When you find an outlet that creates a sense of adventure around something as pedestrian and overexposed as online music, you know it’s worth a bookmark.
The French website Radiooooo, an online time machine that combines a Mercator projection of the globe with a radio, feels like the modern version of the shortwave radio, in some ways—except with the added dimension of time.
In a New Yorker piece last year, founder Benjamin Moreau recalled that he had the idea based on an experience of listening to modern music in his 1966 Renault Caravelle, and finding the result fully unappealing. As author E. P. Licursi explains:
The moment led to an idea: what if you could organize music, not based on genre or complex algorithms but instead as a part of time and space? What if, instead of scrolling through artists and songs arranged alphabetically, you could explore them historically and geographically?
That’s great and all, but it doesn’t really translate to your living room.
That’s about to change. This week, the creators of the service came up with an idea that seems to exist out of time. Le Globe, a device that combines a full, glowing globe with dial for setting the decade, is currently in a functional prototype phase, with the final result on track to being shown in the middle of June in Paris.
“Le Globe Radiooooo, it’s the pleasure of possessing beautiful things, being able to manipulate and play with them,” the website states. “It is produced with quality materials, fabricated and assembled by the finest artisans. Forget your multifunctional telephones.”
This sounds like a crazy idea in 2017. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wanted one. This device, based on the renderings alone, feels like past and future all in a single piece.
Maybe it’s absurdly ambitious. Maybe it’s just absurd. But it’s certainly a conversation-starter. As our phones get sleepier, we need more of those.
Correction: An earlier version of the article stated that Radiooooo doesn't have an app. It does! Here are the iOS and Android versions. We regret the error.