RAIN 8/8: Latin webcast service Batanga.com's site redesign spotlights custom channels

Paul Maloney
August 8, 2012 - 1:30pm

Webcaster Batanga.com has rolled out a beta version of its new site, which is now centered around user-created stations based on a song title, artist name, or genre.

While the parent media company Batanga is based in the U.S. (and targets its products mainly to U.S. Hispanics, but Mexico, Brazil, and the rest of Latin America as well), the webcaster Batanga.com is one of its holdings, based in Spain.

Batanga's older presentation (still available as "Batanga Classic") was focused on dozens of pre-programmed genre-based channels of music (mostly Latin). Now, with the beta redesign, the front page of the site is sparse, with a single background color, and the increasingly-ubiquitous single search field (a la Pandora and Google) right in the middle (beneath a logo and positioning statement). Visitors are invited to "Write an artist, song or genre to create a station...". A link at the bottom leads to a page of dozens of "pre-mixed" genre stations.

Once a genre or artist station is launched (overlayed on to some beautiful photography, and copious ads for the Batanga mobile apps), the listener can both add songs or artists to the stream, or "narrow the list" by genre, country, gender, "tipo de artista" (duet, duo, group, solo), language, decade, and lyrical content advisory.

Check out the new Batanga.com here.

Michael Schmitt
August 8, 2012 - 1:30pm

Google ListenGoogle Listen -- a podcast directory and playback app for Android devices available since late 2009 -- has been axed.

The news comes just weeks after Apple launched its own stand-alone podcast app for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches (RAIN coverage here and here).

"With Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen," explained Google. "People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function."

"I know lots of people are fans of Stitcher and similar apps, and I use them, as well," comments GeekWire, "but I’ve yet to find another app as good as Google Listen at finding relevant episodes based on searches for specific topics across a large database of shows."

"Farewell, Google Listen," GeekWire's headline reads (here). "You deserved better than this."

Michael Schmitt
August 8, 2012 - 1:30pm

Chrysler UconnectChrysler has announced its in-car connectivity service Uconnect will use Sprint's network. That means the car can connect to the web and perform certain functions without the aid of a smartphone -- including offering a Wi-Fi hotspot to other devices (streaming web radio is not specifically mentioned in the companies' press release).

That said, Chrsyler points out its in-car system will play nice with users' smartphones and offer voice controls (to help the driver pay attention to, you know, driving).

Sprint-powered Uconnect will initially be available in the 2013 RAM 1500, SRT Viper and Dodge Dart R/T models. Engadget has more coverage here.

Michael Schmitt
August 8, 2012 - 1:30pm

Kindle FireOn-demand music service Spotify has launched an app for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. It includes the service's free customizable streaming radio service (RAIN coverage here), as well as 320kbs listening. Engadget has more coverage here.

Spotify has also issued an update for its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps with support for iOS 6. That's Apple's upcoming new operating system for iOS devices. The update also includes bugfixes and lets iPad users "see more stations," reports CNet (here).