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A future for radio? Sounds good

Street Smarts

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Compared to newer technologies, radio might seem like a dinosaur. But a low-power renaissance could actually offer unlimited potential for the future.

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Robert LeDonne of the west side is an inventor/artist

What's the best radio station you've ever listened to? In general, when you're driving across country, a good radio program will help give you vision. It allows the journey.

Has radio been a big part of your life? Yes, I pay attention to radio because I'm an inventor who deals with "feeling sound," or what I call "sound in 3D."

Can you elaborate on that a little? You actually feel the dimensional quality; you can feel layers. Sound is so important; it can be used in therapy to help with autism and can stimulate areas of our brains that we don't use.

Do you still listen to radio? Yes, I like NPR. It's educational and global, so you get a lot of variety and a lot of flavor. Radio is an untapped reservoir of communication.

If you could start your own station, what would it be? It would be an open forum — an opportunity for artists to consciously work with sound and understand what frequency and vibration can do.

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Tom Powell of Briargate works in finance

What's the best radio station you've ever listened to? W4 Country, back in Michigan.

What made it so good? Every morning they did a talk show I loved; it was funny, they had good topics, and they all had good personalities.

Describe what's missing from commercial radio today. Hosts that can relate to their listeners. If they're good, they can really get you engaged.

If you could start your own station, what would it feature? Mine would mostly be music I like from my past. But definitely with good hosts.

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Amy Tompkins from Chicago is unemployed

Has listening to the radio been a big part of your life? Yes, it was very important to me growing up and it still is. Every time I travel, I always find a local station.

What do you like most about radio today? Satellite radio is sweet. There's every option you can imagine.

Do you have any experience being on the radio? A little, when I was in film school. But I always wanted to get a ham radio. It would still work even if all the computers failed.

What's the best song ever written about radio? All that comes to mind is "Video Killed the Radio Star."

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