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RAIN 7/7: Net connections, and Internet radio, becoming more common in mass appeal consumer electronics

Posted on: 07/07/2010

ACCESS TO NET RADIO VIA COMMON DEVICES COULD SPARK LISTENING BEYOND PCs, SMARTPHONES

It seems more and more new home entertainment devices now not only connect to the Internet, but stream web radio. All of them expand Internet radio’s reach beyond the PC to TVs, media centers and bedside tables — and perhaps more importantly to consumers that aren’t specifically looking for an Internet radio. Here’s a quick run-through:

Sony’s new A/V receivers and Blu-Ray players can stream Internet radio and can be controlled via iPhone applications. They run from $400 to $2000 and PC Magazine has details here.

Okoro’s new multi-room Media Center PC (pictured right) — again meant to be attached to a TV or stereo system — streams Internet radio and comes packaged with an iPad to use as a remote. Clever. HotHardware.com has more here.

The Diamond HD Media Wonder from Western Digital is a hard drive you hook up to your TV to play digital videos and music. It also features Internet radio selections. Goes for around $100, though there’s also a “Mini” version for $50. Find a full review here.

We saved our favorite for last: the odd looking VoIP Icon Phone (pictured left) can make calls, display text messages and yes, if you can believe it, stream Internet radio stations through stereo speakers. No word on pricing or availability, but you can trust we’ll keep you posted. More here.

CNET: iPAD, CHUMBY, KINDLE FULFILL KERBANGO’S “INTERNET APPLIANCE DREAM

Dedicated RAIN readers will remember the Kerbango Internet radio, an exciting Wi-Fi radio device that was supposed to come out in 2001 but popped with the rest of the Internet bubble. CNet points to the device as just one of a first-generation of unsuccessful Internet appliances. But now, 10 years later, the “dream” of Kerbango and others has been realized, writes CNet.

Internet appliances today (devices “that offered tech newbies a simpler and cheaper way to get onto the Internet”) include the iPad and Chumby (pictured left) — devices that perform a plethora of web-related tasks, including streaming Net radio (for more examples, check out the story above!) — as well as single-purpose devices like the Kindle. They owe their success to today’s wide-spread availability of high-speed Internet. You can read CNet’s full article here.

APP UPDATES: ESPN RADIO COMES TO ANDROID, GRACE DIGITAL UPGRADES, AIRKAST TO BUILD RADIO ONE APPS

On the mobile front today,
ESPN Radio has launched a $5 Android app. It streams 17 stations, accesses podcasts and includes other features. Meanwhile, Grace Digital has updated their own $5 iPhone app to include iOS4 multitasking abilities. That app streams over 17,000 radios stations and podcasts and can integrate with Grace’s tabletop Wi-Fi radios. Radio World has more here.

Finally, AirKast has announced it will build iPhone and BlackBerry applications for 51 Radio One stations. Android applications will follow the initial apps on Apple and RIM devices. Find more from the companies’ press release here.

NET RADIO PROGRAM SYNDICATED TO AM STATIONS

“The Fairness Doctrine,“ a program from Internet radio station CyberStationUSA.com, can now be heard on WNSH-AM (1570) in Beverly, MA and WDIS-AM (1170) in Norfolk, MA, according to Radio-Info (here). CyberStationUSA.com is located in a Boston suburb.



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