has just been played (or if it's outside the format, same as for an ordinary station). If nobody calls, the DJ picks a song and nobody would know.

The resulting playlist would be indistinguishable from that of a normal radio station with the same music format. In this way, it's not a bad station to listen to, even if you never make requests. The coolest thing, though, is that if you call and get through, your song will definitely be the one that is played next.

If you had several of these in one area, each one could evolve in different music directions as the people choose which one to listen to, and what to request.

yo, May 09 2002

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       How about, when a person requested the song, it was put on immediately, interrupting whatever was playing?
bristolz, May 09 2002
  

       no, po.
po, May 09 2002
  

       Digital cellular radio? "For Enrique Iglesias, press 1. For Sheryl Crow, press 2. For Rage Against the Machine, press 3."
waugsqueke, May 09 2002
  

       Yes, and if there were enough callers--requesters--the result would be not unlike that rap DJ scratchy turntable thing.
bristolz, May 09 2002
  

       Or a CD being fast forwarded.   

       Would it be possible to create a subscription radio system that narrowcast a different audio signal to each listener? I thought of cellular above, in the sense that the signal would be like a call coming in direct to you, playing whatever you requested. I'm sure cell wouldn't work for the purpose, but is there a way this could be done? You'd hear what you want without interfering with others hearing what they want to hear.
waugsqueke, May 09 2002
  

       Baked once upon a time, but for videos. The Juke Box Network had a bunch of low-power TV broadcast stations in various cities. When no requests were pending, the broadcast would scroll through a list of songs, each with a three digit code. When someone decided they wanted to pay $2.50 to hear a song, they would call the 1-900 number on screen and punch in the code for the song they wanted. They could then sit back and watch their video (albeit with an annoying marquee at the bottom giving the numbers for other songs).
supercat, May 09 2002
  

       Its not as simple as just requesting tracks to be played. Most radio stations enter an agreement along the lines of 25% speech, 75% music or the like, so you can't just have pure music. Also, the producer would be inundated with calls for tracks that the station may not have. And it is infuriating when twelve people ring up and ask for that same song to be played, infuriating!
[ sctld ], May 09 2002
  

       I had a similar idea, but related to radio/tv advertising.
phoenix, May 09 2002
  

       I remember the first time I heard a song called "Kiss" by - as it turned out, Prince. I called the Radio Station to see *why* this wretched song was being played, and would they please play something/anything from Led Zep's Physical Graffiti album.
"It's one of our top requests" came the reply
'By WHO? 12 year old girls?'
"That's right, I can't stand it either"
'There's got to be a better way'
"I wish there was too - I hate that song, and a whole lot of others I *get* to hear"
thumbwax, May 09 2002
  

       Most commercial radio stations get as much or more of their budget from "Indie" music promoters as they do from advertising. In return, they sign agreements to play what the Indie is promoting. IMHO, this is the reason that 99% of the radio stations in the country are crap. The remaining 1% are mostly comprised of public, community sponsored, or college radio stations.   

       One of the DJs at WMTU (the college radio station for Michigan Tech) once told his listeners that he was going to play the same song over and over until someone phoned in a request. I don't remember what song he threatened us with (must have blocked it out of my memory), but I remember that he got a lot of requests in pretty short order.
mwburden, May 09 2002
  

       Baked…you’re simply looking for a resurrection.   

       What you’re describing is what KROQ radio used to be in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Now, requests are simply a tool programmers use to gauge the popularity of songs on their playlists. As for TV, supercat's right: in my area it's what The Box used to be.
iuvare, May 09 2002
  

       The radio station allows a phone call to go through ONLY when there is a slot open... one call per song. Most people who call get a busy signal. If you get on, your song is next. No unfilled requests ever. And like I said, repeats and out-of-format songs won't get played, so you have to request another.   

       This wouldn't change a station much. You can still keep the same proportion of talk, news, etc. It's just that the listeners have become the new real-time music directors.
yo, May 09 2002
  

       This is pretty close to baked if you have a local community-sponsored radio station. The local station in my area (WYCE) will almost always play your request in a pretty short time after you phone it in.
mwburden, May 14 2002
  

       ditto . . . . . . yeh, yeah! DITTO!
reensure, May 15 2002
  

       Yo: The one call per song thing doesn't work. how are you supposed to know which song they were calling for unless you answer it?
[ sctld ], May 15 2002
  

       [to be read in the style of Jeff Bridges DJing in 'The Fisher King']
"...and welcome back to AuctionFM where your song plays immediately <dramatic_dj_style_pause> so long as you outbid the one currently playing. And now on with the music. First up it's Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' extended version playing at a dollar ninety-nine. Ah I see we have our first caller..."
st3f, May 16 2002
  

       If you have to dial 100 times before your call's even answered, I don't see how you can call this an "immediate request".
pottedstu, May 16 2002
  
      
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