There you go, Microsoft joins the MWC 2010 party by announcing its completely rebranded Windows mobile OS, now called Windows Phone 7 series. Â But aside from the rebranding, Microsoft has also mentioned several new and exciting features of its latest mobile OS.
Although there is no definite handset yet that will carry Windows Phone 7 Series, Â Microsoft is banking on the mobile platform’s brand new appeal. In fact, 7 series was built completely from the ground up. Â And among its nice features include – a new home screen, integration with XBOX Live and Microsoft Zune, as well as enhanced social networking features.
In addition, the new OS makes a Windows Phone 7 Series phone look a lot like Microsoft Zune. But it heavily focuses on social networking features. And integrating the OS with Xbox, the OS will have Live games, game avatars as well as profiles.
What’s pretty interesting about his development is that Microsoft also announced that their new OS will require mobile phone manufacturers to adhere to a one identity policy. This means that Â new phones will be sporting Â high res touchscreen, and Â three front-facing buttons.
Windows Phone 7 Series will be supported by various telecoms company including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Telefonica, and more.
An Internet-based WorldRadio that can receive broadcasts for free from 15,000 radio stations from more than 160 countries is now available from Wolverine Data, Inc.
â€œWorldRadio is the most complete guide to the world of digital quality live entertainment, sports, music, news and talk on the Internet receiving thousands of stations from over 160 countries around the globe,â€ Matt Mardini, Wolverine Data president, said. â€œBy connecting our new WorldRadio to the Internet via its built-in Wi-Fi or Ethernet/LAN, consumers can indulge their personal listening preferences by genre or country anywhere in the world.â€
Offering a stand-alone Internet radio capability with vTuner portal, the WorldRadio is the most advanced Internet radio with maximum worldwide station reach. The device features built-in 6-watt stereo speakers and external audio jacks to connect to headphones or a stereo system and users can sort by genre, country or add their own music. In addition, the WorldRadio uses Windows Media Player 11 to wirelessly stream music from a computer.
The WorldRadio package includes a 100-240V auto switching AC to 9V power adapter, remote control with batteries, quick installation guide and user manual.
Reciva and Pandora announced their partnership to make Pandora available on Reciva-powered Internet Radio receivers and networked devices in the US. Products from more than 30 Consumer Electronics brands are expected to be upgraded to offer Pandora’s unique Internet radio service.
Pandora is a personalized music service which has exploded in popularity to more than 10 million users, almost entirely by word of mouth. Pandora makes listening to favorite music and discovering new music simple and fun. Users just type in a song or artist that they like, and within seconds, Pandora delivers a free and personalized radio station with a continuous stream of songs that fit the same sound and style.
The songs are selected based on the Music Genome Project, Pandora’s innovative system that utilizes highly trained musicians to analyze music one song at a time. These musicians identify hundreds of different musical qualities of each recording, including melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, arrangement, lyrics and vocals. Using this analysis, the listener’s personalized radio stations are created
Reciva-powered radios allow users easy and convenient access thousands of live radio stations from across the world without the need for a PC. These are mostly terrestrial broadcasters streaming their broadcast signal over the Internet in a process known as “simulcasting”. The addition of Pandora to the Reciva platform adds a unique and highly personalized service that is tailored to the user’s preferences.
Users can rate songs on Pandora through the “Reply” button on every Reciva powered Internet Radio with either “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” so Pandora can immediately adjust the station’s programming, and they can pause a song as well as skip a song that they don’t want to hear. Using the “Reply” button, listeners can also bookmark a song, and the song name and artist will be saved.
NowLive, a relatively new online service which combines social networking and user-generated broadcasting, announced a new widget today for making it easier to get a talk show noticed by the online masses. This widget can be plugged into a variety of Web sites.
The NowLive Talk Show widget lets anyone with a social networking profile on sites such as MySpace or blog sites like LiveJournal, Blogger and TypePad embed their own live talk show directly into their personal profile. NowLive in general works by letting one dial a local phone number to create voice streams for his or her new talk show. Talk show hosts can interact with listeners through a variety of tools and the shows are later made available as downloadable podcasts.
