This article posted by Reuters is cracking at explaining why so many people still turn to SWLing:
It’s easy and cheap — and fun. You can hear and learn things that you would never find even if you work your search engine like a mule. From Swaziland to Paris to Havana, shortwave broadcasters can surprise an adventurous listener more than any MP3 playlist.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Author Robert MacMillan (with Reuters) began by comparing shortwave radios to many sleek portable digital media devices on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year:
iPods and satellite radios are slim and pocket-sized, while shortwaves are throwbacks, typically as square as a textbook and just as serious looking.
While it’s true that most portable shortwave radios are slightly bigger than a Sony Walkman, few portables approach the size of a textbook. Sony, for example, produced the ultra small SW100S years ago–before the internet was much more than an easy way for university researchers to exchange off-color jokes. The SW100S, by the way, was about the size of a pack of cards. Innovative radio designer, Etón Corporation, announced the new, sleek, Grundig Mini 400 at the CES. [Krunker.com has photos of the Mini 400 and other Etón products from the CES–order your Mini 400 at Universal Radio.] I should also note that Chinese manufacturer, Degen, recently released a new, sleek, pocket radio MP3 recorder/player–see Passport’s take here.
I was quite happy to see a few good shortwave news items come out of the CES this year. Yes, more and more focus is being given to web-based devices, and it should be. I am a huge fan of the world wide web and all that it has to offer. But what keeps me glued to my shortwave radio? MacMillian puts it best:
[W]hen you hear voices over the noise and squeal, and realize you are hearing Mongolia, live, there is a warmth and a human connection that are hard to find on the Web.
Amen. Thanks, Robert.