7/30/13: Apple releases OS X desktop iTunes Radio beta

Paul Maloney
July 30, 2013 - 12:20pm

Apple today released a new iTunes beta of version 11.1 on its developer site, including for the first time iTunes Radio for the OS X desktop. (ITunes Radio made its first public beta appearances in initial beta versions of iOS 7 and iOS for the Apple TV.)

The tech giant announced in June (RAIN coverage here) the pending official release of iTunes Radio, a free (or ad-free, for iTunes Match customers) customizable streaming online radio service. As the name suggests, iTunes Radio will be integrated into iTunes and feature over 200 curated channels, plus algorithmically-generated channels based on listeners' favorites songs, artists, and more. All the stations can be fine-tuned by the listeners, and the company says the service will "evolve" based on listening and downloading habits.

Techcrunch reports today: "On the desktop, iTunes Radio looks to operate pretty much the same as it does on mobile, providing access to some pre-set stations and letting users create their own. The interface is remarkably minimal for now, but Apple has left lots of room for custom stations. There's also a button to let you buy songs being played back instantly in the 'Now Playing' window, as you can see in the screenshot below provided by an anonymous tipster." [That's the photo below.]

Read more in Techcrunch here, and in CNet here.

Paul Maloney
July 30, 2013 - 12:20pm

As roughly half of all radio listening in the U.S. takes place in the car, it's no surprise the industry wants to talk (and learn) about the latest in connecting the car's information and entertainment systems to the Internet. Last year 4.3 million cars sold supported in-car infotainment services that connect the car to online news, weather, social networking, and music streaming. A recent forecast from mobile industry group GSMA (with research firm SBD) predicts that number to be over 32 million in 2018 (read more in RAIN here).

Today we introduce three experts who'll join us at RAIN Summit Orlando to discuss the "connected car."

[The RAIN Summit $99 "early bird" registration expires tomorrow. Register to attend (here) today!]

Scott Burnell (upper right) is global lead of business development and partner management for Ford Motor Company. He concentrates on mobile apps, wireless operators, and handset makers for the Ford Developer Program. (Previously, he co-owned indie label The Revolution Music.)

Ford's in-dash audiotainment system is called SYNC, and includes apps for Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker, MOG, and SiriusXM Internet radio. With SYNC AppLink, listeners can activate other apps on a connected smartphone using voice commands and radio buttons on the steering wheel (read more here).

Ted Cardenas is Pioneer Electronics' VP of marketing for its car electronics division. Ted (left) focuses on educating consumers about Pioneer’s in-vehicle entertainment, navigation, and connectivity solutions through overall brand strategy, sales initiatives, promotional activities, and advertising. He's been with Pioneer for 17 years.

In May Pioneer debuted its new AppRadio 3 in-dash platform with iPhone 5 compatibility, and is now compatible with more than 40 Android devices as well. The platform enables a mobile device-to-dashboard connection for music, apps, and information that’s displayed on the Pioneer in-dash receiver.

Geoff Snyder (lower right) is director of automotive business development for leading webcaster Pandora. He's responsible for Pandora's automotive distribution strategy and partnership management.

Pandora has always been aggressive about expanding its reach beyond desktop computers and mobile phones, and this year announced its in-car integration has topped 2.5 million "unique activations." The Pandora app is now available in 23 major automotive brands (plus eight aftermarket partners) -- making the service available in more than 100 different cars.

We'll soon announce more speakers for the dashboard discussion panel, as well as other panels and presentations for RAIN Summit Orlando. The event will also feature a keynote presentation from Entercom Communications president/CEO David Field, and the presentation of the fourth-annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards (more here). RAIN Summit Orlando is an Official Partner Event of The Radio Show produced by the NAB and RAB. See the latest here.