Control is the primary benefit of a portable mp3 device.
The trend towards control – customizability – in audio entertainment can also be described as a trend towards interactivity. Control is simply one form of involvement. But it’s not the only form.
The more foreground the radio station the more involvement it provokes and the more interactive it becomes.
You can’t duplicate the benefits of an mp3 player. You can’t literally be “an iPod on shuffle.” Your radio station will never be customizable.
But you can be more interactive. You can be more inviting and involving. You can be more foreground.
It’s not what all listeners want from Radio. But it’s one reason listeners are turning off the radio and turning on the iPods.