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RAIN 12/22: Students create Net radio app for Ford's in-dash web system

Posted on: 12/22/2009

SYNCCASTWOULD STREAM WEB RADIO TO FORD DASHBOARDS

Students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn have created two applications for Ford’s in-dash web-connected Sync system, one of which streams Internet radio. Ford recently announced they would be updating Sync to include downloadable apps, much like on a smartphone (RAIN coverage here). As part of the preparations for such an upgrade, the company asked six University of Michigan-Dearborn students to adapt popular smartphone apps for use in Sync.

Interestingly, the students found the smartphone apps unsuitable for easy adaptation, partly due to the challenges of an auto interface that needs to be easy to use while driving. So instead, the students just developed their own apps from scratch. One is called SYNCcast” and streams Internet radio to car dashboards. The other is a GPS application with a twist on the traditional turn-by-turn directions concept. The students’ success will help Ford in their official roll-out of the Sync update next year. Find out more from Smart Planet here.

BUT WAIT, SAYS BNET, WEBCASTERS HAVE TO DEVELOP SEAMLESS STREAMING FIRST

All this talk about introducing Internet radio to car dashboards is all well and good, says BNET, but webcasters “still haven’t conquered the classic radio hurdle –- a seamless broadcast…even with the futuristic cloud system [in which a car is connected to the Internet], it’s still the same issue of dropped reception because of bad weather, remote areas and tunnels.” Webcasters could combat the problem by increasing buffer sizes — loading minutes of coming music ahead of time in case of network drop-outs. BNET has more here.

MIROAMER AQUIRES ASSETS OF AUSTRALIAN STREAMER STRIPE

MiRoamer, the Australian company that developed the Internet radio tuning platform used in the Blaupunkt in-car receiver has acquired the assets of Australian subscription-based webcaster Stripe, including 35 channels covering music, news, talk, sports and comedy. The channels are professionally programmed but can be customized by listeners.

miRoamer will launch the content next year as “miRoamer Platinum,” and will also provide the channels to companies looking to create a custom Internet radio stream for customers. The miRoamer platform aggregates 35,000 web radio streams.



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