October 15th, 2007

Maybe It’s Just Me

I was riding in the car with a coworker the other day and I found out something that blew my mind.

On most car radios, there are six buttons that you can program to automatically go to your favorite radio stations. Some have more than that, but six is a sorta-standard. The FM band on radios goes from 87.8 to 108.0 here in the US, from left to right like you’d normally read ascending numbers.

Logically, then, if you’ve got six favorite stations, it makes complete sense to put them from left to right on your favorite buttons, lowest number on the far left, highest number on the far right. Right?

Apparently not to everyone. My coworker said, “Nuh uh. Your favorite station goes on the first button because it’s #1! Also, it’s closer to you [as the driver], so it’s easier to push.”

I could never bring myself to function in that way, but it got me wondering how many other people think like him. You know what that means… Poll time!

Please answer honestly, as this seemingly-simple poll could be the basis of someone’s life’s work on how people think.

20 Comments on “Maybe It’s Just Me”

  1. Brian Arnold says:

    I voted for "Favorite channel on 1 etc" because it's closer to the system I lean on, but it's not exactly the same.

    My first preset is my most common go-to station if I'm going to listen to the radio, but I don't know that I'd call it my favorite. It's probably just the most standard mix of things I'll generally like.

    From there out, it's a mish-mash of unreliability. The sequence is currently 100.3, 95.1, 93.3, 103.3, 97.3, and 101.7. On top of that, when I'm at 3 or 4, I can use the seek up/down to get to another couple of stations that I like, so I tend to use those stations as jumping off points to effectively extend my six to eight.

  2. The Rock Star says:

    I am analytical. I like numbers. Thus, it should not be surprising that mine are in order from lowest to highest by station frequency.

  3. Mike M says:

    I don't actually listen to more than one station.

    I listen to 94.5 in the morning, which is a talkshow during my morning commute. Then, in the afternoon commute it is MP3 CD, Audio Book, or that same station.

    However, whenever I did listen to multiple radio stations, they were generally listed by the probability that they'd play music I would want to listen to.

  4. The Big Guy says:

    You are more organized than I.

  5. Lorelei says:

    I have to say…Favorite channel on 1, etc, etc…is what I do. Makes for easier button pushing while driving.

    We have 12 settings. I have the first six…Bill has the second six (on FM2).

  6. Dana says:

    Favorite station is number 1, and so on and so forth. And here I thought everyone did it like that.

  7. Eric says:

    Favorite channel #1, etc. If I want to hear what the next station on the dial has on, I use the seek button. So, the question that came to my mind in this is, in what order do you place songs on to a burned cd? For example, say you want 4 songs off of one album and 4 more off another and you are burning it for a friend. Do you put the songs on the burned cd in the same order they were on the album or do you shuffle them or place them according to which is your favorite?

  8. Eric says:

    PS comment. Sorting them by favorite #1, etc also means that when you find a new favorite, you don't have to redo all of the other presets to get them in numerical order. Just a thought.

  9. Marshall says:

    Favorite is closest and at the #1 spot, least favorite farthest away.

    side note: the old radio in my Buick let me save a station when I pressed 2 buttons at the same time, aka button #1 and #2. Sorta like *secret* favorites ;-)

  10. Petey says:

    I'm just slightly different. I kinda group mine together. Oldies, country, etc. I don't have a good explaination for it.

  11. steven says:

    Ironically, the buttons are not numbered at all.

  12. steven says:

    But I do have a grand total of 60 presets between Sirius and sundry FM and AM bands. I'm not good at math, but I think that if I hit scan as I am pulling out of the garage then I can listen to all 60 of my favorite stations for 10 seconds each on my 10 minute commute to work…

  13. the obscure says:

    The results here indicate sheer madness on the part if 62% of the population.

  14. Sizzledowski says:

    Normally, I put them by # order, but when I moved to MD, I had a hard time finding stations I liked, so they ended up being random… and now I have them memorized in that order, so they've stayed that way.

  15. Anonymous says:

    #1 is #1

  16. G-Knee says:

    Mup – I too always set my stations numerically…I too am surprised that there was another way to do this…why would anyone want to?

    *sigh* dear, dear brother….

  17. Bill T says:

    On all the car radios I've been a part of owning, I'm pretty sure the first button was the favorite station of the car's primary driver. On my car, the buttons then descend in order of preference… 2 is the second best, etc… sort of. I have 1 thru 6, in two rows — so 1, 3, 4 and 6 kind of have special significance 'cause they're easier to hit. (6 is the button for the 87.5 frequency which also listens to the VHF TV channel 6… not that I listen to that station on the radio any more.)

    I don't think most people think the order of the buttons would correspond to the order on the dial.

  18. Diana says:

    Fave station always goes in #1 and then goes in descending order of favorites.

  19. M. Kate says:

    my left to right is 1-6 so mine is both left to right and starting with #1 as a favorite. So….if everyone just drove a car like mine there would be no need for poles or perhaps a "committee" to address this "opportunity for collaboration".

    Those are some words I got to use a lot this week. Committee really means – people that are forced to work on something a larger group can't agree on, while "opportunity for collaboration" means – giant problem, elephant in the room, brickwall ceasing all progress…you get the idea.

  20. Coach C says:

    I'm with mup on this one. Except I almost never set my FM presets. I am a talk radio junkie. There was a time when I could tell you the entire 24 hour line-up of hosts on the following stations (in order from left to right):
    620 WTMJ
    670 WMAQ
    890 WLS
    1070 WTSO
    1130 WISN
    1310 WIBA

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