Sony allegedly holding out for higher fee for streaming music
Apple may have hit another snag in its alleged plan to launch an "iRadio" service in the near future, according to an unconfirmed report from London's Financial Times. The forthcoming service, should negotiations get completed, would allegedly see iTunes offering a streaming music service that leveraged its enormous statistical and purchasing information from users to serve curated songs they would be likely to enjoy from artists they have bought before or would probably like. Sony, according to sources, is still holding out.
UK broadcaster puts entire 57 radio station roster into app
Shortly after revealing two new YouTube content channels, the BBC has announced a radio app for iPhone users in the UK. The iPlayer Radio [Free, UK App Store only] functions as a standalone app from its highly-praised iPlayer service, allowing users to listen to the corporation's live radio programming and on-demand content from an iOS device. An Android version of the app is currently in development.
Song lyrics, post-play rating, 'tired' option more
Subscription and ad-based US music-discovery service Pandora has pushed out a significant update of its self-titled universal iOS app. The update, version 3.2, mostly makes changes to the interface and functionality seen on the smaller iOS devices, the iPhone and iPod Touch. In addition to a visual overhaul, the app adds musician biographies from the iPad version, the ability to rate songs post-play, song lyrics and more.
Custom station and iTunes podcast sync as well
Online radio aggregator service Stitcher has updated its iOS app to version 4.8, adding an option for sharing and adding friends from people also using Stitcher or from Facebook. The program has also updated its UI, and now offers iPad users the ability to create and sync custom stations between iOS devices. Users can invite friends to join Stitcher, share shows, view listening stats and more.
Caching allows for off-line mobile device playback
Slacker Radio, the popular internet service with over 25 million listeners, has now launched a third tier of service available to its hundreds of thousands of subscribers: Slacker Premium Radio, which adds individual on-demand play, off-line mobile device listening and custom playlist creation along with all the benefits of their normal Plus subscription package. Premium listeners can choose to listen to one of 150-plus expert-programmed genre stations, or choose individual songs from Slacker's eight-million-song catalog on-demand, and cache stations, artists, albums or songs for later offline listening on their mobile devices.
Slacker giveaway winner announcement.
The Slacker Radio giveaway has come to an end, and yes we've been slacking a little on getting the winners out, but it's Friday and if we don't do it now, it probably won't get done. So here it goes.
Episodes now auto-bookmark
Stitcher has updated its main iPhone app, Stitcher Radio, to v4.2. The title provides on-demand podcast streaming, saving the time needed to find, download and/or sync files. Users can also create a customized station with shows in a particular order, or tune into a collection of live radio streams.
Dev claims Apple equates them with "fart apps"
Jim Barcus, president of DigitalJukeBox.com and DJBApps -- a company that makes smartphone apps for commercial radio stations -- says Apple has started (as of Nov. 10th) rejecting "all" single-station iPhone apps in favor of radio apps that only feature "hundreds" of stations, saying that Apple told him they equated the single-station apps with "fart apps" and considered them a form of "spamming" the App Store. However, dozens of single-station radio apps remain on the App Store and the company does not appear to be removing any existing apps, making it unclear if this is a real policy change at the App Store -- or if the company is referring specifically to Barcus' products only.
Patent application backs earlier reports
Apple could be preparing to add HD Radio support to new handheld models, a newly-published patent application hints. Titled Digital Radio Tagging Using an RF Tuner Accessory, the document suggests that future iPods and iPhones could be used to scan through all available radio stations, or only those with better-quality digital audio. Critically, data from digital stations could used as search fodder, for instance to locate a particular song or genre.
Streams TV, radio feeds without Flash
In tandem with the arrival of the iPad in the UK, the BBC has updated its iPlayer web app in order to support the device's layout. iPlayer lets British residents stream BBC radio and TV shows after their original broadcasts. The iPad site has a tabbed interface, with larger text and images than its iPhone counterpart.
Network exploring links with Adobe
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is diving headlong into iPad development, says the Sydney Morning Herald. The network is said to be speaking with various technology companies for help, with the aim of bringing apps to the tablet sometime this year. No specific titles have been announced, but much like the CBC in Canada and BBC in the UK, the ABC has assets in radio, TV and the web.
Accessory maker launches new 10 products
Griffin has announced nine new products for iPhones and iPods at CES 2010. The iFM is an FM radio receiver which attaches to the dock connector of an Apple handheld. With a clickwheel iPod it activates embedded Apple radio control software, while on an iPhone or iPod touch, Griffin's free iFM Radio Controller app is required. It features user presets, and can tag songs for buying on iTunes. The iFM is due in March for $40.
Foreshadows actual hardware
Although its companion hardware has yet to be released, Sirius XM has released a dedicated XM SkyDock app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users are able to tune into various XM satellite radio stations, including artist-specific stations for the likes of Elvis Presley and the Metropolitan Opera. While listening, stock and sports tickers provide visual feedback.
