ARCHIVE: Motorola iRadio

August 14, 2006

MocoNews Interviews Dave Ulmer about Motorola iRadio

Hot diggity!  iRadio has in fact NOT fallen off of Motorola's product launch schedule.  Peggy Salz over at MocoNews interviewed Dave Ulmer about iRadio mobile content in general, and Motorola's plans for the space.

Some interesting takeaways:

Launch Date:  None given!  (Sigh.)  Dave only said that iRadio will be launched city-by-city.  It's currently being tested in DC, LA, Chicago and Phoenix.  (Note: That's only one more city than was being tested roughly a year ago.)

Carriers:  A major carrier is testing iRadio, and another is in the queue.  (Perhaps Cingular?)

Recommendation Engine:  Motorola's plan is to use an Amazon-like recommendation engine (suggestions based on what other listeners like) as opposed to a machine-engine (i.e. Pandora).  Dave spoke a TON about the long tail of talk radio, making comparisons with the user-generated contetn communities such as YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook.

Announcements:  Motorola will be announcing relationships with several "3-letter" networks over the next 90 days.

So, iRadio Waves has awoken from a deep slumber...  Check out an expanded summary of the interview, or listen to the entire 25-minute clip at MocoNews here.

April 19, 2006

More Brand Confusion: Vibes iRadio

When I wrote up the iRadio Brand Glossary to clear up the various products and services using "iRadio" in their name, I missed yet another iRadio brother, Vibes Media iRadio.  This one's a B2B service used by radio stations to facilitate mobile instant messaging between radio DJs and their listeners.  It's not exactly ocket science, but the company does have relationships with a lot of big players including Clear Channel and CBS Radio.

The "iRadio Brand Confusion Factor" (I just made that up!) for Vibes Media iRadio, on a scale of 1 to 10, is 4.  The fact that it deals with mobile phones, and is related to a music listening experience, are the primary sources of confusion.  Otherwise, Motorola's big phat "M" should help keep customers straight.

April 07, 2006

Motorola Cleans House at CTIA Wireless Emerging Technology Awards and Technology Marketing Awards

Well, CTIA Wireless 2006 is now over, and Motorola CEO Ed Zander will be returning home with a stack of coasters bling award plaques from the Emerging Technology Awards and Technology Marketing Awards ceremony.

Check out Motorola's winnings:

Category: Hardware - Mobile Phone/Camera Phone
1st place for Motorola SLVR L7

Category: Best Overall Campaign
1st place for Motorola RAZR & PEBL

Category: Broadcast Media - Television
1st place for Motorola PEBL

Category: Direct Mail & Collateral
1st place for Motorola SLVR

Category: Print Advertising - Color
2nd place for Motorola RAZR

Category: Print Advertising - Color
2nd place for Motorola RAZR
3rd place for Motorola PEBL

Category: Hardware - Wearable Wireless Device
3rd place - for Motorola and Burton Audex(TM) Jacket

Category: Consumer Application - Mobile Entertainment Application
Honorable Mention - Motorola Inc. Connected Home Solutions for Motorola iRadio(R)

Add iRadio's honorable mention above to the DEMExpo "Best Radio Service" award, and you're got a nice set of bling for a service that hasn't even launched yet..!  But a nice showing by Moto in all of its recent ad campaigns -- kudos to the marketing team.

A side note worth mentioning, CTIA Wireless attendees voted the Samsung T509 camera phone "Best In Show"...as a direct competitor with the RAZR, and the slimmest US handset to date, it's worth checking out.

April 05, 2006

iRadio Partners With MediaBay and AccuWeather For Audio Books, Classic Radio, and Local Weather

Motorola made a couple huge announcements today at the CTIA Wireless conference.

First, Motorola partnered with MediaBay to offer Audio Book content (including audio books, educational and language courses, audio newspapers, self help programs, and audio travel guides) and Classic Radio programming (including popular radio shows from the past such as The Lone Ranger and The Shadow) to iRadio subscribers.

Second, Motorola partnered with AccuWeather to provide local weather forecasts for over 100 US cities to iRadio listeners.

