ARCHIVE: June 2005

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June 17, 2005

iRadio Beta To Launch in DC and LA

Motorola is launching a beta test for its iRadio service in DC and LA, two areas infamous for high traffic and frustrated motorists.

iRadio is a digital music service that uses cell phones to link consumers' home PCs with their car stereos. Users will be able to download streamed audio, such as music and podcasts, from home computers to phones via USB cables, then play the audio through their car stereo systems with Bluetooth connections. MP3, AAC and WMA files are all supported by the iRadio service.

David Ulmer, Motorola's director of product marketing for Connected Home Solutions, explains, "The (traditional car sound system) works just fine; car stereos are great. What's broken is what's coming out of it; it's the user experience. It's lowest-common-denominator programming."

Motorola plans to focus on the hardware, and the user experience of iRadio. "We are not going to program content; we are not purchasing content," he said. "We are partnering with those people who do that and do it very well. There is just a wealth of companies out there who do that for a living."

Ulmer insisted the off-network transfer of music files is one reason operators are open to iRadio's service. "The carriers are not really concerned that everything must go over the carrier network. We've done this in a way that will not burden or overtax the network or bring it down to its knees."

Consumers will be able to pause, fast forward and rewind the content through their in-dash decks, which will need Bluetooth adapters. And the playback will automatically pause when a call comes into the phone.

Motorola iRadio is expected to cost $5 to $7 a month, roughly half the cost of a satellite radio subscription, and iRadio phones will cost about $200. The in-dash Bluetooth adapter adds another $65 or so to the bill. At launch, only Motorola phones will carry the service; other phone brands will soon follow.

Ulmer concludes, "The key is to focus on the car experience. That's where we saw the strongest consumer demand. We're right back where we started."

More by Colin Gibbs at RCR Wireless News.

June 08, 2005

MusicGremlin Partners With MusicNet

MusicGremlin recently partnered with MusicNet, an interesting development in the portable consumer electronics, music subscription market.

MusicNet will support and provide several technological and programming components for MusicGremlin’s music store, including access to its library of more than 1.5 million tracks from all of the major record labels and more than 25,000 independent labels.

MusicGremlin focuses on portable consumer devices. With MusicGremlin, customers can discover, manage and purchase digital music directly from their players, wirelessly and without a personal computer.

The race is on...

Read full press release.

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

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