Tag: radio

State of the Mobile Music Industry

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Bonnie and Clyde Freestyle picture copyright of Tricia Gosingtian and Dae Lee

It’s no secret that a slow response to the digital age has caused serious problems for the music industry in recent years. Sales have been in decline and most experts see no reason for that trend to slow. However, GigaOM recently covered a Juniper Research report in which mobile music had, “a larger piece of a shrinking pie.” Juniper identified mobile music as the bright spot in an otherwise dismal forecast for the music industry as a whole. Already a multi-billion dollar industry, mobile music is likely to grow at a substantial rate in the coming years as the technology that supports streaming and mobile downloads becomes more affordable and available.

Those of us who can’t live without our BlackBerry can’t help but notice that we are part of a growing community. BlackBerry manufacturer RIM reports that they shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry handsets between December 2008 and February 2009, bypassing Apples as the leading supplier of smartphones. As carrier deals, falling prices, and aggressive marketing have placed smartphone technology at virtually everyone’s fingertips, the expansion of 3G networks insures the reliability of the investment. Over the past year, carriers such as AT&T, Alltel, and T-Mobile greatly expanded their 3G networks and set the stage for the expansion of mobile music. Smartphone users accustomed to Internet music options have found themselves unshackled from their PC and application developers are seeking to meet their mobile needs.

Slacker.com’s radio app for BlackBerry allows users to listen to over 100 expert programmed radio stations or create a personalized station of their own. In addition to free streaming music, the application provides artist bios and album reviews as well. Best of all, Slacker’s app allows you to cache stations to your SD card for listening even when network reception intermittent. In March, the popular internet radio application Pandora released a BlackBerry version of the popular service. Just like Pandora for your computer, the Pandora for BlackBerry application allows you to create personal radio stations based on music preferences and uses its music genome data to feed you songs you might like as well. In addition to free streaming radio, the increased speed and storage capacity of smartphones has increased the number of mobile full-song downloads. Such downloads have undoubtedly contributed to the transfer of music sales profits to the mobile arena.

Perhaps the music industry’s best chance for an increase in overall revenue through the growth of mobile music can be found in ringtone and ringback sales. Unlike full-song mobile downloads, ringtones and ringback might complement traditional sales instead of replacing them.

Companies like SendMe Mobile and Mobicious have been getting an increasing amount of funding over the past two years. SendMe launched SoLow, an online sweepstakes site in July 2007 and acquired the online mobile community mbuzzy in October 2007. In 2008 SendMe Mobile expanding their ringtones catalog through licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Both deals provided SendMe members with ringtone access to songs owned by both companies. Investors like the looks of the ringtone/ringback market and in March of this year SendMe announced the acquisition of an additional $12 million in growth capital financing.

The Massachusetts based startup Mobicious is also tapping into the ringtone and ringback market but has ambitions to become something larger. Mobicious allows users to create a ringtone by uploading an mp3 from their desktop and download a 20 second clip as a ringtone to their smartphone. Mobicious also caught the attention of venture capitalists to the tune of $5 million in funding and in 2008 was honored as one of the most innovative companies in the Northeast. Mobicious has set out to become the go-to portal for mobile content, and in addition to ringtones they provide over 400,000 items of free and premium content.

The music industry will undoubtedly continue the attempt to adjust to the digital and increasingly mobile world, and smartphone users can expect innovative applications designed to deliver the music they want, when and anywhere they want it.

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radioBee for BlackBerry offers 80,000 internet radio stations

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radioBee 1.6 is a radio player for BlackBerry powered by SHOUTcast. While not free, which is the case with apps such as iHeartRadio, radioBee seems to offer a larger catalog of stations.

The app uses a proprietary algorithm to search, play more than 80,000 internet radio stations. The app provides popularity and reliability ratings for each station, along with station programming, genre, name, encoding, bitrate.

New features include :

  • Proprietary real-time audio play
  • Works in the background, you can listen music and do something else with your phone
  • Support of SHOUTcast and Icecast servers
  • Enhanced Directory of more than 80000 radio stations
  • Currently playing information displays current song and artist
  • Listen to your local hometown radio station from anywhere in the world
  • Find specific stations using the extensive search function
  • Manual adding of custom streams (including possibility to stream music from your computer to your cell phone)
  • Build a list of your favorite stations and shows
  • Check emergency scanner streams
  • Check weather conditions on weather radio streams
  • Bluetooth audio streaming to your car or home audio

Purchase radioBee for $9.95.

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Slacker Radio for BlackBerry hits a million downloads

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Slacker Radio Plus

Slacker Radio has enjoyed great success on BlackBerry and recently they’re hit their 1 millionth download. Slacker is killing the competition too:

* Slacker Radio offers 2+ Million tracks – 4 times as many as Pandora
* Slacker Radio offers stereo audio – Pandora only offers mono (single channel)
* Slacker Radio offers station caching so you can listen to radio even when you don’t have a signal

This is a great app, although it does have a few drawbacks. For example, the fact that it must be plugged into a PC in order to sync really hurts the functionality. I get really bothered when I have to sync things via my PC and I would love to have OTA syncing capabilities. Soon, I hope.