I am not 100% certain if these additional programs will be included as part of the basic subscription including 435+ commercial-free channels...it seems like they are.  I'll post an update once I confirm.  (UDPATE: they are -- see below)

Deals such as these illustrate the advantage time-shifted radio has over satellite radio; Sirius and XM are both limited to under a couple hunder content channels, while iRadio can expand indefinitely to include taste-targeted, media-targeted, and geo-targeted content.  Calculate:

435 channels of content + #,### channels of consumer-generated channels (made available through the iRadio Get Heard Network) + podcast compatibility = a whole lotta options

Quite frankly, it's a little overwhelming.  But quite cool.  Talk about attacking the "Long Tail" of demand...

UPDATE:  The 101 weather channels, 70+ audio book channels, and 20+ classic radio channels are indeed all part of the basic iRadio subscription.  That makes for roughly 620 channels of included radio programming...impressive!

April 03, 2006

iRadio @ CTIA Wireless, Mobile Entertainment Summit, Billboard Mecca

Motorola iRadio will be making several appearances at the CTIA Wireless conference this week in Las Vegas:

Michael Gaumond, Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media Services, will be speaking at the Mobile Entertainment Summit on Tuesday about "The Future of Mobile Entertainment."

Dave Ulmer, Senior Director, Marketing, Digital Media Services, will be participating in the "New Revenue From Mobile Music" panel on the same day, along with representatives from MSpot, Gracenote, Merrill Lynch, Crisp Wireless, and IDC.

There will be a Motorola iRadio Auto Display at the Billboard Mecca conference as well. (Perhaps like the iRadio Solstice, iRadio roadster, or just the iRadio Hummer?)

Be sure to check them out, and look out for some of the big iRadio announcements hinted at earlier (new talk radio channels...etc...?).

March 30, 2006

iRadio vs. iRadio - A Glossary and Guide

The industry is beginning to "get" Motorola iRadio...a music service where your cell phone delivers music channels via Bluetooth to headsets, home stereos, and car stereos, to create a seamless music listening experience.

However, a few other product offerings may lead to some brand confusion down the line for newbie consumers trying to dive in.  Here's a little glossary to help those in need:

Tunestir iRadio:  An iPod accessory offering FM Radio functionality, FM transmission capability (to transmit iPod music to any FM radio, etc), and in-line remote control for your iPod.

Companion iRadio:  A customizable, streaming Internet radio application included in the Companion suite of lifestyle products offered by Convergent living.

Noxon iRadio:  An internet and FM radio with wireless capability offered by Terratec.  (No plans to be offered in the US, however.)

3aLab iRadio:  Software that allows users to listen to, record, rip, and create individual track files from internet radio stations.  The RIAA must be really excited about this one.

There you have it...I hope that alleviates (exacerbates?) any brand confusion in the marketplace...

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.

March 23, 2006

iRadio Sr. Product Manager, LaSean Smith, Breaks It Down

iRadio Product Manager, LaSean SmithLaSean Smith, Sr. Product Manager, Motorola Digital Media (and x-recording engineer), has been spreading the iRadio gospel wherever mobile radio enthusiasts will listen.  Most recently, he appeared at the Digital Music Forum earlier this month on a panel titled "Redefining Radio: New Technologies Changing Radio As We Know It," which had reps from XM, Sirius, AOL, CBS, and comScore.  A pretty nice mix, further positioning iRadio as a mobile radio competitor.  (If anyone knows of audio from the conference posted online, please let me know.  The photo was borrowed from the Digital Music Forum's bio page.)

LaSean has also popped up in a number of other conferences/events, including:

In any case, I always enjoy hearing other Product Managers speak about their products -- it must be an insane period of time for the entire iRadio team.  We all look forward to hearing more from him soon.

March 04, 2006

iRadio Partners with BlueBeat, Media Rights Technologies

I'm a little late on this announcement:  Motorola recently signed on BlueBeat, a subsidiary of Media Rights Technologies, to provide programming for iRadio.  You can read the press release here, and an article about the relationship here.  The name was new to me, so I looked up some info...

Some background on internet radio site BlueBeat, according to the site:

We have created and now operate the world's best-sounding and most secure digital radio service at www.bluebeat.com. BlueBeat delivers over 500,000 tracks and more than 400 music channels in secure MP3 music streams reaching 320kbps, anywhere, anytime.

