Search This Blog

Monday, November 16, 2009

Smart Phones and Internet Radio

Before last week, I'd never really used Internet radio. That's because if I'm working, I find music distracting, and if I'm not working, I don't want to be near a computer.

My new smart phone (Motorola Cliq) has changed all that. I'm pretty amazed by the concept: a free and customizable set of virtual "radio stations" that learn your preferences over time, with no (audio) advertising, and can be used with headphones or a home or car stereo system. I love it. It's the best thing since sliced bread.

I'm finding it takes about 100 songs to train a station (by hitting the "love" and "ban" buttons appropriately when various songs that you like or don't like play) and after that I end up liking 80 to 90% of the songs it serves up which is certainly better than standard radio (which I rarely listen to) and even most albums that I own.

The business model is pretty cool too. As the song plays, the album and other identifying information is displayed along with an unobtrusive ad at the top. In addition, if you hear a song you'd like to buy, you just hit the "buy" button and it's automatically added to your library (the cost per song is around $1). Unlike iPods, which need to be connected to a computer to download music, it happens automatically.

I realize that iPhone and other smart phone owners probably are mostly all using the Internet radio feature already, but I'm a slow adopter of technology, so it takes me a while to catch on.

No comments: