"It's like listening to a middle-aged drunkard's iPod set to shuffle, but the Jack FM radio format is spreading across the dial," says Wired magazine in an article about the increasingly popular format, heard in Phoenix on stations like The Peak.
The article suggests one key to the format's success - particularly among older listeners - is its "liberal use of 'train-wreck editing,' allowing songs from completely different genres to play back to back -- Deee-Lite followed by Steve Miller Band, for example.
"Edison Media Research's Sean Ross says train-wreck editing was initially thought to alienate listeners, but is today seen as part of Jack's appeal.
"'When done well, these segues are a throwback to some of the great radio of the 1970s,' he says."
The article goes on to say, "It's in sharp contrast to conventional programming logic, where small, genre-specific playlists are thought to attract specific target audiences, and songs are repeated over and over so as to become quickly familiar to listeners."
What do you folks think? Can the eclecticism of early 70's FM be replicated with a large library of tunes set to what seems like a random shuffle? Do you ever get that same feeling, listening to your own iPod on "shuffle"? Or is there a lot more to the equation than that?