Some background on Media Rights Technologies:

Media Rights Technologies creates and licenses content management and enablement solutions, empowering the effective distribution of any digital content: entertainment, personal, commercial, or educational.

BlueBeat's home page mentions the iRadio relationship, stating, "...BlueBeat is the first music provider for Motorola's iRadio service!"  This is surprising, since the relationships with Clear Channel, Universal, and Warner were announced much earlier.  Either way, more content is always welcome.  I like BlueBeat's Time Machine page, containing a ton of free streamable playlists...though I have yet to try it.

Kelli Richards, President and CEO of All Access Group, seems to be the glue in this relationship.  She is both Senior Advisor to Media Rights Technologies, and Entertainment Alliances Manager for Motorola in the Connected Home Division.

Perhaps BlueBeat will be providing the additional 200 channels that were mentioned earlier?

March 03, 2006

iRadio To Work on the ROKR E1?

Don't ask me how, but I ran across this Cingular forum post about iRadio on ROKR E1:

When I browsed to the security settings, and showed the list of lockable applications, one of the options was iRadio. Now I know what this is, as I had it on my old phone. My question is that since they don't make a supportable adaptor for the ROKR E1, at least that I have heard of, if I use an adaptor not specifically designed for it will it work?
But even better, does anybody know where to get a headset specifically for the ROKR to get the iRadio to work?
Interesting.  When iRadio does launch, will ROKR E1 users be able to somehow enable iRadio, and/or disable iTunes?

Motorola iRadio News Catch-Up

I've been traveling over the last week on business, without much time to write about iRadio or Motorola, which is a shame since there have been several interesting little tidbits floating around.  Since I'm going to be away for another week (somewhere sunny and warm, this time), I'll play a little iRadio Motorola news-catchup...starting now.

 

 

February 21, 2006

The First iRadio Phones - A Mystery Extravaganza

With iRadio scheduled to launch by the end of Q1, and the ROKR E2 only launching in mid 2006, what will be the first iRadio phones?  I don’t have a definite answer, but have been able to collect a series of cryptic hints pieced together from insider tips.  (Hey, it’s better than nothing...)  Put on your Sherlock Holmes caps, and deduct away…

Mystery Phone #1:  It’s a bluetooth, clamshell phone, that’s razor-thin, and runs iTunes… (hm…perhaps the PEBL? ...just kidding... :)

Mystery Phone #2:  This phone was at CES 2006, in the iRadio booth on the opposite side of the wall that the RAZR and ROKR E2 phones were displayed on.  (I wasn’t there, but if you were and know the phone, drop me a line!)

Mystery Phone #3:  This phone closely resembles the phone nicknamed “ROKR E3,” seen herehere, and possibly here (?).  Apparently, this phone was present at CES, and will be iRadio enabled.

There you have it.  There may be more.  Any speculations?

January 27, 2006

Motorola to Increase iRadio Channels from 438 to 638

Motorola iRadio blew satellite radio out of the water when it announced iRadio would launch with 438 channels of programming, compared to XM’s and Sirius’s 100 or so channels a piece.

I learned from a source close to the iRadio team that there are already plans to add another 200 channels by the end of 2006.  And that’s not including the channels that will be created by independent labels, artists, and DJs within the iRadio Get Heard Network.  Talk about a long tail…

I picked up a few other interesting little scoops…like the fact that a Windows Mobile version of iRadio now exists (that’s huge)…more next week.  Enjoy the weekend!

Update:  Did I say 438?  I meant "435" and "635."  Oops.  What's an extra 3 stations anyway?

January 24, 2006

Clear Channel Hints at iRadio Hook-Up

John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel, said, 'Radio has undergone many changes in recent weeks, including the syncing of cell phones with Motorola's iRadio service that serves up content from Clear Channel.'

Funny.  This isn't the first time a content partnership between Clear Channel and Motorola iRadio was mentioned, though an official announcement has yet to be released.  Clear Channel's board must be swetting bullets over alternative radio options such as satellite radio and Motorola iRadio, thinking, "..if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em."

What kind of content will CC provide, and will commercials be included?  Commercials generate revenue, but will also divert iRadio listeners to other, commercial-free channels...

