Chromecast

Songza ‘Casts onto TV

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 3:10pm

Songza updated its iOS and Android apps today, adding Chromecast capability. Google Chromecast is a thumb-sized WiFi device that plugs into a digital television’s HDMI port. when activated, Chromecast streams content from partner providers, or from anything playing on Google’s chrome browser.

The little Chromecast device has made big noise as a cheap ($35) WiFi enabler for TV sets, competing directly with Roku and Apple TV.

Songza joins Pandora among Chromecast-enabled music services, as well as Netflix and Hulu among video sites. Distributing music service to the TV might not seem intuitive, but it covers situations in which a TV room does not have any other audio system in it.

Also in Songza’s press release is an announcement of new Christmas playlists -- 75 of them, from “Classic Christmas” to “Mad Men Christmas” (the latter for when drinking many glasses of eggnog, we presume).

Pandora becomes Chromecast-enabled

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 12:30pm

Distribution. For most music services, the important distribution channels outside the computer are mobile and cars.

Developing for mobile means creating apps for the two major device platforms: iOS and Android. In some cases format-specific app designs are made for phones and tablets.

Extending into cars can mean enabling mobile app transfer to a digital dashboard, or forging automaker-specific business deals for placing the music service natively in the car’s audio entertainment system.

Distributing into the television might be lower priority for music services, but when a distribution link makes it easy, there’s no reason not to do it. Google makes it easy to bundle into Chromecast, and Pandora has done it. The Internet radio service joins video platforms Netflix and Hulu as Chromecast options.

Chromecast is a thumb-sized HDMI device that plugs into the TV. It looks like a flash drive, and costs 35 dollars -- one of the most startling bargains in technology, considering its mighty power. Chromecast enables streaming of any Internet content being viewed on any device using the Chrome browser. Chromecast partners (like Pandora, as of now) get a Chromecast icon in their apps, giving the user one-click transfer to the television away from the device’s browser.

Listening to music on the TV might not have mainstream uptake, but in living rooms equipped with home theater sound systems, it could catch on. Pandora is taking the lead here, as it has with in-car distribution.

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