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RAIN 8/6: New Sony Walkman includes Slacker, Wi-Fi

Posted on: 08/06/2009

SLACKER APP BUILT-IN, ALSO INCLUDES FM RADIO

In what’s perhaps a sign of the times, the newest conception of the emblematic Sony Walkman includes Slacker Internet radio, a Wi-Fi connection and a digital FM tuner. Dubbed the X Series Walkman, the device sports a touch-screen and 16-32GB of storage for music, videos and photos. Slacker’s Internet radio service comes built-in with the device and users can sign up for a free account using an ID supplied with their X Series. The Associated Press’ Rachel Metz found Slacker’s sound quality to be “crystal-clear.”

Additionally, Metz found that the FM tuner “got a surprisingly good reception.” The X Series’ radio offerings, plus a crisp screen and noise cancellation features, are the devices’ primary pros. However, those aren’t enough to stave off “limitations and execution problems” which Metz said make the device “somewhat disappointing overall,” especially when compared to Apple’s iPod Touch offerings. Still, “if great audio is your first — and main — priority, Sony’s X Series may be the one,” she writes. For more, read Metz’s full article here.

ROSIN TO BROADCASTERS: IF I CAN’T FIND YOUR STREAM IN A GOOGLE SEARCH, HOW CAN LISTENERS?

Edison Research’s co-founder and president Larry Rosin typed “Internet radio” into Google and Bing, and was a little surprised by what he found. Or, perhaps, what he didn’t find. The searches found “no connection to commercial radio,” listing Pandora, Live365, Shoutcast, Slacker and Yahoo instead. “No one is going to listen your online station if they can’t find your stream,” Rosin writes. “And no one is going to find your stream by accident unless Google or Bing finds it.” Rosin offers to help at Edison’s Infinite Dial blog here.

MONTHLY MOBILE DATA TRAFFIC IN 2014 WILL OUTPACE TOTAL TRAFFIC FROM 2008, SAYS STUDY

ABI Research’s recently released report on mobile data traffic estimates that in 2014, monthly mobile data traffic will outpace the total traffic for all of 2008. The study found that global mobile data traffic hit 1.3 Exabytes, but that in 2014 traffic could hit 1.6 Exabytes per month. Additionally, streaming of audio and video content will account for 26% of that usage, ABI Research predicts. For more, check out RBR’s coverage here.

GOOGLE CLOSES DEAL WITH WIDEORBIT FOR RADIO AD SERVICE

Google has officially sold its broadcast radio ad service to WideOrbit, an Internet ad management company. The sale was announced in July (RAIN coverage here), after Google announced it would be selling the service back in February (RAIN coverage here). WideOrbit bought the service for an undisclosed sum, reports the Washington Post (here). The company receives Google’s radio ad technology, including Google Radio Automation, Maestro and SS32 automation products, as well as Google Radio’s employees.

SONORO WI-FI RADIO STREAMS PANDORA, MAY BREAK THE BANK

Sonoro’s Elements W Wi-Fi Internet radio was previewed in yesterday’s issue of RAIN (here), which piqued our interest to find out more. The The Dallas Morning News’ Jim Rossman recently took the desktop radio for a spin, predicting that Sonoro probably is “going to sell a lot of these radios.” Sound quality is good and while the menus are hard to navigate, the radio features 16,000 Net radio stations and supports Pandora streams. The radio can also play networked music and for an additional $80 add-on, can play your iPod too. The Sonoro radio may put a strain on your wallet at $500 however. For more, check out Rossman’s review here.



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