January 05, 2006

NBC Nightly News To Feature iRadio Solstice

iRadio-Solstice-pic2More iRadio buzz!

NBC Nightly News will be featuring the iRadio Solstice, an iRadio-branded (you guessed it) Solstice, tonight.

The Pontiac Solstice is one SWEET little accessory item.  I wonder if there are any plans in the works to make iRadio an option with the purchase of one.  Anyway, this is a nice example of brand association marketing, folks.  iRadio + cool car = cool iRadio.  I'm interested to see what NBC talks more about; the car, or the radio.  :)

iRadio-Solstice-pics

Ya gotta wonder how many of these iRadio-branded rides Motorola has cruising around the US. Dave Ulmer drove another iRadio roadster to the Music Live Conference not too long ago...

How many of these does he have in his driveway?

iRadio To Be Featured on CNBC Power Lunch

I just learned that Motorola iRadio will be featured on CNBC Power Lunch with Walter Mossberg at 1:40 EST today.  Be sure to check it out.

Today's Power Lunch guest list features a number of HEAVY hitters in consumer electronics -- it should be a great show:

Ivan Seidenberg
Verizon Communications
Chairman & CEO

Eli Harari
SanDisk
CEO

William Watkins
Seagate Technology
President & CEO

Michael Ahn
LG Electronics
U.S. Global CEO

Peter Weedfald
SAMSUNG Electronics America
Senior Vice President

Gary Shapiro
Consumer Electronics Association
President & CEO

Brian Alger
Pacific Growth Equities
Tech. Sector Specialist

Rob Glaser
RealNetworks
Chairman & CEO

CEO's as far as the eye can see...  Check it out if you can!

UPDATE:  The iRadio feature was bumped to Jan 6, 12:00 ET.

Warner Music Group Officially Signs With Motorola iRadio

After yesterdays' tip, it's now official.  Warner has joined Universal in signing up with iRadio.  As stated in the press release:

Through the iRadio service, including exclusive WMG artist and genre channels, iRadio listeners will enjoy and discover music from the company's expansive catalog of emerging acts, popular favorites and established legends.

Song BMG and EMI are sure to follow soon.  I'm curious to learn which Warner Music Group artists will be selected to produce exclusive artist channels...

January 03, 2006

Motorola Officially Launches iRadio

In case you missed my post yesterday, Motorola iRadio officially launched today.

WOO-HOO!  News, announcements, and pics from the CES show will be available soon.

In the meantime, here's the official MOTO iRadio Launch press release.

New Content Partner to Be Announced: Sony BMG, Warner, or EMI?

I just heard a little rumor from a source inside the iRadio team that a new content partner will be announced this week.  Since Universal already signed with Motorola iRadio, that would leave Sony BMG, Warner, and EMI.

Mind you, a similar rumor came my way once before, and Motorola decided to hold off.  However, this time it's more likely to happen, since CES 2006 is taking place this week...it's a prefect venue to make big announcements.

This would, of course, open the way for more exclusive artist channels, which would give Motorola even more ammunition with which to compete against Sirius and XM.

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 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.

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.

November 29, 2005

Motorola iRadio Competes at GadgetFest 2005

Motorola iRadio goes up against the competition...Motorola iRadio will compete tomorrow in the CommNexus GadgetFest 2005 against four other “Multi-Media” products presented by Sony (Location Free TV), TelEvolution, Entropic (Digital Home Module), and Sling Media. Three mobile analysts will judge the presentations to determine which gadget will be named the “ultimate survivor.” (I hear a potential reality show concept here...)

May the best mobile win.

(If you're attending, and take pics, please send them over!)

UPDATE: Motorola won the Cell Phone category! (But not in the multimedia category) More info on Motorola's vicotry here.

November 28, 2005

Motorola iRadio To Announce Exclusive Artist Channels

The new LeAnn Rimes iRadio Channel...Motorola iRadio will launch 8 iRadio Artist Channels featuring Universal Music Group artists, including LeAnn Rimes and Trish Yearwood, according to an inside source. The announcement will take place at this week's DEMX 2005 conference.

