August 25 2008
Most people I know can not stand the Clear Channel radio stations. With their limited and heavy repetitious playlists, constant talking and advertising, a lot of people are giving up radio all together and relying on their ipods or other mp3 players. With the recent release of Apple's iPhone 3G, the ability to stream internet radio stations without a tethered connection is becoming easy especially with the iPhone app called Tuner. This app allows you connect to over 1000 of stations including 88Nine RadioMilwaukee. Now connect the iPhone to your car stereo to your aux and then you have more choices than satellite radio and never have to listen to those commercial heavy Clear Channel stations again.
Now imagine if someone was to develop a similar interface like the iPhone for your car that could be also voice activated. You could get rid of your gps, satellite radio and just have an all in one communication, and entertainment device that is constantly connected to the web.
Well that will be a reality real soon thanks to Chrysler and Autonet Mobile. Chrysler plans to launch wireless internet in all of its 2009 models for only $29/month using a router made by Autonet Mobile which will cost $500.
Chrysler plans to launch the first such service, called UConnect Web, in August. The company says it will make wireless Internet available on all of its 2009 models (including Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles) for $29 per month. To sign up for the service, customers will also have to pay $499 to have a router installed in their car.
Imagine Apple starts making the platform and interfaces for cars to connect to internet radio streams, google maps, etc. The interface could be activated by touch and voice. You could even program all your presets from your computer had home via a website so you want have to fiddle with it in the car while you are driving. What Apple and Chrysler are doing could forever change the landscape for radio for the better....
However, your friendly RIAA lobbyist and royalty collection company SoundExchange would like to prevent you from having a choice in what you listen to. SoundExchange want to increase the royalty rates astronomically for internet broadcasters which could put a majority of internet only broadcasters such as Pandora out of business. This would also affect terrestrial stations who simulcast their stations on the internet such as RadioMilwaukee which is a non-profit station, and prevent us from streaming due to the proposed royalty rates. The only stations that could afford these rates would be you friendly Clear Channel stations. So basically your 1000 stations you could potentially have in your car would be cut down substantially to only the big corporate stations, and you are back to listen to a narrow playlist and a whole lot of commercials.
On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future.
At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further.
Check out this article by Kurt Hanson that explains the consequences if the rates would go up. Don't let lawyers and lobbyist prevent technological and creative progress. Contact your congressman or go to Save Net Radio's website. Also check out this great article called "The Internet Death Watch".
Don't forget the RIAA also recently shut down the popular online mixtape site Muxtape.