Snowtape 1.2, SnowRemote
Vemedio has launched an update to its Snowtape radio software, along with a new SnowRemote app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Snowtape finds and records music from streaming Internet stations. The v1.2 release delivers over 1,000 stations to choose from, and includes an enhanced algorithm for album artwork, the ability to search for stations by country, and an improved way of working with deleted items.
Spotify iPhone app coming
Streaming music service Spotify is preparing to launch an iPhone app, says the BBC. The title is currently waiting for approval from Apple, and permits premium (paid) subscribers to stream Spotify playlists away from a desktop. A notable difference in the mobile client is the ability to temporarily store a playlist, allowing for offline listening.
NiceMac scraps StarPlayr
NiceMac has announced that since its StarPlayr Sirius radio app has failed to receive approval at Apple's App Store, it will be scrapping the entire StarPlayr project. Back in January, NiceMac submitted the iPhone app for approval and waited roughly a month before receiving a statement that they could not be approved at the time. Gizmodo notes that a potential factor blocking the app from being approved could be that a first-party app from Sirius may be in development, though it remains unconfirmed.
iTunes blipvert pushes U2
A recent ad deployed through the United Kingdom's Absolute Radio -- formerly known as Virgin Radio -- has generated some controversy, writes The Guardian. The ad promotes the new U2 single "Get On Your Boots," urging listeners to buy it through iTunes. The spot is only 10 seconds long though, and required approval from the UK's Ofcom regulatory body due to worries about issues such as subliminal advertising.
NPR Mobile 1.2 update
Pass Time Software has updated its NPR Mobile app for the iPhone and iPod touch to v1.2. The app provides users with a browsing interface, enabling them to find and listen to radio programs, read summary text, and view any available images. In the newest version, users can expect added access to browsing and listening of all of NPRís podcasts, and changes to search capabilities that allow finding NPR affiliates using cities, states and zip codes, or GPS in the case of the iPhone.
First Look NPR Mobile
Even if you're a regular National Public Radio (NPR) listener, there's a chance you won't catch your favorite shows during the day. Many NPR stations offer podcasts, but if you're not keen on manually hunting for files and loading them onto a media player, you can let a program like the NPR Mobile iPhone app do the work for you.
CastCatcher update blocked
An update to an Internet radio app for the iPhone and iPod touch has been denied, despite the acceptance of earlier versions, its developer notes. return7 observes that CastCatcher 1.3 has been denied permission for posting at the App Store, even though three previous versions of the app were accepted and the most recent one, v1.2, is still on sale. A message from Apple is claimed to say that v1.3 transfers "excessive volumes of data over the cellular network," which is forbidden under Section 3.3.15 of the iPhone SDK.
Radiolicious for iPhone
MySimBook on Monday unveiled Radiolicious, a new iPhone and iPod touch application that allows users to tap into their favorite local radio stations, while allowing broadcasters to potentially advertise to millions around the globe. The entire software setup is free to use for both radio stations and users, with MySimBook paying any costs involved, save for a small service fee for the station to be part of the advertising network.
BreakThru Radio on iPhone
Online music broadcaster BreakThru Radio has announced the availability of its radio streams to iPhone and iPod touch users. The service relies on technology from TVersity to deliver the channels, but listeners are able to tune in by navigating to iphone.breakthrough.com in Safari. Genres cater to more independent tastes, and include death metal, dancehall, dubstep, hip-hop, indie rock, skronk, roots country, reggae, electronic, acid jazz, ambient, dub, two-step, folk and more.
Last.fm for iPhone updated
Last.fm Ltd. has updated Last.fm for iPhone to v2.0, streamlining the interface, adding tagging, personal tag radio, common artists (when viewing a profile) and a calendar-based events view. The new update also adds support for the iPhone 2.1 software update. The software allows users to design personal radio stations based on artists or genres, and offers artists bios, concert information, favorite track sharing and smart recommendations, based on user listening.
BBC radio on iPhone/iPod
The UK's official broadcaster, the BBC, has announced expanded support for the iPhone/iPod touch version of its iPlayer service. As of today the software now supports radio, allowing users to listen to episodes from a variety of programs up to seven days after the original airdate. The BBC's Mark Friend says that the option comes from adapting the network's normal digital delivery to suit the unique restrictions of Apple handhelds.
FlyCast radio app debuts
FlyCast, formerly known as FlyTunes, has released the first native version of its self-named radio application for iPhones and iPod touches. By default the app lists and streams more than a thousand radio stations, divided between formats such as music, talk and information. Listeners can also access any Internet-only stream listed through Shoutcast, of which there are said to be over 25,000.
Revo's portable DAB+ tuner
UK audio company Revo has announced the Pico RadioStation, a new DAB radio tuner. Aside from DAB and FM radio broadcasts, the Pico is also designed to stream computer and Internet content through a LAN connection. Particularly important may be compatibility with DAB+, an improved radio standard with error correction and support for AAC+ compression. The Pico is said to be one of the first portable tuners with the technology, although it is nearly 6.6 inches tall.
