Ford adds MOG to in-car Sync system; Mazda to integrate Pandora

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 11:40am

MOG and Ford SyncYet another streaming music service has arrived on Ford dashboards. The on-demand service MOG is now supported through the automaker's Sync system.

Listeners can control MOG playback via voice commands, just like they can already do with Pandora, TuneIn, Slacker, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and other music services. Commands include "Artist only," or "similar artists," or even "shuffle favorites." Users can even create presets like they would for AM/FM stations.

A connected smartphone is required to listen to streaming music services in Ford vehicles. Engadget has more coverage here.

Meanwhile, Mazda will add Pandora to its models later this year. Users will be able to control Pandora playback -- including thumbs-ups and -downs -- via their Mazda dashboard. Pandora-friendly Mazdas are expecting to arrive this fall

Pandora says it now has partnerships with 19 automotive brands. You can find its press release here.

TuneIn joins Livio's in-car Connect API

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 11:20am

Livio ConnectWeb radio aggregator TuneIn and Livio Radio have announced a new partnership that brings TuneIn into Livio's in-car Connect API.

"Livio Connect brings safe smartphone app interaction while driving, starting with Internet radio, mapping apps controls to the built in buttons on your car stereo," Livio explains. It's a "middleware framework protocol that enables hardware devices and mobile apps, now including TuneIn, to connect to and interact with one another."

Livio launched its COnnect API last year. In April is released a website for developers and hardware manufacturers (RAIN coverage here).

Pandora listening and audience grows in May, but radio share down slightly

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 11:20am

PandoraPandora has released audience metrics for May 2012, which show big gains in listener hours and active listeners. Listener hours reached 1.1 billion in May, up 87% year-over-year and 3.8% from April. Active listeners reached 53.3 million, up 52% year-over-year and 2.7% from April. 

Pandora's share of total U.S. radio listening in May was 5.80%, up from 3.08% in May 2011. But that's down from 5.95% in April.

You can find Pandora's press release here.

Ford: Web radio-friendly Sync now in 4 million vehicles

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 11:10am

Ford SyncFord announced at this week's Future in Review tech conference that its Sync system is now in 4 million cars in the U.S. No word on usage, though, or how that compares to to the total number of new cars Ford has sold lately.

Sync supports web radio playback from services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Slacker and Stitcher via a connected smartphone. It was introduced in 2007. You can find more RAIN coverage of Ford's Sync system here, here and here. Engadget has more coverage of today's news here.

Ford's chief interior designer hoping to soon remove in-car CD players

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 12:20pm

Ford dashboardFord's chief interior designer is "looking forward to the day when automotive designers get rid of CD players."

"That’s oceanfront property when you are talking about the center stack," Michael Arbaugh told the Detroit Free Press. "I think anybody under 30 is probably using all MP3 devices. They don’t buy CDs."

Throwing out the CD player would help with fuel efficiency, said Arbaugh, and "free up critical space... where technology is offering other choices." Among those choices are smartphone-friendly systems that more easily allow in-car web radio playback.

"Shedding the CD player is part of a larger trend in automotive infotainment," wrote Automotive News earlier this year (RAIN coverage here). "Content and computing power are migrating to smartphones."

You can find more from the Detroit Free Press here.

Found on the Internets: "The car stereo I want today"

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

The following image is making the usual rounds across the web. RAIN found on the front page of Reddit, a "social news" website in which users vote items "up" or "down" to determine placement and importance. We'll let it speak for itself:

Car stereo commentary


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