In doing so, Motorola iRadio will enter the name game war waged between Sirius and XM satellite radio. XM has armed itself with Opie and Anthony, and Sirius with Howard Stern, plus a bunch of other personalities. It's sort of a symbolic throwing-down-of-the-gauntlet in the radio arena for Motorola iRadio.

A quick thought, Motorola may also want to consider bringing aboard 5-10 top podcasters whose casts are currently available in iTunes. It could be a great way to both educate the podcast-consuming public of iRadio's existence, as well as generate a lot of buzz (among podcasters most of all - bloggers and podcasters love any news that validates their mediums... :) ). Easy press, baby.

I'll post more information about the announcement as soon as I have it, as well the results of the DEMX awards.

Stay tuned...

November 21, 2005

Motorola iRadio VH1 Video Clips

I mentioned the Motorola iRadio VH1 demo earlier. If you missed the interview with Dave Ulmer, you can check out a video clip here.

(via MySpace/iRadio)

November 16, 2005

Motorola History: Car Dashboards and the iRadio Telematics System

Despite public perception, Motorola iRadio was NOT first announced in January of 2005.

Motorola's deep, dark secret...iRadio was once the 'iRadio Telematics System'Following a trail of old press releases, you can trace iRadio's origins to a Motorola announcement made at CES 2000. At that time, iRadio was referred to as the iRadio Telematics System, an internet radio and telematics prototype delivering music, news, voicemail, weather, stock info, driving directions, ecommerce, etc. to cars via web access, satellite, digital cellular, and FM sideband technologies. (I found an old iRadio Telematics photo here)

The iRadio brand has since evolved. Motorola 1) transformed iRadio into a music-focused discovery and delivery solution, 2) made the mobile phone the central storage and delivery device within the solution, 3) added a time-shifted radio model similar to podcasting, and 4) incorporated "side loading" and Wi-Fi technologies to tie the mobile system together.

The Motorola teams involved have changed as well. iRadio was originally being developed by Motorola's Telematics Communications Group, led by general manager Marios Zenios. In 2000, Marios emphasized the role of iRadio telematics in automobiles, "Motorola's iRadio will bring a wireless Web connection to cars, transforming the driving experience. ... iRadio is designed to make Web content easy to access, manage and control." Now, Motorola iRadio is now owned by Motorola Media Solutions, with Dave Ulmer, Director of Marketing, and Paul Alfieri, acting as primary spokesmen.

Why did iRadio's feature set change? Not sure. Delayed adoption of advanced mobile netwoks in the United States probably posed the most serious technical barrier to delivering multimedia wirelessly. The growing popularity of PDAs, mp3 players, and iPods probablyalso influenced the decision to further leverage Motorola's growing success in the mobile device market. Perhaps satellite radio's growing popularity in car dashboards also suggested additional differentiation was necessary. Or the lack of a single solution that integrated music streaming, purchasing, transporting, and storage presented an opportunity to Motorola.

Whatever the reasons for the evolution, NPD Research seems to think Motorola is moving in the right direction.

If you'd like to follow Check out iRadio history in the making:

* Motorola Unveils iRadio At CES 2000; Wireless Web Access Coming Soon to a Car Near You (Jan 2000)
* Motorola Envisions Wireless 'Dashboard of the Future (March 2001)
* Motorola Offers Sneak Peak of New iRadio™ Solution at Demo@15 Conference (Feb 2005)
* Recent Dave Ulmer interview (Nov 2005)

What happened between 2001 and 2006? Perhaps someone from Motorola can fill us in?

October 27, 2005

iRadio Interviews With Dave Ulmer of Motorola

I recently mentioned the VH1 interview with Dave Ulmer, Motorla director of marketing, that took place at the Music Player Live! event last weekend. Once it's aired, I'll have a full scoop ready.

For those of you that don't want to wait for the Top Twenty Countdown to hear the Dave-ster talk about Motorola iRadio, check out this Engadget interview that took place back in April.

Six months have passed...I wonder if everything he said still holds true, or if any iRadio plans have changed?

October 25, 2005

Motorola iRadio's Dave Ulmer on VH1

iRadio filmed by VH1 at MPLSo, here's a little randomness to spice up your morning. Recognize the folks in the picture?

