ARCHIVE: February 2005

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February 25, 2005

MusicGremlin Completes Series B Funding

MusicGremlin Completes Series B FundingI wrote yesterday that the major players in the mobile music-player space will need to keep their eyes on Musicgremlin.

Lo and behold, investers seem to agree. MusicGremlin just announced completed Series B funding lead by Allen & Company LLC.

Regarding the technology:

MusicGremlin's technology solution combines device-based software technology with a custom-architected music store and content acquisition system that allows customers to discover, purchase, manage, control and legally share their digital music collections directly from their digital audio players -- wirelessly and without a personal computer.

MusicGremlin's Wi-Fi-enabled portable player design and device-to-device communication features will help to differentiate MusicGremlin. There are no plans to incorporate internet radio into devices, leaving Motorola iRadio some extra breathing room.

Racing for the First Music Phone

Sanyo MM-5600 Music-Player Cell PhoneMajor players are waging a war on the battle field that is cellular phone music player convergence. Music-playing phones were announced by cell phone manufacturers Sendo, Sprint and Sanyo, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia at the 3GSM World Congress.

Sprint and Sanyo's Sprint PCS Vision(SM) Multimedia Phone MM-5600 will already be available in mid-March. The remaining entrants form a line immediately after. Sendo's X2 Smartphone will launch in April. Sony Walkman, Motorola iRadio, and Nokia/Microsoft will all launch their products before the end of 2005.

WirelessIQ explains that greater importance will reside in the features of the devices, rather than in their launch date:

The race to be first in mobile phone music innovation may prove to be only an inconsequential and short sprint, say analysts. Once the first phones are released, the competition will center on features like music playback in multiple formats rather than brand loyalty or which came out first.

Personally, I cannot wait for wireless internet radio, hence my preference for Motorola iRadio.

Two market segments seem to be emerging, though a third feature set may become the biggest factor in tipping market penetration:

[IDC analyst Lewis Ward] added there will be two main aspects of the market: single track downloads and digital radio. The company likely to see the most adoption will be the one that capitalizes on the way that phones are becoming small social-network computers.

If that last statement proves true, many players will direct their radars towards Musicgremlin, one of the few service providers differentiating themselves with said social networking features in their Wi-Fi based solution.

February 24, 2005

iRadio, Walkman, Nokia...Music Going Mobile

Cell Phone Music Players in 2005Obivously, Motorola iRadio will not be the only music offering for mobile phones in 2005. FMQB wrote about some of the biggest players launching their own mobile music players.

Sony Ericsson digital Walkman phones will be launched in March with a significant amount of memory and access to Connect, Sony's digital download service.

Nokia will release mobiles that can load music from a wireless phone network, or directly through a PC (thanks to a recent deal with Microsoft). Nokia cut a deal with Loudeye Corp. for a music download service.

Neither Sony nor Nokia mention offering an internet radio subscription service to compete with Motorola iRadio, though it's possible considering all the buzz Motorola has received thus far.

February 23, 2005

Is it Motorola iRadio? No, it's Torian iRoamer

Torian Infusion Wireless Internet Radio PlayerTorian's iRoamer service, a portable Internet radio technology, will offer a service similar to Motorola iRadio. The Torian Infusion, a prototype device incorporating iRoamer Internet radio, includes features such as Internet radio, timer recording, mp3 player, FM receiver, news/sport/weather ticker-tape banner, and more.

According to Geekzone, Torian:

..aims to license iRoamer Technology to manufacturers of existing products such as home theare/stereo systems, portable radios, high-capacity mp3 players, stereo amplifiers, car radios, mobile phones, televisions and DVD players.

With Motorola iRadio generating so much buzz, I wouldn't be surprised several manufacturers jump at the chance to offer a competing product with iRoamer technology. It will be interesting to see if iRoamer will integrate its wireless LAN technology with mobile networks in cell phones to make the service available outside of WiFi hotspots.

Motorola iRadio clearly has a jumpstart in the wireless internet radio space, with manufacturing channels in place, and discussion in progress with major radio providers.

(Thanks to Tod at iloveradio for finding the article)


February 22, 2005

More Motorola iRadio on Motorola's ES80 Cell Phone

Motorola iRadio Available in Several Audio Devices.JPGMike Klein of the Wisconsin Technology Network provided additional details regarding Motorola's new iRadio service. The Motorola ES80, already available in Asia, will be able to use the service:

[It] features a Secure Digital card slot that can handle 2-gigabyte cards, a stereo headphone jack and a 1.2 megapixel camera. The phone will sell for approximately $250, depending on carrier service plans, said Mike Gaumond, Motorola vice president and general manager of media solutions.

Motorola is tapping into the automobile market, currently hounded by Sirius and XM already:

[Motorola] has developed a $69 after-market Bluetooth device for existing car stereos that it claims can be installed in less than 15 minutes. The phone can synchronize with a PC using a USB cable, then connect wirelessly to a home stereo with an adapter.

Motorola is currenlty in discussions with Yahoo, AOL, Radio Free Virgin to provide internet radio through iRadio, and is expected to charge between $5 and $7 per month.

February 21, 2005

Precursor to Motorola iRadio, Media MVP

Radio Paradise on iRadio?While the world waits for Motorola iRadio to bring Internet Radio outside the home, the Media MVP router allows users to connect computers to home theaters and televisions. Aaman Lamba at Blog Critics describes using it to listen to Radio Paradise, an excellent listener-supported internet radio station with deep tracks, huge playlists, and excellent iTunes and Amazon CD store integration.

