|This thing called Free FM that I keep hearing about on the radio is part of a huge "thing" created by Infinity Broadcasting (radio division of CBS) that's basically a dig at paid services like XM and Sirius. They say the "free" word is supposed to indicate freedom of personality and expression. But actually it's a reminder that regular radio is still free, as opposed to those evil paid services (which I'll probably try eventually). Radio station 92.3 K-ROCK (WXRK) adopted the new format on January 3, 2006 and it changed its call letters to WFNY-FM. I realized this wasn't just a local thing when I heard several other Free FMs on the way to and from Virginia.
A lot of radio stations also keep talking about "HD Digital", which is the next best thing since the invention of water. Basically, it has something to do with upgrading the signal to improve sound quality. It also means that stations can have several different "multicasts", which is like splitting a single channel into several different ones: 104.3 becomes 104.3-1 and 104.3-2. But the bottom line in all this is that it's another way for traditional radio to compete with satellite radio, which I think is basically impossible. As soon as my car comes pre-installed with a satellite radio receiver, I'll fork over that $13 a month. I'll willing to pay for good things. Sometimes. #entertainment