TiVO for Radio: Does This Translate?

DVR makes perfect sense for TV. In fact, it’s now an indispensable part of the TV-watching experience, just like the remote.

So much so that if you’re into television, you probably couldn’t imagine life without it.

But what about DVR for radio, does that make as much sense?  Does radio want to be transformed in the same way?

DVR makes perfect sense for TV. In fact, it’s now an indispensable part of the TV-watching experience, just like the remote. So much so that if you’re into television, you probably couldn’t imagine life without it.

But what about DVR for radio, does that make as much sense?  Does radio want to be transformed in the same way?

That’s a question being tested by Michael Robertson, whose DAR.fm is now materializing into a fully-baked DVR-for-radio offering.  Up until a few days ago, you could only access shows on-demand.  But now, you can download whatever you want to wherever you want – whenever and however you want it.

So, that means your iPad, iPhone, Android device, Blackberry, or simply your PC, all funneled into a consolidated system for access and playback.  Which actually sounds a bit different than most boxed-in DVR systems on TV.  “Normally DVRs lock up all the content they record,” Robertson told Digital Music News.  “We’re taking a different approach at DAR.fm and letting users download their shows whenever and wherever they like.”

But who wants this?  And, perhaps more importantly, can people live without this? On TV, it’s simple: you’re going to miss the Emmys, so you set record and enjoy it later.  Or, you record a series and go through it on the weekends.  In fact, a large percentage of watching is now pre-recorded; there’s no going back.

But do people want to the same playback for shows like ‘Car Talk’ or ‘Rush Limbaugh’?  Or is radio – music or talk – just a fleeting stream to fill our commutes, our weekend chores in the garage, our time at the breakfast table?  And, if there is a crowd for this, is it big enough to make a business, to make a market?

Let’s see: if the answer is yes, then Robertson (MP3.com, MP3tunes) is the perfect disruptor for the job.  And, if his battles with the recording industry are any indicator, the most tenacious opponent imaginable.