RAIN 11/9: Ford Sync, 5 years and 5 million cars later

Paul Maloney
November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

Ford and Microsoft are celebrating 5 years of the Ford Sync in-car connectivity platform, and its installation on 5 million vehicles. SYNC was first announced on Jan. 7, 2007 at the International CES. It was one of the very first of this technology that's now offered by nearly every car manufacturer.

But as the Verge writes, "A tepid response from drivers could be why it's taken Ford five years to install Sync in five million vehicles, but the fact that the system doesn't come as a standard option in the manufacturer's full range — Ford claims that Sync is installed of 70% of its cars 'in general' — no doubt contributed to that sluggish growth."

Ford Sync enables in-car connectivity to content sources like iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora, and Stitcher (among very many others).

Read the press release here, and the Verge here.

Paul Maloney
November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

Online audio tech company Abacast has announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded it a "patent allowance" for its method of replacing content in online broadcast simulcasts with other content.

While there are several technology companies with "ad-insertion" technology, Abacast says other patents "cover only one-for-one ad replacement," and its system "is unique in that it covers the replacement of ads with ads and additional content types such as songs."

The Abacast press release explains, "The patent for the invention titled 'Content Injection System and Methodology," allows for the broadcast ad to be replaced with ads, songs, and other Internet-specific content and is inclusive of mobile devices and tablets, in addition to PCs."

A notice of patent allowance means that the Patent Office has deemed the invention "genuinely new" and intends to award the patent when necessary fees have been paid.

Paul Maloney
November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

While the NAACP today says the Internet Radio Fairness Act "fails the basic test of economic fairness and discriminates against singers and musicians" (here), supporters of the bill like the CCIA (here) and DiMA (here) manage to advocate using more measured tones. More dramatically, Earbits, a company that doesn't use the compulsory webcast license, suggests (here) "maintaining the current rates is the worst thing that could happen to artists, consumers, and the future of music."

Pure, which makes music streaming and radio systems, announced its new Sensia 200D Connect system. It sports a 5.7" color touchscreen, connection to social media feeds, photo collections, stream recording, and optional battery for portability. The 200D also connects to the brand new Pure Stream system, which enables a user to send music wirelessly from a personal device to selected Pure music streaming and radio systems.

Multi-channel customizable webcast service Slacker has released a mobile app for Windows Phone 8 featuring more than 200 music stations plus detailed artist biographies, in-depth album reviews and song lyrics. Users can create and share their own custom music stations.

Finally, webcaster 8tracks has relaunched on the iOS platform, reports Techcrunch (here).