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RAIN 8/3: RAIN reviews on-demand service Rdio's radio-like offerings

Posted on: 08/03/2011

RDIO OFFERS THE CONTROL OF AN ON-DEMAND SERVICE, BUT CAN MIMICRADIO-LIKEPRESENTATION

Despite its name, Rdio isn’t strictly a radio service. It’s closer to Spotify or MOG than Pandora, offering a huge catalog of music on-demand for monthly subscriptions ($5-10/month). But that’s not to say there aren’t any radio features in Rdio.

In fact, users can create radio-like playlists out of just about anything on Rdio. There are artist-based stations, user stations, and stations built around recent listening.

For example, I can listen to a radio station based on what music Merge Records or Pitchfork recently listened to or added to their collection on Rdio. I can even listen to a radio station built on my own listening history, creating a quick mix of music Rdio knows I like.

“Radio station” in this case really means an automatically-generated playlist of 25-100 songs, which I can save to my Queue for offline listening on mobile devices.

As Rdio is an on-demand service, users have complete control over their radio playlists. They can see each track, remove ones they don’t want to hear and jump ahead dozens of songs if they want. When creating artist-based stations, users can even decide if they want similar music in the playlist, or just tunes by the original artist.

Rdio also provides handy links to learn more about an artist, find their other albums, and more. It’s a great music discovery tool.

Are Rdio’s “Radio Stations” really radio, strictly speaking? Probably not. But that said, it’s a lean-back feature in what is otherwise an intensely lean-forward service. Rdio’s radio stations are a great way to discover new music and are dead-easy to use. — MS

ABC DIGITAL TO PROVIDE STATION WEBSITES WITH CUSTOMIZABLE NEWS FEED

ABC Digital is a new service from ABC News Radio and Citadel Media that will provide specific customizable news feeds to radio station websites. The news can vary depending on target formats and includes music and entertainment updates.

The feed, which will be updated 24 hours a day, can be customized with station branding and local sponsors. All Acces has more coverage here.

ANGEL STREET CAPITAL INVESTS IN LIVIO RADIO

Internet radio device manufacturer and service provider Livio Radio has signed Angel Street Capital as a new investment partner. Livio says the new funding will help it accelerate development of in-car Internet radio services and technologies (much like Livio’s in-car Net radio kit pictured at left).

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Angel Street Capital was founded by Robert Maccini and Joseph Gallagher (RAIN coverage here). You can read more from Livio Radio’s press release here.

NEWWHITESPACEWIRELESS STANDARD CAN COVER 12,000 SQ. MILES

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has announced a new Wi-Fi standard that can cover up to 12,000 square miles with speeds of up to 22 Mbps. It uses the “white spaces” left in the TV frequency spectrum (more coverage here).

The IEEE writes, “This technology is especially useful for serving less densely populated areas, such as rural areas, and developing countries where most vacant TV channels can be found.” Find more coverage here.



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