iPod

Apple reportedly negotiating with labels to stream with fewer restrictions on interactivity and content

Friday, September 7, 2012 - 1:05pm

"In a move that could shake up the growing field of Internet radio," writes The New York Times, "Apple plans to develop a service that would compete with Pandora Media by sending streams of music customized to users’ tastes," news broke late yesterday.

The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Such services create virtual 'stations' that play music similar to a song or artist of the user's choosing, either on Web browsers or smartphone apps. Like traditional radio, they are typically free for users, but incorporate advertisements."

Interestingly, Apple is reportedly negotiating with major labels regarding the service. Webcasters wanting to operate a non-interactive service don't need label agreements to stream -- as long as they adhere to DMCA rules (and pay royalties at the established rates), there's a statutory license available to them.

The fact that Apple is looking to forge deals with the labels indicates (and some sources have confirmed) they want to operate on terms other than the statutory -- in regards to the rates they pay, or the level of user-interactivity (on-demand song play, offline play, downloading, etc.), or content presentation (the DMCA limits the amount of music by a single artist a webcaster can stream in a given time frame, for instance).

Sources say the Apple service would likely be free to the user, and ad-supported. The service would like come preinstalled as an app on devices like iPhones and iPads, and might be able to connect to users’ iTunes accounts to collect usage info and better understand their tastes (both huge competitive advantages for Apple over services like Pandora). The service, reportedly, will not work on the Google Android mobile platform.

"Going head-to-head with Pandora pits Apple against one of the only other companies to gain real consumer traction in online music," writes The Journal. "According to a recent consumer survey by Nielsen Co., more adults said they use Pandora to listen to music than Apple's iTunes."

Read more from The New York Times here and The Wall Street Journal here, and look for more on this in RAIN.

Behold the least-portable iPod accessory ever: the 700lb iNuke Boom

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 11:10am

Behringer, which has designed sound and lighting systems for musicians, broke into the consumer electronics market at CES by launching 50 new products.

It's the 51st that's rather hard to ignore, however. It's 4-feet tall, about as deep, and twice as wide. And it's an iPod dockSee the tiny little iPod on top there? 

The 10-thousand watt iNuke Boom weighs more than 700 pounds and costs $30-thousand

We haven't heard it, so we can't comment on its sound, but we do have the sense that this thing was designed to compensate for more than low bitrate MP3s. Just sayin'.

There's more (along with the press release) at Engadget here.

About.com accepting reader nominations for Best iPhone Radio App

Friday, February 3, 2012 - 11:00am

About.com has opened voting for its 2012 Readers' Choice Awards, including an award for the Best iPhone Radio App.

Through February 15, About.com is accepting nominations for hundreds of award categories. About.com judges will choose up to five finalists in each category based on the nominations they receive. Readers can then vote for their favorites. The site will announce award winners March 30.

Nominate your favorite iPhone radio app at About.com here.

From iTunes to iPad, RAIN highlights how Jobs impacted web radio

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 12:00pm

Steve JobsYesterday Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, passed away. It's difficult to overstate Jobs' impact on the world -- from PCs to film to digital music and beyond. Today RAIN looks back at just some of the ways Jobs impacted Internet radio.

1) iTunes (January 2001)
An "all-in-one digital music program," the now ubiquitous media program included (as it still does) an Internet radio section. It brought hundreds of streams under one roof and exposed them to a mainstream user base. 

2) AirPlay / AirTunes (first released June 2004)
"Listen to music from all over your house from your mobile device," said Steve Jobs when introducing AirPlay -- a wireless music system that lets users stream music from iTunes, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches to special receivers around the house. AirPlay supports audio from just about any Internet radio app and can stream to any stereo receiver hooked up with an AirPort Express (in addition to Apple TVs and special third-party receivers).

3) iPhone (January 2007) + App Store (July 2008)
"Before the iPhone," writes Billboard, "custom Internet radio, subscription music...among others, had yet to find their legs and their lack of mobility inhibited their ability to grow." But together, the widely-popular iPhone and App Store created a "platform that freed web-based music services from the chains of the computer and let them enter the real world...mobile usage of Pandora, Slacker, Rhapsody and Shazam skyrocketed, bringing users a renewed enthusiasm for music."

The mainstream popularity of the iPhone exposed new consumers to customizable Internet radio. "The iPhone placed web and traditional radio head-to-head, in a face off that continues today. Without it, Pandora and Slacker may not have become household names and many listeners would've never felt the pleasure of personalized music recommendations." (Billboard's full article is here).

4) Apple TV (March 2007)
Though of course geared towards video content, Internet radio was also included in Apple TV, exposing hundreds of streams to yet more consumers.

5) iTunes Genius (September 2008)
Since the debut of the iPod, anyone could create what amounted to their own personal radio station by simply clicking "Shuffle." With iTunes Genius, Steve Jobs made iPods and iTunes a smarter DJ. Genius creates Pandora-like playlists of music similar to a specified song. It also analyzes your library and creates personal genre mixes based on what music you own. Pandora on the iPad

6) iPod Nano, 5th gen (September 2009)
The fifth-generation iPod Nano include, among many new features, an FM radio tuner. The sixth generation generation Nano also includes an FM tuner.

7) iPad (January 2010)
Originally heralded as "the oversized iPhone," Apple's much-hyped tablet device provided yet another platform for Internet radio apps...but with a twist. That looming 9.7 inch screen called for more than just album art and metadata, prompting many webcasters to introduce new visual features to their mobile apps.

How else do you think Steve Jobs affected Internet radio? Did we overlook a service or product? Let us know by commenting on the story below.

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