24 maggio 2010

Guardian, "spegnere l'FM analogica è una follia"

L'autorevole stampa quotidiana britannica non ha mai fatto mistero del suo scarso entusiasmo nei confronti della strategia per la "digitalizzazione" della radiofonia. Ma ieri sul Guardian Julian Glover ha avuto ancora meno peli sulla lingua nel dichiarare che il re è nudo. Lo switchoff della radio analogica in FM viene definito una autentica follia che nessuno vuole, se non una piccola industria di costruttori. Una follia che costringerà milioni di persone a sborsare un sacco di soldi in nuovi apparecchi di dubbia qualità e metterà a tacere per sempre milioni di autoradio. Il classico esempio di innovazione imposta dall'alto e quasi certamente destinata a errori irrimediabili e ripensamenti tardivi. Il governo cerca di venderci il DAB dal 1995, scrive Glover ma nel frattempo «la radio on demand si può ascoltare ovunque su Internet, i quotidiani si sono trasformati in emittenti radiotelevisive e i telefoni in personal computer. Senza nessuna imbeccata da parte governativa Apple si appresta a vendere otto milioni di iPad solo quest'anno.»
Purtroppo, lo stesso editorialista riconosce che è molto difficile che il governo a questo punto "si fermi a pensare".

The digital switchover is folly. Listeners like radio as it is

Billions must be spent on new sets. Car radios will stop working. But an industry has been built to impose this on us all

Julian Glover
Sunday 23 May 2010

This is the story of what happens when the state makes up its mind and then, when things start going wrong, carries on regardless over several decades before hiding the consequences behind a sham of free-market activism and individual choice. The government declared years ago that FM ought to go and that DAB digital radio would be the future. But planning like this frequently fails. The most successful technological switches of recent years have been unexpected, and shaped by users not states: the accidental global addiction to text messaging, a feature built into mobile networks as an engineers' afterthought; or the invention of the world wide web by scientists as a way of sharing data at the Cern laboratory in Switzerland; or the universal adoption of home Wi-Fi.
By contrast, digital radio is modernisation imposed from above, a project in search of a purpose and popular demand: a 21st-century version of the east African groundnut scheme. We are going to get it because someone set the juggernaut rolling: the BBC has been trying to get us to use DAB since 1995, when its first digital broadcasts began and the web was still for geeks. Almost everything about the media has changed since then: you can listen to radio on demand anywhere in the world; newspapers have become broadcasters and phones computers. Apple – without any government prompting – expects to sell 8 million iPads this year.
Meanwhile, digital radio just chugs along. An industry has been built to promote it. Listeners must spend billions on new sets. Almost every existing car radio will stop working. One of the few national digital stations with some appeal, BBC 6 Music, is being killed off even as bureaucrats are promoting the compulsory uptake of digital. The BBC's Asian Network faces the axe while policy papers declare that the point of digital is more choice.
(… continua)

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