New York Times

New Google project may be "a Sonos competitor," says Engadget

Friday, February 10, 2012 - 11:25am

Google is developing a home entertainment systemGoogle is developing a home entertainment system with a focus on wireless music streaming, according to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other publications.

The system would reportedly be based around Google-made devices (unlike Android and Google TV devices, which are made by third-party manufacturers). It would include a hub device with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in, wireless speakers, and would be controlled by smartphones and tablets. Google will apparently test the system over the summer.

"Like Apple AirPlay does for iOS, it would stream music from Android devices to home entertainment systems, which are usually the nicest speakers in the house," comments Eliot Van Buskirk at Evolver.fm.

There's no word yet on whether the system will involve radio in some way. One would expect Google's own cloud music service -- which includes a Pandora-like Instant Mix feature (RAIN coverage here) -- will be included.

"Google’s larger goal, a person closely tied to the project said, was to connect everything in the home to the Internet, including light bulbs, speakers and TV sets," writes the New York Times.

Engadget comments that the project sounds "a whole lot like a Sonos competitor."

For more on the story, check out the New York Times' coverage here, Evolver.fm's article here, or Engadget's report here.

 

New York Times spotlights podcasting comedians pioneering into new, sometimes dark territory

Friday, February 3, 2012 - 11:00am

"The paradox of the podcast explosion among comics is that it’s at once a minirenaissance for comedy and a retreat by comics further into themselves — a sort of talking cure for a group of people who suffer from something not yet covered, I don’t believe, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: a need, when not formally doing comedy, to talk about how and why one does comedy."

Paul Brownfield, writing in today's New York Times, is talking about a trend he's noticed lately: podcasts by comics that aren't meant to be funny.

Rather, these downloadable and on-demand audio shows, such as Paul Gilmartin's "The Mental Illness Happy Hour, "play(s) to the trope that all comedians are in actuality broken people who are willing to expose their brokenness for our light amusement." Gilmartin and his guests set aside the jokes to talk about mental illness, addiction, and depression.

Read more today in the New York Times here.

NYT: "Vast archive" from Alan Lomax arriving online in February

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 8:00am

Photographs by Alan LomaxA massive collection of traditional and folk music will soon be available for free online. The New York Times reports that the "vast archive" of folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax will be available online for free streaming by the end of February.

His total collection includes 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes and 5,000 photographs -- all gathered during decades of fieldwork. The streaming collection soon available will include 17,000 tracks. Later some of that music may be available for sale on CD or as a digital download.

Lomax began collecting folk and traditional music in the South during the mid-1930s. He was the first to record Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie and did much to raise awareness of traditional music. Lomax dreamed of a "global jukebox" that would someday house his collection.

The New York Times has much more on Lomax here.

USA Today reports web radio apps landing in consumers' living rooms inside "smart" TVs, video game systems and Blu-ray players

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 11:05am

A "smart" TV with plenty of web apps built right inConsumers are increasingly purchasing gadgets that enable them to experience web services -- from Netflix to Pandora -- on their TVs, reports USA Today. "Driving it is the consumer [appetite] for a wide variety of content on demand and the availability of devices that allow them to get that content on their big-screen TV," said an analyst at market research firm In-Stat.

Plus, "this holiday season could be the perfect time to bring these new services to your living room," writes USA Today. "There are bargains to be had."

The publication proceeds to run-through the various ways you could bring Internet services into your living room, from set-top boxes (like offerings from Roku, Apple and Boxee) to Blu-ray players to video game consoles to TVs with web apps built right in.

Though USA Today mostly focuses on the video app side of things, Internet radio and on-demand music streaming services are available on nearly all of the devices the article recommends.

Pandora on Google TVIf the research in USA Today's article is any indication, web-connected TVs are becoming more and more mainstream. We've seen indications of the desire for web radio on TVs in the past, from Comcast testing a native Pandora app for Xfinity cable customers (here) to Roku adding a dedicated Pandora button to their remote controls (here).

In fact, Roku said then that Pandora was one of the top five most popular apps on its devices.

And even if consumers don't necessarily buy a "smart" TV or Boxee Box for Internet radio services, they will be exposed to apps from Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Last.fm, iHeartRadio and others. As we've written about before (here), that could very beneficial to webcasters.

Finally, it's not just on the TV that web radio and streaming music is making in-roads with mainstream consumers. The New York Times reports today on a wide range of stereo devices ready to stream music from Internet radio and other web services.

You can find USA Today's article here and the New York Times' article here.

New York Times test drives MOG's BMW integration

Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 11:00am

MOG's BMW interface"If you know how to tune in a radio station in a BMW," writes the New York Times' Gadgetwise blog, "you can use MOG." Though the music service offers on-demand capabitlies, reviewer Sam Grobart found himself tuning in to MOG's radio streams and playlists more often while driving. 

"MOG’s interactivity with BMW and Mini dashboards is an elegant, simple way to get more music you want to hear in the car. I had a blast hearing songs I hadn’t thought about in years."

You can find the full review here.

NYT highlights in-car Internet radio gadgets

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 11:00am

Livio's Car KitIf you want to listen to Internet radio while driving but there isn't exactly room in your budget for a new car, The New York Times has some suggestions.

The first is the Livio Radio Car Kit (pictured), which streams web radio from your mobile device (via Bluetooth) to your car stereo (through an empty FM frequency). You can read more about Livio's Car Kit in RAIN here.

The New York Times also highlights Pioneer's AppRadio. The device features a 6.1-inch touchscreen, which drivers can use to control Pandora and Rdio playback. Engadget recently review the AppRadio (here).

You can find the full New York Times article here.

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