For those of us who remember the music breakthrough from scratchy and static filled AM radio to clear and fade free stereo FM, this announcement from Norway is bittersweet. They’ve just announced they will be the first country to switch off FM radio and go all digital. In 2017, they will begin turning off the FM band in January and complete the changeover by December 13th. Car radios will never be the same.
It goes without saying this has been coming for some time, everyone already either plugs in their smartphone to access their music collection or tunes in to satellite radio, but the local FM stations you can listen to will start their inevitable disappearance. Digital offers so much more, more stations, more options, more capabilities, but what will an old Mustang or Chevelle be without an FM radio where you can spin the dial? How this all works out for the remaining local stations remains to be seen, but it looks like another signpost on the highway to the future just passed by.
No other countries have announced any switch as of yet, but you can be sure it won’t be long before they do. If you have an old Pioneer or Marantz stereo receiver stashed away somewhere, turn it on and spin the dial while you still can, those days are soon going to be in the rear view mirror.