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RAIN 05/11: Livio announces mobile app designed for in-car Internet radio

Posted on: 05/12/2010


Detroit-based Livio has announced its new iPhone/iPod Touch Internet radio app specifically designed for listening in the car.

The app, available this month, features large pre-set buttons for easy tuning while driving. The app can “recommend” new listening options: the user simply swipes a finger across the screen while a station is playing to retune the app to another station of a similar genre. The app can use the Apple devices’ built-in GPS to find links to local stations (helpful while traveling). And, Livio says it can “stream music in the background on the iPhone while using other applications (via Safari),” which would be helpful if a driver needed to pull up navigation software or traffic info.

The app has already been named a Top 25 finalist in the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show’s Mobile Apps Showdown. The app uses RadioTime’s tuning platform to access over 42,000 AM/FM and Internet-only radio streams.

Livio is the company that developed the Livio Radio for NPR (RAIN coverage here) and Pandora (in RAIN here) listeners to access those streams without a PC. Livio founder and CEO Jake Sigal spoke at both our RAIN Summit North and RAIN Summit West events (see video from RTTNews.com here and here).


Last week, WFMU made its live 128k stream available in most browsers using HTML5 instead of the ubiquitous Flash.

Adobe’s Flash platform, used for countless web applications (including streaming for many webcasters, such as AccuRadio) is not supported by Apple’s mobile operating system (and thus Flash-based applications are not available on the iPhone). Some webcasters — like NPR — have created Flash-less versions of their sites with HTML5 (the updated markup language that’s the basis of the Web).

WFMU technology director Doron Gura told RAIN, “As far as we can tell this is the first example of live mp3 streaming audio done entirely in the browser. At present the station considers its HTML5 player to be an experiment but it’s a decent example of how ‘thick’ clients (Winamp / iTunes / etc.) and Flash will likely get phased out for a purely browser based solution.” You can try out the player here.

WFMU is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey.


There’s still no word on when exactly the first U.S. 4G smartphone — the HTC EVO on Sprint — will be released, but as more details come to light about the device it’s becoming clear it’s a radio-lover’s dream gadget.

First off, it runs on Google’s Android operating system, which can run apps from Pandora, Slacker, and Jacobs Media’s jacAPPS. Secondly, it has an FM tuner on board for local radio. Finally, you can turn the EVO into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to share your 4G connection with devices like the iPod Touch, iPad or any other Net radio Wi-Fi gadget. Oh, and we hear it makes phone calls, too.

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