Everyone had headphones plugged into a gizmo with a switch, so that we could all compare DAB Digital Radio with its FM equivalent as the bus weaved in and out of underpasses (the FM fizzled and spluttered). DAB is the future of radio, we were told.
Today, more of that future arrived in Northern Ireland with the extension of Digital One to the Province.
Until now, the story was that we had to wait until our neighbours in the Republic had stopped using that same spectrum for analogue TV for this to be released for DAB here. So from its launch in Autumn 2001, NI listeners could only receive the BBC national multiplex with ten fulltime stations, and the local mux, operated by Bauer, with ten more.
Digital One brings 14 services to the party (ten being new on DAB), which is welcome in giving us additional choice, as in the rest of the UK.
Before becoming too overjoyed, there is a caveat. The usual expectation of technological progress is that what's coming will be an improvement on what went before. DAB has the potential to deliver high quality stereo sound, and was I understand originally conceived for national broadcasters to do just that with six services in a multiplex. Nowadays, it's a case of more is believed to be better, and as the transmission capacity is fixed, something has to give, and that something is the audio.
Of the stations that are new to us from Digital One, only one - Absolute Radio - is being broadcast in stereo.
Granted, those listening on portable radios with a single speaker will not be fussed, and for speech channels, such as talkSPORT, mono is just fine.
However for those wishing to listen to the other music stations on headphones, or in an enclosed environment such as a car, the lack of stereo will be obvious and disappointing. Slightly ironic then that the national promoters of DAB, Digital Radio UK, are excited that nearly 40% of new cars are now equipped to receive it.
Of course there are reasons for going for mono - it saves money, and I signed enough invoices in my time as a radio station MD to know the cost of DAB transmission; but if classical services such as BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM regard stereo as essential, surely the fans of other music genres deserve similar consideration?
There is potentially an upside though; NI currently has the lowest uptake of DAB in the UK (22% here own a set compared to the national average of 38%, according to Ofcom), a figure put down to the limited number of stations available until now. Higher awareness of Digital Radio through the prospect of greater choice may in practice lead listeners to spend more time with the local stations that are on DAB, the point being that these can be enjoyed in stereo.