TuneIn Live alerts users when their favorite content is airing

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 11:45am

Online radio aggregator/tuner TuneIn has rolled out a new upgrade to show what's currently on across a listener's favorite genres.

The feature is called TuneIn Live, and works on TuneIn's web site and iPad app (it's reportedly still being tested for Android tablets).

TuneIn Live rotates tile images to show "relevant music, sports, and news happening live, based on individuals’ listening habits and interests," as described by the company. When new relevant content airs, the tiles shift to alert the listener and provide an immediate means to access.

Earlier this month (our coverage here) TuneIn redesigned its web interface. The site now features "trending" (most popular content) list, and a new integration with Google+.

Stitcher adds Topic Search to iOS app, rehauls Android app

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 12:15pm

With a new update to its iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app, Stitcher has launched its new "Topic Search" feature, which allows users to discover and search "trending topics" across more than 15-thousand talk radio shows and podcasts.

The Stitcher app delivers personalized news, sports, talk, and non-music entertainment audio on-demand, directly to mobile devices.

"Listeners will now be able to easily discover topic based audio at their fingertips, across a vast range of sources and episodes," said Noah Shanok, CEO of Stitcher. "We see this as part of our mission to further the evolution of radio by making it more relevant and accessible than ever."

Stitcher has also given its Android app a complete redesign, with better Google integration and content discovery.

Read more on the app updates in Stitcher's press release here and in PCMag.com here.

The perfect thing?

After dinner last night (at Bandera on N. Michigan Ave., by the way, which is a sister brand of Houston's, at which I've probably eaten 200+ times in my lifetime and had a near-perfect meal every time, which is the subject of another column entirely), I had the opportunity to stop by an Apple Store and take a look at the new iPad mini.

My two-word review: It's amazing.

To expand on that review slightly: It's like holding in your hand the most perfect electronic device ever. It's almost unbelievably compact and lightweight, yet because the screen takes up a bigger percentage of the surface area than ever before, it seems fully functional as a full-sized tablet. (And, of course, thanks to the Internet, the content available on it is almost all of the world's information and entertainment, but that's true on other devices too.)

Not to belabor a point, but it is just astonishingly thin and lightweight and gorgeous.

As a person who grew up watching the high-tech "futuristic" devices used on "Star Trek: The Original Series" and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," I'm amazed that such a futuristic device has come to exist in my lifetime -- and at a price that is, on an inflation-adjusted basis, about the same price as a mere reel-to-reel tape deck or cotton-candy machine.

Now, of course, I'm pretty sure that in 2017 we'll look back at the iPad mini 1.0 and laugh at its clunkiness ("What, no holographic display? Lame!"), but at this point in history, it's really something.

If you get a chance, go take a look at one yourself and see if you agree.

New iTunes fails to launch, but Hypebot says iPad Mini an awesome music device

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 2:10pm

Music fans were expecting an iTunes update as part of Apple's iPad Mini launch yesterday. That didn't happen, but Hypebot says there's still lots about the Mini that make it "an awesome music device."

Obviously, the Mini is thinner and lighter than other iPads, and most other competing tablets, and fits nicely in a purse or breast pocket. What's more, the LTE "ultrafast wireless" lets you stream music at top quality. And, existing iOS apps won't need to be modified to fit the smaller screen, since the Mini has the same 1014x786 resolution.

Read more from Hypebot on why music listeners should love the iPad Mini here.

Jacobs: Give ad buyers tablets loaded with radio's best apps

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 1:20pm

If the ad-buying community could only witness radio's achievements when it comes to mobile, certainly they'd embrace the medium much more enthusiastically. If they could only see, and interact with, the great apps for smartphones and tablets, perhaps they'd see and hear the magic that makes the vast majority of Americans tune in to radio on a daily (or at least weekly) basis.

Well, of course they can access all of this, as can anyone with a smartphone or tablet. Yet only 42% of ad professionals listened to radio during a recent one-day study, while 80% of consumers did so. And Fred Jacobs thinks this disparity could be at the root of radio getting short-changed on ad campaign buys. And, he suggests being proactive in making these ad guys aware of what radio's doing on mobile platforms.

"If the (radio) industry sits back and assumes they (ad buyers) will figure it out on their own, shame on us," writes Jacobs.

In his blog, he suggests the NAB give every key ad industry professional a tablet pre-loaded "with the very best mobile apps from some of America’s best and most diverse stations, shows, and personalities." Jacobs suggests twenty such radio apps (including Pandora, iHeartRadio, and broadcaster apps produced by Jacobs Media division jacAPPS) that show "radio belongs on the hottest devices of our time, and that the industry is leaning forward when it comes to embracing mobile."

Read Jacobs' blog here.

UK RadioPlayer releases mobile app for Apple devices

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 11:25am

RadioPlayer, the online radio platform that aggregates more than 300 UK commercial and BBC stations, has launched its app for the Apple iPhone and iPad.

"Our aim was to create a simple app that showcases the amazing variety of UK radio," said Michael Hill, Managing Director of RadioPlayer. "The fact we’ve built one that’s also beautiful, innovative, and a joy to use, is testament to the power of partnerships." Hill spoke at both our recent RAIN Summit Dallas (here) and at Friday's RAIN Summit Europe in Berlin.

RadioPlayer, which launched in March of last year, reportedly attracts seven million unique listeners a month. The group says an app for Android phones is in the works.

Read more in TheNextWeb here.

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