ARCHIVE: Music Players

February 17, 2006

Motorola W220 - An FM Radio RAZR Look-Alike

Motorola W220Motorola announced the release of the Motorola W220, which is basically an FM Radio-enabled RAZR with most of the RAZR's features ripped out.  The lower price point will make the RAZR's thin design accessible to those with shallower pockets, but may also begin to reduce the value of the RAZR.

Motorola W220 Features:

  • Clamshell handset
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • Browser (WAP 2.0 compliant)
  • Messaging:  MMS, SMS, NSM
  • Downloadable media capability
  • 600 contacts
  • Dimensions: 46 x 95 x 16.6 mm
  • Weight:  93 grams
  • Screen:  128 x 128 px
  • Battery:  497 minutes of talk time, 293 hrs stand-by

The Motorola W220 will be available in Q3 2006.

...So let's see...now Moto fans will need to choose between iRadio phones, FM Radio phones, Windows Media phones, and iTunes phones...  It's gettting a little complex, no?

(via MobileBurn)

February 15, 2006

MSFT-MOTO Hookup Anticlimactic?

Seth at the Motley Fool seems unimpressed with Motorola's and Microsoft's recent mobile Windows Media Player announcement:

The promise of corporate conflict might make for good headlines, but more often than not the showdowns promised are about as dramatic as the 3rd grade spring pageant.

He points to the following in support of an anti-climax:

  • High prices for mobiles song downloads (usually starting at $1.99)
  • Nokia made the same announcement last year regarding WMP on their phones
  • Motorola has already been making phones with Windows Mobile OS for some time
  • MSFT is just trying, as always, to make its OS as ubiquitous as possible

There's always a nay-sayer in the crowd...who makes very interesting points.  Still, one must consider the fact that 42 million iPods have been sold, versus 2 billion mobile phones worldwide.  There are a lot of consumers that might be happy to buy a music phone, rather than two separate devices.

As Seth mentioned, it'll all come down to consumer preference.

February 14, 2006

Motorola Embraces MSFT, Still Sticks With iTunes

I love it.  First Motorola announces that the ROKR E2 will run iRadio instead of iTunes.  Then Motorola announces at 3GSM that it will be developing a line of music phones using Windows Media technology instead of iTunes.  Too funny.

Unlike the ROKR E1, the new phones will be able to download music over the as well as through a PC, and will be able to transfer music between devices freely.  The phones may also support the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standard, but that has yet to be determined.

Motorola will continue to produce iTunes phones alongside their Windows Media alternatives, but the Windows Media phone may be favored by mobile telecom operators looking to create their own music stores.  Operator support is crucial for a phone to succeed, since 80-90% of mobile phones are sold as part of mobile telecom operator subsidies in most markets.

It's probably another reason Apple may be looking to sell mobile services through Mobile Me and the mePod...

(via Reuters, Financial Times, MocoNews)

UPDATE:  You can check out the full press release here.

January 27, 2006

Motorola and JBL to Launch Mobile Music Accessories

Motorola and JBL, a 'leading provider of audio products for the computer industry,' will jointly develop and market accessories for Motorola's mobile music devices.  They'll work to combine MOTO's sleek phone design with JBL's high-fidelity sound technology.

Let's see some cool iRadio schwag, people.  More at Mobiledia.

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?

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)

July 23, 2005

iRadio For iPod...Not Motorola!

I was a tad shocked to learn about an iRadio unit made for the iPod, until I read a little more deeply:

iPodworld in the UK is about to started selling the iRadio, a bolt on FM transmitter and receiver for your iPod.

The iRadio promises to remember your favourite five radio stations and the top five clear frequencies you broadcast.

No, this has nothing at all to do with Motorola's iRadio service.

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.

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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