Also, A Litany Of Bands - and the only point in the entirety of ATC that a slice of Direct From Life gets injected into the story. Specifically the bit about the extension cord, more specifically the bit about overplay - I'd heard Pretty Hate Machine a few dozen times before the DJs got fixated on The Downward Spiral and knew on some level that radio-grade electronic music couldn't have sprung up out of nowhere. After a lengthy period of bands like Gravity Kills and Stabbing Westward being compared on-air to Nine Inch Nails on account of OMG THEY HAVE A SYNTHESIZER, I arrived in Pittsburgh and was promptly exposed to the musicians the radio-friendly electronic acts had built their sound on. I found the history of electronic music to be vastly superior to the small handful of bands flagged for airplay, and my taste slowly branched out from there.
I've listened to and enjoyed all of the bands listed - some moreso than others. some more recently than others. Some I still enjoy, and a few have a permanent place in my portable discography.
MPEG audio - disk-based audio, anyway - had made inroads into the professional radio space at least as early as 1996. That's my first experience with it. I wouldn't be surprised if stations in more developed areas had converted to disk earlier than that. The advantages are numerous - the change in music acquisition and playback over the past fifteen years is proof of that.