The iTunes Download
Premiere Radio Networks has announced that this weekend, a new, three-hour music countdown show backed by Apple will launch, titled The iTunes Download (link not yet functional). The show will be hosted by iTunes' Director of Music Programming, Alex Luke, and be broadcast from Los Angeles to a number of Top 40-format radio stations. The show will air weekly on Saturday or Sunday, and will feature the 30 most downloaded songs in America, as well as interviews with highlighted artists. Luke will also draw attention to celebrity playlists, and iMixes, the playlists shoppers create in the iTunes Store.
Sirius XM app for iPhone?
A Sirius XM application is in production for the iPhone, according to reports. The app is said to be in development by GeeksToolBox as part of the StreamSmart project, which aims to allow the streaming of Sirius, XM and Internet radio to multiple platforms including the iPhone. The name of the app, StarPlayr, may indicate that a partnership with NiceMac, as StarPlayr is the name NiceMac uses for its Mac OS X software of similar function. The Sirius XM app is allegedly still in an alpha stage, meaning it remains under heavy development and that a number of leaked details could change.
Apple FM/TV receiver?
Apple may be looking to build or support new add-ons capable of streaming radio and/or TV to its handhelds, a new patent application suggests. The device would attach directly to a handheld such as an iPhone or iPod, and pick up signals from one or more formats including AM, FM, HD or satellite radio, or TV standards such as cable, satellite, over-the-air or IPTV. More conventional reception means could include Wi-Fi, cellular or Ethernet.
Emmis Communications has announced a new affiliate deal signed with Apple, under which its Interactive division's Storefront technology will be tied to the iTunes Store, and in turn sold to other companies. Storefront lets radio stations -- mainly those owned by Emmis -- create custom online shops, particularly for the purpose of selling tracks as they are played live on air. The company claims that many alternatives only direct listeners to separate sites, instead of letting them pull music straight into local software.
Sirius on Logitech systems
Three of Logitech's networked music hubs -- the Squeezebox, Squeezebox Duet and the Transporter -- will soon gain direct support for Sirius' Internet Radio service, the latter company has announced. Using a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, owners will be able to select from over 80 different stations, including talk programming such as Howard Stern and NFL Radio. More critically, the support will come as a software update, and will be controllable away from a hub or a computer, via remote.
iH12 iPod/Clock Radio
An iPod can store your entire music collection, and keep it with you wherever you want to go. While the iPod is great for listening to music through ear buds by yourself, itís not so handy when you want to play your music so others can hear it too. If you want to broadcast your music throughout a room, consider plugging your iPod into a device such as the iH12 alarm clock.
XM, Sirus pressure FCC
XM and Sirius are putting pressure on the Federal Communications Commission for a quick merger approval, legal documents show. A filing submitted to the FCC by an XM lawyer shows that counsel for both XM and Sirius visited the FCC on Wednesday, and discussed matters not only with chairman Kevin Martin, but his chief of staff and senior legal advisor. The filing was required by FCC regulations, and is likely meant to ensure that all lobbying efforts are above-board.
Memorex has begun shipping a new clock radio for various iPod models, includin the iPod Touch, Classic, nano and mini. The device, dubbed iWake, features a digital AM/FM radio, dual alarm function and a gradual volume increase for the alarm. There's also a clock backup capability that is invoked in the case of a power failure -- that function requires 2 "AAA" batteries (which aren't included). Other standard features include a snooze function. The iWake powers and charges any†iPod with dock connector. The iWake clock radio is priced at $80.
XM-Sirius decision nears
The FCC is indeed moving closer to a decision on the merger of Sirius and XM Radio, according to the group's chairman. Kevin Murphy is cited by Reuters as saying that draft documents are being put together, which will outline the choices the FCC can make on particular details of the merger. "I have asked the staff, after we've gotten all the final information that we needed, to be doing drafts, and when there were issues outstanding to do a range of options for us," he states.
Aether ham radio logger
Open Reel Software recently unveiled Aether, a new application designed to log ham radio sessions. Aether provides tools to quickly and easily log contacts while on the air, as well as organize, search and track contacts after the fact. Features include instant search, automatic callbook lookup, serial rig control, cocoaModem integration and more. Aether is available for $40 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.
Radiohead comes to iTunes
Alternative rock band Radiohead has added its latest album, 'In Rainbows,' to Apple's iTunes Store. The musical group's recording contract with major label EMI ended in 2004, and the band recorded as well as produced 'In Rainbows' without the help of a major label. The band sold copies of its album digitally online in October, allowing customers to choose their own price for the work. Radiohead was silent on official sales figures, but one report placed 1.2 million copies of the album on the hard drives of consumers on the first day of its release.
Universal, XM settle suit
Universal Music and XM Radio have settled a lawsuit over a piece of third-party hardware, reports say. The item of contention was Pioneer's Inno player, which is able to record XM broadcasts in addition to playing MP3s; the problem is that it can naturally record Universal artists without permission, something the record label objected to. Under the terms of the settlement, Universal will be the first company signed to a multi-year agreement covering all XM radios with "advanced recording functionality," potentially opening the door to safe recording on many other devices.