ARCHIVE: December 2005

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December 30, 2005

iRadio Site Relaunched with Demo and Tutorial

It looks like Motorola is slowly arming itself for the iRadio launch in January.  The new iRadio site includes a couple Flash demos, a listing of the upcoming iRadio channels and generes, an explanation of the Get Heard Network, as well as a tutorial that explains how iRadio will work:

A little taste of how iRadio will work...

Pretty cool.  Click around and check out the funky visuals.

The iRadio Team may want to consider making both "Support" links lead to the same page -- having two options may confuse customers.  Also, the "What is iRadio?"/"On The Go" page seems to be blank?  That's easily fixed, though.  Otherwise, looking good.

(Thanks to Julio at Fusion Radio Chicago for the heads up)

December 23, 2005

Motorola iRadio Explains All on MySpace

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out iRadio's MySpace site, which gives more detail about the upcoming iRadio Get Heard Network not provided at the official site, such as:

iRadio channel minimum requirements: "...music / talk has to be at least 3 hours in length (to play in a continuous loop 24-7) and meet a level of quality (not in content, but in technical production)."
* a "hat tip" to the band Cancel for providing inspiration for the Get Heard Network
* a ripping apart of satellite, AM, and FM radio
* a "preferential treatment" offer to artists making iRadio one of their Top 8 MySpace Friends
* a mention that Europe will follow America as a target audience for iRadio

The excessive use of smiley's in the blog is balanced by the rockin, professionally-produced video footage of iRadio at the Music Player Live conference.  I.e. this site is a peak into Motorola iRadio's voice, vision, and message...be sure to keep an eye on it.

December 20, 2005

Engadget Interview With Rob Glazer: Music Subscriptions Etc

Engadget interviewed Rob Glazer, CEO of RealNetworks to discuss music subscription services, what's holding them back, and what it will take for them to succeed going forward. A nice overview of Real's strategy in the space, including the Rhapsody Web Services Initiative and Rhapsody.com releases.

Rob hammered away at the idea of "interoperability" being critical, and why Apple's strategy of end-to-end control isn't sustainable. While talking about music phones, Rob vented a bit, mentioning HP's and Motorola's experiences with Apple:

ROB: "Since we’re not a portable device company, we don’t have it out for Apple in any abstract sense because Apple has already said: “Hey, they want end-to-end control of everything. It’s not worth it for them to support compatibility with other people.” Go talk to the people at HP on how their partnership with Apple worked out. Go talk to people at Motorola, if you can, because they still work with them, and talk to their director about how their partnership with Apple worked out."

It will be interesting to see how future ROKR versions perform, versus iRadio-compatible phones. I imagine iRadio phones will be feature rich relative to their ROKR cousins. If iRadio takes off, will Motorola maintain its relationship with Apple?

December 16, 2005

Google Music and Mobile Devices

M-Trends made a nice observation regarding Google's potential dive into the mobile music space, with its recent moves in music search and mobile content. It will be interesting to see how these user experiences evolve, and how they will interact with existing mobile music subscription services. Music services (Napster, Rhapsody, iRadio, MSpot...whoever) may want to seriously consider offering streamed media content to Google for Google Music results. The lead generation potential is big.

Related Links:
Google's Music Search Announcement
Paid Content's Coverage of Google Music
Engadget's Wrap-Up of Mobile Search options

December 12, 2005

Label Signing Announcement Delayed

Well, it looks like Motorola will be holding off on announcing the latest label to sign on with the iRadio music service, apparently -- sorry for the false alarm. The idea is, wait for more news, launch simultaneously, create a bigger splash. Motorola seems to be focusing all its energy on the upcoming 2006 International CES conference in January...

December 07, 2005

Tao Launches Tao Wireless Media Player

The Tao Wireless Media Player launched into the WiFi-enabled portable music device space yesterday. Consumers can download music from any available wireless hotspot, schedule recordings of favorite programs, and use the Tao device as an FM transmitter and receiver. A 20GB drive and two headphone jacks are included.

The degrees of separation within this industry are minimal. Tao also sells the Tao XM2go, a portable XM satellite radio player. Further, Tao is part of Giant International, which is actually a spin-off of Motorola’s two-way radio division. Interesting.

(via MocoNews via InternetNews)

December 06, 2005

iRadio to Sign Up Warner, EMI, or Sony BMG

iRadio Waves picked up a little teaser from a source inside the iRadio team -- Motorola will be hooking up with another record label soon, probably by Monday.

Universal Music has already signed on to the iRadio Network, and is even supporting Universal artist-specific iRadio channels. It's not known which label will be next, though if I had to guess, I bet on Warner. Warner tends to lead the charge towards embracing new media channels early. If that proves to be true, we may very well see Moby, Michelle Branch, or Staind-specific iRadio channels in the near future.

I'll stay on the lookout for an update... Rock on witchabadself in the meantime.

December 01, 2005

Motorola iRadio Named Best Radio Service Over AOL, XM, and Yahoo

Motorola-iRadio-Named-Best-Radio-Service.jpgWow. A double-whammy for Motorola iRadio, coming in #1 at both the DEMXPO 2005 and GadgetFest 2005 today.

iRadio was named the Best Radio Service at the Digital Entertainment and Media Excellence Awards, beating nominees AOL Radio Network, Yahoo! Music’s LAUNCHcast Radio Service, and XM Satellite Radio. These are heavy hitters, with an interesting, distinguishing feature in common...they're actually available in stores! This is quite huge. It's late, so I'm going to leave it at that...for now.

Elsewhere, Motorola won the GadgetFest 2005 Best Cell Phone award. MOTO seems to be playing a lot of its cards right, now with a few more "accolades" under its belt to show off.

Congrats to the iRadio team!

UPDATE: Here's Motorola's press release about the award.

Motorola Wins GadgetFest Cell Phone Category

Congrats to Motorola for winning first place in the GadgetFest 2005 'ultimate cell phone gadget' category!

CommNexus should be posting official notice of the results soon...I'll provide an update to this post with full info once it's available.

UPDATE: To clarify, Motorola won the cell phone category, but Motorola iRadio did not win the multimedia category.

Clear Channel Joins the Mobile Radio Race

Clear Channel announced plans to offer mobile radio services as early as 2006. The service would deliver information such as weather and traffic updates, initially -- no mention of music yet, though that's sure to follow.

It will be interesting to see if Clear Channel mobile will charge for the service or not -- 'big' radio is currently waging a huge advertising war against satellite radio with the slogan, "You shouldn't have to pay for radio."

iRadio, Sirius, XM...Clear Channel has got a looong road ahead!

(via MocoNews)

Mobile Music Technology Roadmap Seminar Wrap-Up

Enterprise Ireland and the Digital Hub sponsored the seminar, "Mobile Lifestyle - The Mobile Music Generation" back in October. The general theme: "Network infrastructure, marketing strategies, payment options and even the user interface on mobile phones must be carefully considered if there is to be mass market uptake of Mobile Music and other data services." Walled gardens, new digital music file formats, alliance and network challenges, etc etc were all discussed.

The mobile music seminar wrap-up is a nice review of the major issues mobile music players face in the industry, currently.

(via MocoNews)

Motorola iRadio Channels To Feature Universal Music Country Artists

I mentioned Motorola's upcoming launch of artist-specific iRadio stations earlier, and yesterday Motorola made the formal announcement.

Universal Music country artists including Womack, Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Terry Clark, George Strait, Gary Allan, Reba McEntire, and others will launch channels on the Motorola iRadio service.

Dave Ulmer, Sr. Director of Marketing for Digital Media Solutions, said, "Artist-specific channels are an example of the tremendous benefit of the iRadio service to both audiences, and offer a glimpse of what types are innovations are still to come."

I'm not a big country fan, so I'll see what other artists participate before getting too excited. Actually, I don't think I'd want to listen to a single artist for an extended period of time, in most cases. But this announcement is more about touting iRadio's advantages and generating buzz than about creating the ultimate channel. Channel volume is one advantage iRadio will have over satellite radio.

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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