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RAIN 11/8: New Windows mobile platform launches today, Net radio apps in tow

Posted on: 11/08/2010


Today Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launches in the U.S. on many smartphone devices available from most national cellular carriers. That means the new platform’s app catalog is finally open, via Microsoft’s Zune software, so RAIN took a look to see what Internet radio options are available for all those shiny new gadgets.

Last.fm and Slacker both have apps in the Windows Phone 7 catalog, as do iHeartRadio and Absolute Radio. Apps from Capital FM and Xfm are also available. Missing is Pandora, an absence that’s notable not only because Pandora seems eager to jump onto any new platform — from your Blu-Ray player to your car dashboard — but also because Pandora was included in the early list of Windows Phone 7’s launch partners (Engadget coverage here).

There were even murmurs, early on, that Pandora would be built-in to the OS. Gadgetsteria.com, among others, reported (here) that Microsoft showed off a “Pandora tile within the Zune application.” Appolicious now reports (here) that Pandora “is taking a wait-and-see” stance on the platform, while Engadget mentioned in their review of the OS (here) that Pandora is “an app which everyone at Microsoft has stopped talking about publicly.”

One issue that might make Net radio developers hesitant about Windows Phone 7 (besides the fact it that feels like there are dozens of other platforms to build apps for), is a lack of multitasking support for third-party apps. That means Internet radio apps can’t play music in the “background” while the user performs other tasks.

That said, Windows Phone 7 is a 1.0 release, so updates may come quickly. And early reviews of the platform seem optimistic (find reviews from The Washington Post here and from Engadget here). — MS


Radio crowd-sourcing service Jelli has launched an iPhone app, through which users can both listen to Jelli streams and vote for which songs should play next. In addition to Jelli streams, the app offers access to the Jelli-controlled radio programs from stations in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and 15 other cities.

This “radio democracy” can be brutal: apparently, if enough people vote down a currently-playing song, Jelli will yank it off air…even mid-song, complete with an explosion sound effect. TechCrunch has more coverage, and a video of the app, right here.


Internet radio continues its march onto next-generation TV sets as RadioTime’s TuneIn Radio launches a website optimized for Google TV devices. The site will let Google TV users search through over 50,000 AM/FM and Internet-only radio stations, as well as podcasts.

“We’ve optimized the experience for the television, with a clean and simple interface that makes it easy for users to see what’s airing on their local stations, quickly tune to their favorite radio shows, and discover great new radio content,” said Thomas Hutchings, Vice President of Development for RadioTime. Read more from the company’s press release here.


Dutch public radio NOS has debuted hourly two-minute audio news bulletins, specialized for Twitter. Every hour a link is posted to the NOS Nieuws Twitter feed (@NOSHeadlines) pointing followers to the quick audio updates. The news updates’ content comes from youth service 3FM’s broadcasts. Find more coverage from Radio Intelligence here.

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