RAIN 10/14: Details of new Wi-Fi equipped, portable SiriusXM 2.0 radio emerge

Paul Maloney
October 14, 2011 - 11:00am

This week the website DigitalRadioMag revealed details of the first new SiriusXM 2.0 hardware it says was "outed" by a test report and label information posted on the FCC's website. While nothing hereSiriusXM 2.0 points to the "Pandora-like personalization features" that were teased in August (here), Forbes and TheStreet.com are now reporting some of what was revealed to the FCC.

The project is apparently codenamed "Lynx." The new radio features "universal docking capability," which was characterized on the FCC website (presumably by SiriusXM itself) as "add accessories for your home, office, additional vehicles or even outdoors." This apparently means "portability," in that you can listen to the unit in the car, then pull it out of the dash and bring it outside or in your home or office to listen. The SiriusXM PowerConnect FM Transmitter wirelessly connects the unit via FM to the car's radio receiver.

The new radio can connect to content via satellite (naturally), but also WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB -- TheStreet.com attributes this as "likely a response to the growth of Internet radio stations, HD radio and the use of smartphones and tablets."

DigitalRadioMag also noticed an Immersion logo in a diagram of the inside of the unit, indicating the radio will likely feature Haptic Touchscreen Technology made by that company. Finally, the appearance of the unit and its interface (backlight color theme, the "trim ring") can be personalized.

The new SiriusXM 2.0 system is expected to be officially launched this quarter. Read more from Forbes here, TheStreet.com here, and DigitalRadioMag here.

Michael Schmitt
October 14, 2011 - 11:00am

Livio's Car KitIf you want to listen to Internet radio while driving but there isn't exactly room in your budget for a new car, The New York Times has some suggestions.

The first is the Livio Radio Car Kit (pictured), which streams web radio from your mobile device (via Bluetooth) to your car stereo (through an empty FM frequency). You can read more about Livio's Car Kit in RAIN here.

The New York Times also highlights Pioneer's AppRadio. The device features a 6.1-inch touchscreen, which drivers can use to control Pandora and Rdio playback. Engadget recently review the AppRadio (here).

You can find the full New York Times article here.

Michael Schmitt
October 14, 2011 - 11:00am

Universal Music's DigsterDigster -- Universal Music's curated playlist service -- has expanded to on-demand music subscription platform Rdio. Previously Digster's radio-like playlists were only available to Spotify users.

Digster offers playlists for moods, ocassions (like hosting a cocktail party) and genres. Some big names have created Digster playlists: Lady Gaga, Rihana and Florence + the Machine. Users can listen to the playlists through Spotify or Rdio.

Digster launched in August and -- as we wrote then, here -- is one of a growing number of services that use on-demand music platforms like Spotify to create radio-like playlists. Writes CNet (here): "[Digster] is betting that even in the age of search algorithms and recommendation engines, humans are still the best music-discovery tools." 

Michael Schmitt
October 14, 2011 - 11:00am

Pure's Contour radioPure's tabletop Internet radio Contour will be sold to U.S. customers through Amazon. Amazon is reportedly the European-based Pure's first U.S. retailer, but the company is expected to announce other retailers soon.

The Contour ($330) streams Internet radio stations, plays FM radio and features an iPod/iPhone dock. Radio World has more coverage here.