Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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multistream personalized news radio

skip the sports, and let me choose the sequence and timing
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I like listening to the local news radio station on the way to work. They give me traffic reports + weather every 10 minutes, interspersed with news and compressed information.

The segments of the show are modular and highly predictable. Weather is crammed into a 1 minute summary. Then traffic gets 1 minute. Then local news for 2 minutes. 30 second advertisement. Then a more verbose weather forecast. And so on. I think some of the segments are broadcast live, but some segments are definitely pre-recorded and queued for broadcast; I imagine it's probably assembled live like a jukebox of sound bytes (literally) run by a small team of DJs.

But it's not ideal. I'd like to opt out of the sports stories - it's a waste of 7 minutes of my drive listening to stories about hockey. I'd also opt out of the hollywood celebrity gossip crap. And I'd like my traffic report early on, followed by weather, then the rest of my drive can be news.

Conecptually this isn't hard to imagine, it'd be like streaming sound on demand, delivered as small 1-minute clips, according to a formula with parameters chosen by the listener. Like many small 1-minute podasts.The tricky part is convincing content creators to embrace the idea and start offering news radio in that format, and technologically getting that streaming audio into my car.

The other challenge is that it's got to be live, or nearly so, since I don't want traffic reports from 2 hours ago. Setting up a CRON at 6:00am to download the morning's news report onto an iPod isn't going to cut it.

gonzola, Feb 11 2009

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