Why, it's Dave Ulmer, director of marketing for Motorola Media Solutions, being interviewed by (and given a ride by) Aamer Haleem, the host of VH1's Top Twenty Countdown.

According to a source close to the iRadio team, VH1 stopped by the Music Player Live! event to get the skinny on iRadio. Some new product info will be revealed during the show this weekend -- I will be sure to tune in to pass on a full report.

Note the official Motorola iRadio-mobile -- it doesn't look anything like the iRadio Hummer they haul about for most demos. Ah well. From the pic, I can only assume the latest iRadio gear is in Ulmer's palm (photo below), though it's a little too blurry to make out well.

Motorola iRadio Filmed by VH1 at MPL-3

iRadio filmed by VH1 at MPL

UPDATE: The interview was finally aired a couple days ago.

October 23, 2005

Motorola iRadio Booth at Music Player Live!

Motorola iRadio at Music Player Live!Motorola iRadio set up camp at the Music Player Live! summit last weekend. The gang was at booth #6, displaying the ever-famous remote control iRadio Hummer, plus a series of cryptic displays paying homage to to the soon-to-be launched music service -- note the "Radio, Mp3 Player, and Other" bullets. (click on the pic to enlarge)


iRadio also made waves by launching the iRadio "Get Heard Network". Pretty cool.

Did you attend the summit and have interesting news or photos? Let me know at mike[at]iradiowaves[dot]com!

October 06, 2005

Motorola iRadio Signs Up Universal

Motorola iRadio struck a deal with Universal Music Group, allowing the label's music to be made available through the iRadio subscription service.

Motorola also announced that it is moving the iRadio launch to January of next year, at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. iRadio will launch on a phone that will have storage for roughly 70 hours of music.

Motorola spokesman Paul Alfieri explained that iRadio could compliment wireless music download services planned by U.S. wireless phone companies, and that further, Motorola would be open to offering any content through the iRadio portal, including satellite radio, terrestrial radio, and internet radio programming.

In case you've forgotten what iRadio was all about, here is a page including links to several iRadio demo videos.

September 29, 2005

Motorola iRadio Set for December Launch

Motorola iRadio's core functionality sounds a like like podcasting in this GameShout mobile music article:

"iRadio...will allow mobile phones to download music and radio programmes and beam them to car stereos or home entertainment centres."

iRadio is set to launch in December, according to the article. However, no network operating company has yet to sign up, which will probably force Mototola to offer a good chunk of the monthly service fee to operators.

The article also points out that iRadio requires customers to own Bluetooth-enabled car stereos and home entertainment systems, but that current market penetration for such systems is low.

Motorola will need to form close relationships with Bluetooth device sellers to offer price incentives to customers...otherwise, the investment required for all the necessary equipment will prove too costly for non-early adopters.

August 07, 2005

Mention of iRadio at Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Conference

Motorola senior product manager of media solutions, LaSean Smith, joined the Digital Dialogues panel at the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Conference. Also featured were industry experts Dworkin, EMI Music Group/ AJ Media Group royalties/digital specialist Andrea Jacobs, and Urban World Wireless CEO Mike Johns.

Smith discussed Motorola's development plans for iRadio to deliver commercial-free Internet radio channels via a customer’s mobile phone.

According to Smith, plans are still on to make iRadio available this year. Very cool.

July 30, 2005

Motorola iRadio and Yahoo! Music Unlimited

Another article about the Yahoo! and Motorola iRadio match up. David Utter makes a few interesting comments about what it means for Yahoo!:

Yahoo may see iRadio as a way to extend the reach of its Music Unlimited service and garner more subscribers. The Music Unlimited service offers over 120 channels of preprogrammed commercial-free music, and the monthly price of the service is much less than satellite radio options Sirius or XM.

Marco Boerries, Yahoo! Connected Life SVP, expressed Yahoo! goal of going beyond desktop PCs and into mobile devices, homes, and automobiles.

One must wonder if Motorola would release a phone with both iRadio and Yahoo! Music Unlimited on it? Would the customer pay for iRadio and Music Unlimited separately? Why pay for iRadio, when the Yahoo! service is much cheaper? An interesting question, though neither company seems to have a problem with it...

