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December 12 2013

Spotify May Kill Pandora and iTunes, but Not Just Yet

Spotify may eventually make your iTunes and Pandora accounts obsolete, but don’t delete them just yet

Spotify's introduction of free streaming on-demand music to mobile devices, announced Wednesday, will not cause an overnight collapse of the major online music players, and may provide a short-term boost for services that still sell music. The more serious questions surround the long-term implications for a music industry already grappling with change.

Music lovers still buy musicSales of music on iTunes have not only weathered the storm of online music streaming, but benefitted from it. Even with the growth of streaming music, per-buyer spending on downloads rose 6% in 2012, according to NPD Group,market advisory service that tracks sales. Read more...

More about Itunes, Pandora, Streaming Music, Spotify, and Iheartradio

January 11 2012

Ford Brings iHeartRadio to Vehicles


Ford announced on Wednesday at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show that it is bringing iHeartRadio to its vehicle lineup, allowing drivers to access the popular radio service via voice commands.

Ford will be the first auto company to offer cars access to iHeartRadio, featuring more than 800 of the top broadcast and digital-only stations in the U.S.

By using Ford SYNC AppLink – which gives drivers hands-free voice control capability of smartphone apps – users will be able to listen to various radio stations by accessing steering wheel-mounted controls or SYNC’s voice commands. The driver can create a custom station, stop and start a song playing on a local iHeartRadio station and find traffic reports based on location via the phone’s GPS system.

For example, drivers can say “genre,” “city” or “personality” to search by type of GPS, location of station or host. The app also connects with Facebook Timeline, which allows users to share music with friends.

Highlights From CES: Sharp 80-Inch HDTV Just Got Even Better | First Intel Smartphone Will Be Lenovo K800 for China, Motorola Devices Coming | Facebook and Mercedes: An Unexpected Pair

“Smartphones now account for half of all new mobile phones and people increasingly expect to take control of when and where they listen to their media,” Julius Marchwicki, SYNC product manager, said in a statement. “With the AppLink-enabled version of iHeartRadio, Ford drivers can listen to their favorite stations even if they aren’t local, get recommendations and share what they listen to through Facebook.”

More drivers are now streaming radio from their mobile phones. According to a 2011 study from Arbitron & Edison, the number of drivers using their cell phones to listen to Internet radio in their vehicles has increased 5% in the past year, while time spent listening to online radio has jumped 49% in three years.

iHeart Radio is one of several apps for SYNC AppLink that the auto maker launched at this year’s tech event, including a voice-controlled NPR app. SYNC AppLink is now available in 10 Ford vehicles for the 2012 model year. The iHeart Radio app with SYNC capabilities is already available for download from the iTunes App Store, BlackBerry App World and it’s coming soon to the Android Market.

Are you looking forward to voice-controlled apps in vehicles? Do you think hands-free voice commands will help make technology in cars safer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

For more coverage from 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

CES 2012: Mashable’s Photo Coverage From the Ground

Check out more gadgets, booths and appearances from our team on the ground at CES 2012.

Solar-Powered Car

Covered in HIT photovoltaic modules, this super-sleek vehicle won the World Solar Challenge race

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: apps, CES, CES 2012, Facebook, iheartradio

January 10 2012

iHeartRadio Releases API for Third-Party Developers

Clear Channel Radio just unleashed iHeartRadio’s application programming interface, which will allow outside developers to infuse the music-streaming service’s content and features into their apps or other platforms.

After undergoing a face-lift in 2011 with a new logo and web site, iHeartRadio is looking for new ways to grow its user base and share its features in more places. iHeartRadio began that push by hopping on Facebook‘s Open Graph in September. The partnership let Facebook users share their iHeartRadio activity on their Timeline and ticker.

Now, iHeartRadio is opening the doors to the API that powers more than 800 stations and 11 million songs.

Third-party developers will need to sign up for the Developer Program to use the API. Once registered, developers will have access to API documents and brand guidelines to begin tinkering around with social media integration, custom stations, broadcast and digital-only stations, or other iHeartRadio features.

Rival music service Spotify shared its API in August and has since launched an app platform that grants users access to third-party applications such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Billboard, Last.fm and The Guardian.

