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RAIN 12/8: Top webcaster planning to get into your car

Posted on: 12/08/2009

PANDORA REVEALS PLANS TO MOVE INTO U.S. AUTOS

Pandora CTO Tom Conrad revealed to SanFran Music Tech Summit attendees his company “is preparing to move more aggressively into the automotive space, with deeper integration with car radios and controls on the horizon,” reports GigaOM. Conrad said his company’s strategy will transition from smartphone apps that can be controlled from the steering wheel or dash (they’re reportedly already working with Ford on this), and then building the service straight into web-enabled cars. More details will likely have to wait at least next month’s CES event in Las Vegas. Half of Pandora’s mobile users already listen in their cars via mobile devices plugged into the car stereo’s line-in jack, according to Conrad. (Note, Conrad didn’t say “half of all mobile listening,” so the half could mean any mobile listener who’s ever tried it. Regardless, the trend is clear, and unsurprising.) Read GigaOM’s coverage here.

NPR RELAUNCHES MOBILE INTERFACE, ANNOUNCES ANDROID APP

National Public Radio (NPR) today announced it is launching both a redesigned and expanded mobile NPR.org for web-enabled devices, and an NPR News app for the Android platform.

The new NPR Mobile Web interface includes a new station search and bookmark feature, a wider range and higher quality of audio codecs, and more member station audio content. The Android app, available later this month, will feature the ability to listen “in the background” (while using other apps), a playlist function, bookmarking favorite stations, and news organized by “Top Topics.”

Finnish-based mobile technology company Conmio announced today that it provided the software platform, design and audio services for the new NPR mobile platform.

LISTEN TO A 5-MINUTE SCAN OF NYC RADIO THE NIGHT OF LENNON’S MURDER

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon in New York. Thousands of shocked and mourning fans in that city understandably turned to their radio for information and consolation (I myself, here in Chicago, was administered the bitter pill by none other than Howard Cosell during “Monday Night Football” — hear it here). A 5:44 scan down the New York dial from that night features bits of news reports, calls from bewildered fans, and lots of music. You can hear it here.

CC TO OFFER UNIQUE VERIZON WIRELESS IHEARTRADIO APP FOR ANDROID, BLACKBERRY

Jennifer Lane, in Audio4Cast, reports Clear Channel will offer a special Verizon Wireless-only version of iheartradio in its new mobile app for Android and Blackberry devices. The new app is due by Christmas, and will integrate into Verizon’s branded content platform VCast Music (which enables mobile purchases of full-track downloads, ringtones, ringback tones, etc.).

The iheartradio app for the Apple iPhone (available only with AT&T) has been downloaded more than 4 million times. The iheartradio platform now includes streams of Clear Channel’s most popular local radio stations as well as digital-only channels like “Christina Aguilera Radio,” “Megadeth Radio,” and “White House Brief.” Clear Channel has also added advertiser-sponsored channels like “Pirate Radio” (to promote the film of that name) and “Red Star Radio” for Macy’s.



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