Web Radio Hits The Road
May 29, 2009 at 5:31 AM (PT)
THE WASHINGTON POST's ROB PEGORARO writes, "It took a long drive over a holiday weekend -- a setting that should have played to all of radio's traditional strengths-- to show how much trouble commercial FM stations may have in store. The soundtrack for the trip along Interstates 66 and 81 to the SHENANDOAH VALLEY town of WOODSTOCK, VA, came not from FM, an XM SIRIUS satellite broadcast or such recorded alternatives as CD or iPOD.
"Instead, our musical selection came from an Internet-connected smartphone that streamed Web radio to the nearest speakers through a cheap tape-deck adapter.
"And it cost nothing extra on top of the phone's regular service plan.
"For people at a desk, Web radio has long offered a terrific upgrade over the playlist-choked monotony of most FM stations. But a few things had to happen before people could order up Web radio to go.
"First, wireless carriers had to offer data services fast enough for a digital stream of music -- then relax the absurd restrictions they first imposed on this access, which in some cases explicitly banned Web radio. Then phone developers had to make it easy for users to tune in, either through browsers on phones or programs provided through such simple software catalogues as APPLE's App Store."
Check out the full article here.