July 29, 2005

Motorola Will Add Yahoo Web Services to iRadio Phones

Interesting announcement...Motorola will bundle in Yahoo! web services into phones containing iRadio. A smart move, since more than music may be needed to draw sales. (There seem to be many "music phones" entering the market this year.) From the LA Times:

Yahoo's services will be available on Motorola's phones, broadband-enabled products for the home and its upcoming iRadio device, which will allow users to play Internet radio stations and their own digital music.

Among other things, the agreement aims to have Motorola pre- install Yahoo's services on mobile handsets so carriers and consumers have no need to download or add the services later.


More Motorola-Yahoo RoundUp

TechWhack gives a little more info on Yahoo! content availability in Mototola's iRadio service:

Motorola mobile users would now have easy access to the various Yahoo! services on their Linux powered mobile devices and other high-speed Internet products, including iRadio. iRadio would allow the users to play Internet radio channels and the user’s personal digital music collection and is expected to be released later this year.

Groovy.

July 28, 2005

Motorola and Yahoo Partner Up

Now this is quite interesting -- Yahoo and Motorola are partnering up in the wireless music space:

Mobile phone maker Motorola and internet search engine operator Yahoo! say they are teaming up to offer Yahoo!'s online content and services on mobile devices made by Motorola, including the company's upcoming iRadio product.

Users will be able to access Yahoo!'s offerings on Motorola's Linux-based mobile devices and other high-speed internet products, including iRadio, a new device that can play internet radio channels and the user's personal digital music collection.

It will be interesting to see how Yahoo! content is delivered on iRadio enabled phones.

July 26, 2005

Motorola Testing iRadio in Chicago and Los Angeles

Motorola is testing iRadio now, and plans to launch it at the end of the year. According to Web India:

iRadio subscribers would be able to select six commercial-free downloads from hundreds of radio channels available on the Internet. Both the phone and the vehicle radio have to be Bluetooth-enabled so that the system operates wirelessly. It can also play mp3 music files.

A professionally installed Bluetooth adapter costs between $50 and $70 and the iRadio service would cost $5 to $7 a month.

Sigh. I wish I could be one of the testers... ;)

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.

April 19, 2005

iRadio To Be Tested in May

Accoding to Geek Coffee, Motorola iRadio is to be tested in May:

David Ulmer, the Marketing Directory of Motorola's Media Solutions Division, said the company plans to test [Motorola iRadio] in several U.S. markets in mid-May and launch nationwide in the fourth quarter.

Comparing iRadio With iTunes and Satellite Radio

Mac Daily News prints a few iRadio comparison facts regarding satellite radio:

"The iRadio service, which will let customers download 10 hours of content at a time, will be available at the subscription cost of about $5 to $7 a month. When not driving, customers can listen to content on a phone with a headset," Cohen reports. "By comparison, Sirius and XM charge about $13 a month for access to more than 100 channels; online music content provider Napster gets about $15 in the same period for unlimited downloads to a computer, or digital music player. Apple's iTunes music library charges about 99 cents per song."

April 18, 2005

Pocket Lint Mentions iRadio...Cool Pic

Pocket Lint mentions iRadio here, along with an interesting phone pic, though I'm not sure if it's an actual Motorola phone or not:

According to Motorola: “the 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.”

April 17, 2005

Motorola Unveils iRadio

CNET adds a little fire to the Motorola iRadio flame...a little late, perhaps?

The No. 2 maker of mobile telephones is set to unveil a service called iRadio that will let users download pre-selected audio content from a range of providers on their home computers, dump it on their cell phones and listen to it on their car stereos."

UPDATE: The CNET article displays for 4 seconds, then is redirected to an "article expired" page. Not sure why...

Motorola iRadio Costs Money...

Deborah Cohen talks about the cost of Motorla iRadio:

iRadio requires a substantial up-front investment. A customer will initially lay out about $200 for a mid-range Motorola phone with at least 256 megabytes of storage, built in iRadio software and Bluetooth, a low-range wireless technology that streams content from the phone to the car radio or home stereo, Ulmer said.

The service also requires buying a $75 wireless audio adapter that must be installed in the car radio, either by the customer or a service provider. A USB connector to hook the phone to the desktop computer comes packaged with the handset.