Hopefully, Radio Paradise is included in Motorola's iRadio service.

February 20, 2005

Motorola iRadio Product Description From DEMO@15

Motorola iRadio at DEMO@15Below is the text from Motorola's iRadio demonstation site used for the DEMO@15 tradeshow:

Motorola, Inc.

PRODUCT NAME
iRadio

MARKET SEGMENT
Consumer hardware

FUNDING
Self-funded

COMPETITORS
Traditional broadcast radio. Nokia, Samsung, LG

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Motorola’s iRadio service provides hundreds of commercial-free music and talk radio channels, plus your home MP3 collection, where you want to listen to it: your existing car stereo. You can even access the same channels on your mobile phone, home stereo or PC. It’s the content you want, where and when you want it - at home, in your car and on the go.

MARKET OPPORTUNITY
According to IDC, over 80% of all music listening takes place on the radio and 89% of radio listening occurs in the car. New rich listening choices are available on the Internet, but tie consumers to their home PC. Three percent of consumers have looked to satellite radio, but 97% of consumers still seek a low cost, mobile alternative to traditional radio.

DEMO SAYS
“Watch out iPod; stand back Sirius Radio. Motorola has tapped pockets of expertise across the company to create an incredible new digital media experience. Motorola’s iRadio delivers your music, plus hundreds of channels of commercial free audio, to your mobile phone and your car radio. This unique approach blends the best of the downloadable MP3 and satellite radio models and demonstrates the role the mobile phone can play as a “remote control” for your media.”


February 19, 2005

Motorola iRadio Press Release

Motorola iRadio Press ReleaseBelow is the text from Motorola's iRadio Press Release:

Motorola Offers Sneak Peak of New iRadio™ Solution at Demo@15 Conference

Motorola iRadio will offer content providers a direct channel for delivering digital entertainment to consumers – anyplace, anytime.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ. – 13 February 2005 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) offered a select group of media and content industry insiders a sneak peak of the forthcoming Motorola iRadio™ Solution at the Demo @15 conference in Scottsdale, AZ.

The breakthrough Motorola iRadio solution will mobilize hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels and your personal music collection, letting you enjoy your favorite genres, artists, and tunes whether at home, in the car, or on the go. The service uses a high-speed Internet connection, Bluetooth® technology, and a mobile phone to offer listeners a continuous entertainment experience – you can start a song on your car radio at exactly the point where you stopped it on your living room stereo.

Below is the text from Motorola's iRadio Press Release:

Motorola Offers Sneak Peak of New iRadio™ Solution at Demo@15 Conference

Motorola iRadio will offer content providers a direct channel for delivering digital entertainment to consumers – anyplace, anytime.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ. – 13 February 2005 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) offered a select group of media and content industry insiders a sneak peak of the forthcoming Motorola iRadio™ Solution at the Demo @15 conference in Scottsdale, AZ.

The breakthrough Motorola iRadio solution will mobilize hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels and your personal music collection, letting you enjoy your favorite genres, artists, and tunes whether at home, in the car, or on the go. The service uses a high-speed Internet connection, Bluetooth® technology, and a mobile phone to offer listeners a continuous entertainment experience – you can start a song on your car radio at exactly the point where you stopped it on your living room stereo.

Planned for launch later this year, Motorola iRadio will provide Internet broadcasters with the ability to extend their services to the places where people listen to and enjoy music the most, such as in the car or while jogging. For music labels and producers, Motorola iRadio will offer a secure, direct way to reach consumers most interested in a specific recording artist or genre.

"I am really excited by how iRadio links the discovery of new music with the ability to purchase what you want when you want it," said Ted Cohen, senior vice president, digital development and distribution, EMI Music.

Motorola plans to provide more information about iRadio later this year when the service becomes available to consumers.

“Digital entertainment should be accessible wherever the consumer wants it. With Motorola iRadio, consumers can enjoy a seamless, personal music experience as they move throughout their day,” said Mike Gaumond, Motorola vice president and general manager, media solutions. “By working with industry leaders, we’re providing the consumer with convenience, choice, and flexibility while still maintaining the security and quality of the digital content.”

February 18, 2005

Motorola iRadio Announced at DEMO@15 Tradeshow

Motorola iRadio AnnouncementInternet broadcasters rejoice! Internet radio listeners shout out! Mp3 player aficienados be glad! Cell phone addicts, get your fix! iPod, Sirius, and XM, watch out.

The Motorola iRadio service combines the experiences of internet radio stations, mp3 players, Bluetooth technology, and cellular phones into one portable device that allows you to listen to music anywhere, any time. Users can enjoy uninterrupted music while driving, jogging, or relaxing at home.

On negative -- unfortunately, it will only be available later in the year.

Motorola presented its iRadio service at the annual DEMO@15 Tradeshow, where new and exciting consumer electronics are demoed to a select group of press and media.

As a huge fan of internet radio and mp3 portability, this one device seems to cure many of the pain points associated with portable music. Motorola iRadio allows users to listen to their own music, in tandem with ever-changing internet radio playlists.

Sign me up.

February 17, 2005

Motorola iRadio News Coming Soon!

Welcome to iRadioWaves!

Motorla iRadio will be the focus of this site, but internet radio, podcasting radio, and satellite radio will be included as well, unavoidably.

Soon, grasshopper, soon.

iRadio Waves tracks news, buzz, and gear related to Motorola iRadio and the world of mobile radio. (iRW is not affiliated with Motorola)

Have info, comments, or questions? Email me

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