This article examines the history of radio and, how the consumption of radio might have transformed urban rhythms in colonial Taiwan. Being assisted by well-developed cultural industries, including magazines, newspapers, films and popular music, the influences of modernity had penetrated everyday life in Japan by the mid-1920s. The enthusiasm towards modernity reached the Japanese colonies in the 1930s. Until the outbreak of the Second Sino–Japanese War in 1937, Taiwanese society underwent a decade-long proliferation period of consumption, influenced by the convergence of urbanism, colonialism and modernism. The ‘modern’ experiences in 1930s Taiwan were largely influenced by media technologies. By conducting an examination through the story ‘Inviolable Destiny’ and other historical materials, this article shows how the consumption of radio signified multiple distinctions among ethnicities, classes, genders, generations and spaces in colonial Taiwan. The combination of radio and print media constituted an intertwined network that shaped the tempos of urban life. A constructed standard national time converged with rational institutions and generated a massive scale of coordination between Taiwan and the rest of the world. Radio did not only broadcast the content, which transferred public affairs into the private space, but also formulated a hidden rhythm of structured punctuality in daily life.