SEE ALSO: 8 Great iPhone Apps for Music Lovers

Spotify became available in the U.S. in July and delivered its API to developers a month later, whereas iHeartRadio has been around since 2008 — the same year it released an iOS app — and just revealed its API Tuesday. Since 2008, iHeartRadio has created apps for BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Xbox.

“This move also builds on our commitment to be everywhere our listeners expect us to be, with the best products and services,” said Brian Lakamp, president of Clear Channel Digital, in an announcement.

More About: api, clear-channel, iheartradio, mobile apps, Music

April 20 2011

iHeartRadio App Hits the iPad

Clear Channel Radio has announced that its iHeartRadio App is now available on the iPad, widening the listening experience of its 750 digital radio stations for iOS-toting music lovers.

As soon as we heard that iHeartRadio was hitting the iPad, we immediately wondered if Clear Channel would be integrating any of the features from Thumbplay, which was acquired last month, into the new app. No such luck — the app is a streaming radio app with no on-demand to speak of.

Still, there aren’t that many music streaming/subscription services on the iPad — Pandora and SiriusXm are two of the big ones on the device — so the launch is notable all the same. And it’s free, which is a plus.

In fact, iHeartRadio stands more in competition to Vevo’s app than Pandora’s when it comes to functionality, as it features more content and social aspects than just music.

iHeartRadio has been available on the iPhone for a while now (and other devices and handsets), but the iPad version of the app adds a lot more functionality, including videos and social sharing.

First thing’s first, though: music. The app has a ton of stations and you can search content by station name, location, genre, tagline or call letters. Users can also see what’s playing on any given station by tapping the station icon.

Once you find a station you like, you can add it to Favorites for easy access later (you can also “favorite” songs, but not for future full listening — so it’s more like a bookmark); share the station via Facebook, Twitter or email; buy a song on iTunes; and view lyrics. The app also features music videos and interviews, which you can share via your social channels, as well as galleries.

The whole experience is designed to be wholly lean-forward. Images of bands scroll by when you’re listening to any given station, and you can also scroll through the station’s Twitter feed. However, the app can also streamed via AirPlay to Apple TV, so it can serve as background music.

We can see this app being a boon to ebook-reading commuters, seeing as how one can fire up a station and go about one’s business.

What iPad app do your prefer for pumping up the jams?

Photo courtesy of Flickr, João Pedro, uai!

More About: iheartradio, ipad, music

For more Media coverage:

January 04 2011

Pandora Radio Coming to Toyota Connected Cars


Ford isn’t the only auto company pursuing the connected car experience — Toyota also wants in on this emerging space. At CES in Las Vegas Tuesday, Toyota announced that it will be bringing Pandora to the Toyota Entune multimedia system.

Toyota’s Entune platform is similar to the Microsoft Auto platform that Ford uses for SYNC, but is built on a platform from Nuance. This platform allows users to use voice commands to perform tasks like tuning into Pandora radio stations, looking up directions and integrating with other web services.

In addition to Pandora, Toyota’s Entune system is also rolling out apps for Bing, OpenTable, iheartradio and MovieTickets.com. Users install an Entune app on their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphone, which then communicates with the built-in touch screen in the dash. Only the Entune app needs to be downloaded to the smartphone; the other apps are run and controlled from the server.

Like Ford SYNC, Entune integrates with a car’s navigation system. In addition to radio, movie ticket and restaurant reservations, the system will also offer traffic details, gas prices and weather. In a similar vein to the Enform system already in some Lexus vehicles, Entune can deliver sports scores and stock quotes.

Toyota plans to roll out its first Entune-equipped cars later this year. The approach the company is taking with connectivity is slightly different from what Ford has been doing with SYNC, but the end goal of a connected automobile that can integrate with what the system’s users already use in a seamless and unobtrusive way is something the auto industry as a whole seems to share.

As a big fan of the potential offered by the connected car, I think it’s great to see automakers like Toyota getting in on the game.

Disclosure: Ford is a sponsor of the Mashable Awards.

Reviews: Bing, Pandora

More About: autos, bing, cars, ces2011, connected car, entune, ford sync, iheartradio, movietickets.com, nuance, opentable, pandora, sync, Toyota

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