Hm...that's not a small amount of cash...

April 13, 2005

Motorola iRadio Scoop from Future of Music Conference

Gizmodo a the scoop from someone who attended the Future of Music DC Policy Conference on Motorola iRadio:

The “iradio” service is a subscription radio service, but one that is more like licensed music podcasting. from the details he gave: 1) the service is not streaming based, meaning the content will be downloaded over the internet to a computer (or other device?) and then transfered to the playback device (phone & car or home stereo); 2) it will be heavily drm’d so that individual songs from a “stream” cannot be picked out; 3) the playback device (cell phone) would stream stereo audio to other devices (eg: cell phone to car stereo) over bluetooth 1.1 (i specifically asked if this would require newer bluetooth 2.0, or even 1.2 devices, and he smiled and said no, and that they were achieving transmission speeds of over 700kbs, which he said was sufficient for stereo audio); 4) that motorola was actively looking for content streams; 5) the service would be subscription based for around $4 to $6.

Interesting news..!

April 05, 2005

iTunes, Motorola iRadio, and Other Phone Stuff

The Tennessean wrote about the many ways in which the music and technology industry is trying to monetize music via wireless channels.

Motorola iRadio was mentioned:

Motorola is ready to launch a cell phone that is compatible with iTunes and has a partnership with MTV. Later this year, the phone manufacturer will launch iRadio, which technology guru Ken Rutkowski describes as the ''coolest and most practical'' service to come out of January's Consumer Electronics Show.

It's a software application that can download 10 hours of customer selects, including music, news programs, weather, traffic and video to a cellular phone, then transmits that content wirelessly through a car radio or home or office stereo.

"We have phenomenal levels of programming coming," he said.

"There's money to be made and consumers are willing to pay it. Labels and artists now have an opportunity to deliver radio content to consumers who most want to hear their type of music. They've already told us, 'I want stuff that appeals to my lifestyle.'"

MSpot Radio To Compete With Motorola iRadio

An article about MSpot Radio, a service that will offer 13 internet radio stations to Spring PCS subscribers, mentions Motorola iRadio:

The market for Internet radio delivered via mobile devices appears to be heating up. Recently, Motorola announced a new service, iRadio, which allows users to record Internet radio streams on their PCs and play them over their phones.

The competitive landscape expands...

March 31, 2005

More on Motorola's iRadio Service

Motorola iRadio is getting closer and closer. Howard Wolinsky of the Chicago Sun Times interviewed Dave Ulmer, director of marketing for media solutions at Motorola.

There wasn't much new news to report. Howard described the expected sales channels to be used:

"Although Motorola hasn't priced the service yet, Ulmer said iRadio will be sold through a variety of channels, including cell phone carriers, such as T-Mobile and Cingular; online music services, and retailers, such as Best Buy and Radio Shack."

Regarding Motorola's use of Bluetooth in cars, $50 to $75 Bluetooth adapters will be installed in unused CD changers in the back of car radios. Audio will then be broadcast wirelessly via Bluetooth onto car radios.

Regarding user experience, Howard noted, "Motorola will build in a button for consumers to click on tunes or programs to read background on artists, and to add to a "wish list" from which they can buy tunes."

I can't wait.

March 25, 2005

Motorola iRadio: New Phones, No iTunes Yet

Jennifer LeClaire from Tech News World wrote about new phones Motorola presented; iTunes phones were not present, however.

The Motorola E680i, with more than 2 GB of memory, allows users to transfer, store, catalog and enjoy their favorite tracks. The Motorola E725 model lets users wirelessly download their favorite music tracks and videos to their handsets.

The Motorola E685 features an MP3 player with stereo headset jack, VGA camera with photo and video capture, and the iRadio promises to mobilize hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels as well as a user's personal music collection.

The world will have to wait for an iTunes phone, however.

Motorola iRadio

According to Telecoms.com, Motorola's iRadio will offer hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels as well as a personal music collection.

The accompanying handsets include the Motorola E680i with over two gigabytes optional memory and Bluetooth stereo headphones. The device will be available in the Asia-Pacific region in April. Meanwhile, 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. While 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.


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.

Continue reading "Motorola iRadio Press Release" »

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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