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...and I feel fine.

Ann Althouse has a lot to say about the problems of radio these days, which keys off the WaPo article on DC talk radio's drop in listeners. She ties it in with a NYT piece about the death of rock radio, and opines that satellite radio may be partially the reason (and the solution, for listeners) to the "problem".

I think she's partially right but doesn't go far enough. What's happening to radio is the same thing that happened to broadcast TV and newspapers as cable and satellite and blogging software became more widespread. People suddenly had more options to choose from. Back in the 1970s, you could mix your own cassette tapes, but it was as big a hassle as making AMVs now - hours of shuffling records and hitting the play/pause buttons just right. CD burners made that task a lot easier - "Rip, Mix and Burn" became a pastime for a lot of folks who got tired up putting up with nine tracks of crap for every three decent tracks on a CD. Once Kazaa and Napster and the iPod made the scene, radio execs should have woken up and smelled the coffee, because now nobody has to put up with a DJ or programming director's playlist - they can whip one of their own together in seconds and tune out whatever Clear Channel or Infinity are serving up. No more trying to call in and request a song that the DJ might or might not play, no more putting up with Led Zeppelin played every five minutes in the rotation...and that means fewer people listening to the radio. More people settling into their particular niches on the Internet and listening to bands that play in the style they want to listen to, rather than the next Britney Spears or 50 Cent or Korn. Personally, I think that's a good thing. Let a thousand flowers bloom, let the big music and media companies bloat, collapse and die. The sooner we cut out all these annoying middlemen and get the music straight from the bands, the better. Maybe there won't be as many platinum-selling albums and intercontinental superstar bands, but I think a lot more people will be playing bars and concert halls and making a decent living and not getting all freakified in the celebrity spotlight. In my arrogant opinion, that would be a GREAT thing.

EDIT Additional commentary by Michelle Malkin pertaining to talk radio here.