Here is a quick breakdown of features you get with Slacker:

* High-quality stereo playback from all streaming wireless connections (including Wi-Fi) and cached stations
* Station caching - play music even without a network connection
* Free music library featuring millions of songs from thousands of artists
* Over 100 professionally programmed genre stations
* Create custom stations by searching for artists or song titles
* View song lyrics
* Bluetooth support
* Multi-tasking - listen to music while doing email
* View artist biographies and photos
* View album art and reviews
* “Peek Ahead” artist and album preview
* Pause and skip songs
* Rate songs as favorites
* Ban songs and artists you don’t like

Download Slacker Radio for your BlackBerry.

Remember, you need OS 4.3+ and 500MB of free memory on your device for station caching.

[Via]

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CTIA 2009: I Heart Radio

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If you’re a terrestrial radio gal or guy, you might recognize Clear Channel - owners of the radio airwaves in the United States.  If you’ve fallen in love with one of Clear Channel’s many stations from across the USA and find yourself unable to hear your favorite stations or on-air personality, don’t fret, I Heart Radio is here!  You can still listen to your favorite station via your BlackBerry now.  The I Heart Radio application is available for free via the BlackBerry App World.

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BlackBerry Pearl data connection mystery

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Whenever he starts BlackBerry Pearl’s data connection and places the phone next to the flashlight, the flashlight blinks. The radio waves seem to be interfering with the power connection in the flashlight, but can someone tell me in more detail what is happening?

{Thanks for sending this in Peter)

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Free streaming radio apps recently updated

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Although I just posted about a streaming radio app, I really music apps so I’m posting more. Two popular streaming radio apps have recently updated their clients and are worth checking out.

FlyCast

FlyCast has gone version 1.32 which means the app is now available for the Bold, Curve etc. while Storm users are now at ver. 1.33. You can now stream Shoutcast channels on your BlackBerry giving you many more listening options.

Download the latest version of FlyCast for free, here.

Slacker

Slacker has updated itself to version 1.1.11, which means it now supports Bluetooth.

You can download a free copy of Slacker, here.

[Via]

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Free Nobex Radio Companion updated with a ton of features

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Nobex Radio Companion is a premium radio app for BlackBerry that allows you to listen to over 1000 radio stations around the world and see the playlist of over 2700 radio stations. The latest version of Nobex Radio Companion is out and it looks great. The latest version has added a ton of new features including:

  • Lyrics
  • Song and artist info
  • Song snippets 
  • Mobile goodies
  • Streamlined user interface

See Lyrics -  you can see the lyrics of the song that is playing (or recently played). If you are listening to the song through Nobex Radio Companion, you can even have the lyrics scroll synchronized with the song - turning your BlackBerry into your very own karaoke machine!

Read Song and Artist Info - Using the “Lyrics and More” screen, you can now see Artist and Song info too. You can find out how the band you love got together, and why they wrote that song you can’t get out of your head.

Get Songs or Ringtones - with a single click, right from your mobile device. Or, choose to receive an email with links to buy the song on your PC, so you can always keep your music collection fresh!

Hear Song Snippets - if you’re not sure if the song you just missed is the one you have been wanting to download.

To download Nobex Radio Companion, go here.

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Freebies for Suncom subscribers

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XM Radio just let us know that they’re looking to test out their music service on the Suncom network for one week, and as a thanks for your feedback, they’re willing to toss a month of free service your way. There was plenty of negative feedback to the initial launch, so maybe some QA could help improve things. Shoot a line to xm-feedback@quickplay.com if you’re packing a GSM Pearl, Curve or 8800.

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Bacon on BlackBerry: Multimedia

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Still carrying an MP3 player alongside your BlackBerry? That’s sooooo 2007. BlackBerrys have come a long way in the last couple of years. I used to carry around a cell phone, my BlackBerry and my MP3 player. Yes, my pockets were very full. The 7100v changed that as I dropped down to one communications device, but I still had my MP3 player.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to use the BlackBerry 8120 for a few weeks now and I’m impressed. I threw a 2GB microSD card in the side (finally), loaded up some MP3s (Foo Fighters, Billy Talent, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, etc.), threw another 1GB microSD card in my wallet (Solitudes, Blue Man Group, POD casts… I never know what I’ll feel like) and headed out. I haven’t looked back.

I decided this weekend to see what the BlackBerry could do for video. Who wants the watch The View, a Fishing Show or TechTV while at the gym? I somehow legally obtained a Seinfeld episode and loaded it on my BB. That made the elliptical machine much more amusing and got me thinking about other media-related improvements I’d like to see on the BlackBerry…

Continue reading ‘Bacon on BlackBerry: Multimedia’

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