Sonos are well-known for their innovative audio products which integrate together to build highly controllable wireless hi-fi systems. Simplistically, you can start with one or two units and build-up over time until you can play music in any room in the house. The Sonos system can be controlled via smartphones and tablets with apps available for both iOS and Android devices.
SiriusXM is best know for their in-car satellite receiver head units but the latest Lynx unit combines satellite with Internet radio and an mp3 player. John finds out more with Sirius sales manager, Paul Truman.
The Lynx SiriusXM receiver combines the traditional head unit with features more usually found on a personal media player. Large touchscreen – check, mp3 playback – check, Internet radio – check, wifi and Bluetooth – check, rechargeable battery – check.
But one really clever feature most media players don’t have is the ability to go back in time. Not literally, but your favourite stations are constantly being recorded so that if you tune in and discover you missed the start of the programme, you can simply rewind the stream to the start of the show.
To cap it off, the unit is about the size of a paperback. Sweet.
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Charles Bellfield and Vicky Deacon of the Pure team stopped by to discuss their new internet connected radio, called the Contour. It boasts, not only full internet radio, but also an iPod / iPhone dock. It features both WiFi and ethernet connectivity, access to almost 17,000 internet radio stations (plus podcasts and Pure Sounds, which is their own library of content), and two 18 watt stereo speakers. It will also feature what Pure is calling “Flow” which will allow listeners to tag songs using Shazam-like technology and the purchase the tracks. You can ID and buy songs with 2 clicks. The Pure Contour will be available globally in late February for an MSRP of $299.99.
Interview by Andy McCaskey from SDR News and Tom Newman from Fogview
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Obviously the name is a play on “radio”, but, they say they pronounce it “ar-dee-oh”. What I am talking about is the new service Rdio, which is in private beta right now.
My attempts to get into the beta program, so far, have failed, but I will tell you what I have been able to learn from “other sources”.
First, what is Rdio? In their words:
“Your music. Everywhere. Unlimited access to music from your computer and mobile phone, even when you’re offline.”
The first question is, what exactly does that mean? Well, it scans your current music library (either iTunes or Windows Media Player) and then builds your online database (from their source files). At that point your entire music library becomes available online from wherever you are, including your mobile phone, although, per their web site, it’s only iPhone and Blackberry at this point. But, it seems, Android was just added, although it’s not listed on on the Rdio site yet.
In addition, you can add any song or album on Rdio’s site to your playlist.
They have licenses in place with most major labels already, so there’s no problem getting the majority of most music collections. You may only miss a few indie bands.
The second question I had was about the “offline” part. And, how this works, is something I have not been able to confirm. But, I’ve heard reports that it actually does work.
The other big feature here, in addition to the music itself, is the social part. When you sign up you can follow other people. The site can even search your Twitter and Facebook lists and find people you follow there and add them to your Rdio friends list. You can then listen to your friends playlists as well as creating your own playlists to share.
Like I said, I haven’t used it yet, but it sounds good. It won’t replace Pandora, but it’s not out to do that. It’s a different kind of service. I am not sold on the social part. After all, I haven’t listened to any friends’ stations in Pandora since Facebook helpfully added them without my permission. But I am also not horrified by my musical tastes being shared, and in the long run, the service, as a whole, sounds like a glimpse into the future of where music is headed.
I am officially on a mini vacation but the show must go on. Lots of interesting tech tonight with a little bit of good to know information.
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