ARCHIVE: Cell Phone Radio

March 29, 2006

iRadio Announcements, Including New Talk Radio Channels

DigitalMusicNews got a little scoop from Dave Ulmer on Tuesday at the Digital Hollywood conference in Santa Monica, CA.  (Motorola hosted the Digital Music Consortium, btw)  Apparently, Dave previewed iRadio while there, and made reference to a number of announcements to be made at CTIA: Wireless 2006 in Las Vegas next week, including several new talk radio programming channels.

Oprah, Stern, and Opie & Anthony are all spoken for...who will iRadio announce?  Potentially somebody big, since Motorola is looking to create as much buzz as possible before launching iRadio...

March 28, 2006

CoolPrepaid and Motorola Part Ways

According to PC Magazine, Motorola recently terminated its relationship with CoolPrepaid (formerly cool.Prepaid).  It's quite a swift turn of events; CoolPrepaid had just recently announced their intention to release Motorola iRadio-enabled phones, such as the SLVR and RAZR, last week.  However, both CoolPrepaid and Motorola delivered conflicting messages regarding the launch; this latest update may partially explain why.

CoolPrepaid will be focusing their business on offering prepaid cards for unlocked GSM phones, which will be a bit of a challenge; more details here.

March 27, 2006

MVNO Cool Mobile To Offer iRadio Via Prepaid Handsets

Motorola iRadio will officially get some distribution with its first MVNO, Cool Mobile (I'm not sure if this is the same MVNO that signed with iRadio earlier).  Sort-of-officially, anyway.  It's always a little difficult to tell when quotes like these appear in the same article:

"[Cool Mobile is] collaborating with Motorola to offer the handset developer's iRadio service—something that would be exclusive to Cool in the prepaid market..."

"A Motorola official said the company does not have an official iRadio contract with Cool."


In any case...Cool Mobile plans to expand its Cool.Prepaid handset lineup to include six Motorola devices, and will incorporate iRadio...though no timeframe is offered (of course).  iRadio users will stream up to six channels of music to their wireless handsets, and Cool users will be able to purchase full-length tracks for $1.  Cool Mobile operates on Cingular's GSM network.

It's good to see that iRadio is finally beginning to spread its wings a bit...

UPDATE: Motorola just terminated its relationship with CoolPrepaid (formerly cool.Prepaid), perhaps explaining the conflicting quotes above.  So there you have it.

February 09, 2006

MusicGenome To Stream Personalized Music to Mobiles

MusicGenome launched Smart DJ, a service that streams mp3 music to 3G phones based on analysis of listeners' music tastes.  Challenging bandwidth issues, but cool interactive option; interesting stuff.

(via MocoNews)

January 26, 2006

Apple to Launch Mobile Me: a mePod?

iRadio, and every phone and/or portable music device maker will need to keep an eye on this little ditty.  Apple recently filed a trademark around "Mobile Me" using language that suspiciously hints at a possible mobile music device.

"...Providing digital music from local or global communications networks, including the internet, intranets, extranets, television, mobile communication, cellular and satellite networks; operating chat rooms..."

"...Telecommunication services; electronic transmission and retrieval of data, images, audio, video and documents, including text, cards, letters, messages, mail, animations, and electronic mail, over local or global communications networks, including the internet, intranets, extranets, television, mobile communication, cellular and satellite networks..."

3 words:  Beware of the mePOD!

You can't blame Apple for wanting to enter the mobile market.  As Russell at MobHappy points out, Apple has sold a total of 42 million iPods, meanwhile, 2 billion mobiles currently penetrate the global market.  Hey, that's why Motorola's getting in the game with iRadio.

If Apple does pursue mobile music, it will be interesting to see how they approach the challenges of working with carriers, telecomm networks, and hardware manufacturers, all of which Motorola is already very familiar.  More interesting is the question -- what would a mePod look like?

January 04, 2006

Warner Music Group Signs With Motorola iRadio

I mentioned yesterday a new content partner would be announced this week.

According to Business Week today, that partner is Warner Music Group Corp.  Expect to see some of Warner's artists (which include a wide variety such as Fleetwood Mac, David Grey, Alanis Morrissette, The Darkness, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz, and many others) set up exclusive iRadio channels).

Sony BMG and EMI will follow soon, no doubt. 

January 02, 2006

Best Phones of 2005

Happy New Year, everyone!

In case you're interested, ABC takes a shot at listing the best phones of 2005.  It's more of a review of each cell phone makers best and brightest.  Onwards to 2006!

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.

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)

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.

April 06, 2005

Motorola vs. MSpot vs. Satellite Radio

Yet another MSpot article about streaming internet radio to cell phones. Motorola iRadio is mentioned again:

Companies like Motorola also want a piece of the mobile radio action, and recently announced plans for its iRadio service.

March 31, 2005

Boundaries to Radio on Cell Phones

Some thoughts on why Motorola's iRadio service might not gain much traction in the market...

With all the talk about cell phone companies making the move (most recently the Motorola iRadio mentioned here last month), you'd think it was a shoo-in. It's not.

Youth have interest because the act of getting music on cell phones shows a technical savvy that's impressive to friends - until you get down to how much it could cost. Rates haven't been announced because it's not clear how the money is going to be divided. What portion goes to the music? What portion goes to the cell phone carrier (Verizon, Cingular, etc.)? Currently nobody's talking.

More on cell phone radio

March 27, 2005

Motorola Unveils Music Models: iRadio and Hijacked Mobile Handsets

James Middleton of Telecom News wrote about Motorola's unveiling of two new mobile music handsets, the "Hijacked" series and the "iRadio" series:

"Teaming up with MTV, Motorola is offering HIJACKED mobile handsets, which allow the user to be an MTV karaoke star or graffiti artist, while iRadio, which will offer hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels as well as a personal music collection."

The Motorola E680i includes over two gigabytes optional memory and Bluetooth stereo headphones. The device will be available in the Asia-Pacific region in April.

The Motorola E725 EV-DO device allows you to sync your music collection with your PC or download over-the-air with an optional 2GB storage.

The Motorola E685 offers an MP3 player with stereo headset jack, VGA camera and 1xRTT data capability. The Motorola E685 will be available in 1H05.

MobileTechNews gives an excellent breakdown of Motorola's iRadio and Hijacked mobile music handsets.

March 01, 2005

Mobile Phone Music Downloading Unlikely To Succeed

Motorola iRadio may have an advantage over the bulk of mobile music phones being released to the market this year.

Berlecon Research Mobile Phone Music ReportBerlecon Research, as noted by Ringtonia, suggests the mobile phone music download model is unlikely to succeed as a profitable business model. Margins on music sales are simply too low. Instead, Berlecon advises that other approaches or features will be found to be more or equally valuable to consumers.

Motorola iRadio's portable, wireless internet radio subscription service is certainly a novel approach to music distribution.

MusicGremlin's portable, WiFi music subscription service with social networking functionality is another.

Berlecon's conclusion is similar to the one expressed by WirelessIQ regarding mobile phone music services mentioned in an older post, which suggested that device features would determine ultimate success, not speed to market.

February 25, 2005

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.

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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