â€œBloggers, podcasters and anyone who wants to be heard can be on the air in less than 60 seconds,â€ said NowLive Co-founder & CEO Kevin Bromber. â€œBut unlike traditional radio, a social broadcast lets the audience actively participate in the show from their computers and cell phones.â€
Federal court of appeals rejects webcasters’ motion to delay the onset of internet radio royalty rates passed by the Copyright Royalty Board early this year.
The new fees are set to kick in on Sunday as scheduled, as the webcasters’ party failed to “satisfy the stringent standards required for a stay pending court review.”
The Digital Media Assocation, headed by executive director Jonathan Potter, is hopeful that webcasters could still make amends with the music industry and the royalty board. In the meantime, Internet radio stations will be “forced to make very difficult decisions about what music, if any, they are able to offer. The result will certainly be fewer outlets for independent music, less diversity on the Internet airwaves, and far fewer listening choices for consumers.”
This agreement made by the Copyright Royalty Board requires internet radio stations to pay .08 cent per song played online, retroactive to 2006, which rises up to .19 cent by 2010. Also, stations ahave to pay a minimum of $500 royalty payment per channel. It was because of this that webcasters around the world staged a day of silence last July 26 as a plea for reconsideration.
CBS Radio’s Sports station improves its popular talk shows with interactive video streaming courtesy of Paltalk. Among these shows are The Mike North Morning and The Boers and Berstein which are aired at 6-10 am and 2-6 pm respectively.
This latest development allows listeners to participate through live video streaming so that they get to see both on-air personalities as well as other listeners who are viewing the videos too.
“We have been aggressive in implementing digital technologies into our everyday operations and our listeners have responded to all our initiatives with great enthusiasm,” Paul Agase, VP and general manager of the station, said. “Of all the ways our listeners have to connect with the station, live video streaming brings an entirely new level of engagement, which we are excited to offer.”
The regularly scheduled programming of millions of Internet radio listeners will be temporarily interrupted today with tens of thousands of U.S. webcasters observing a national Day of Silence. Protesting the recent 300 percent royalty rate increase for online music webcasters, the aim of the industry wide daylong blackout is to raise awareness of the threat these new rates pose to the future of Internet radio and rally support for legislation pending in Congress.
“Webcasters of every size and from every corner of the country will stand unite tomorrow to protest a very real and fast approaching threat to their livelihood,” said Jake Ward, a spokesperson for the SaveNetRadio Coalition. “With nearly a half million emails and phone calls from webcasters, listeners, and the artists they support sent to Congress in just the last two months, this national grassroots campaign has certainly captured the attention of lawmakers, but there is more to be done and time is running out.
The Coalition urges their listeners to contact their congressional representatives and ask them to support the Internet Radio Equality Act and preserve the future of Internet radio.
Internet-only webcasters and broadcasters that simulcast online will alert their listeners that “silenece” is what the Internet radio may be reduced to after July 15th, the day on which 17 months’ worth of retroactive royalty payments are due to the SoundExchange collection organization, following a recent Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision.
On June 26, thousands of webcasters will go silent and cut off the music in protest to the royalty rate increase by the Copyright Royalty Rate Board.
Some of the participants of this protest includes Yahoo, Rhapsody, MTV Online and Live 365.
Jake Ward, SaveNetRadio coalition spokesperson, said in a statement:
“The arbitrary and drastic rate increases set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on March 2 threaten the very livelihood of thousands of webcasters and their millions of listeners throughout the country,”
“The campaign to save Internet radio — a genuine grass-roots movement comprised of hundreds of thousands of webcasters, artists and independent labels, and Net radio listeners — has quickly brought this issue to the national forefront and the halls of Congress, but there is still more to be done before the approaching deadline of July 15.”
On the SaveNetRadio website, countdown to July 15 starts, tagging that day as “The Day the Music Dies”. Internet Radio broadcasters are calling on Senators and Congressional Representatives to heed to their call and save the future of web broadcasting.
The decision made by CRB to make webcasters pay for music played over Internet radio stations is effective on July 15 and will include retroactive payments dating back to January of 2006.
Some say that while this is merely an appeal for drastic change, this event could also be the end of the Internet Radio industry. We’ll know soon.