Google Looks to Personalize Music with New Release Radio

Google just announced that New Release Radio is now opened up to all users. The new feature uses machine learning to analyze the user’s taste in music and then suggests new music based on those tastes. The feature will introduce both albums and singles that have debuted in the last two weeks; Google promotes it as “a really quick way to check out all-new music that’s tailored just for you.” Samsung Galaxy S8 users have had early access to New Release Radio since June, as a result of Google’s global partnership with the electronics giant. Continue reading Google Looks to Personalize Music with New Release Radio

Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Unlike Google, Microsoft is not trying to connect the entire Earth by using drones or balloons. Instead, the company hopes to utilize television white space, an unused part of the broadcast spectrum, to provide more Internet access to people living in Africa. After running cost-effective pilot programs in the U.S. and Kenya, Microsoft has found that the challenge for Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is to persuade governments to lift regulations to allow them to utilize white space. Continue reading Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Energous and Witricity have developed new ways to charge smartphones, tablets and other small devices without needing wires to plug them into an outlet. Energous’ WattUp technology allows users to recharge phones in special cases or receivers that can pick up signals from a transmitter that is plugged in more than 10 feet away. Toyota and TDK are already planning to utilize Witricity’s wireless charging technology in upcoming hybrid and electric cars, and car batteries. Continue reading Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Television broadcasters, which are suing for an injunction to shut down Aereo, are also said to be considering back-up plans in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of the video startup. Options being considered range from lobbying Congress for legislative solutions to possibly transitioning from broadcast to cable transmission. Broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC contend that Aereo is violating copyright law by capturing over-the-air signals and streaming them via the Web to paying customers. Continue reading TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Yesterday we reported that Yahoo has been ramping up its online video efforts and content catalog to compete more directly with Google’s YouTube for viewers and advertising revenue. Now it has been reported that Yahoo is in preliminary talks to purchase online-video service News Distribution Network, a deal estimated at roughly $300 million according to insiders. NDN is a video syndication service that provides newspapers and Web publishers with clips related to news, sports, politics and other topics. Continue reading Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Trial Proves HD and SD Streams Can Share Same TV Channel

Channel sharing trials recently conducted by Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA have determined that there are few technical barriers to two broadcasters sharing the same 6 MHz channel. The report should serve as good news for the FCC, which hopes to auction off a percentage of broadcast airwaves to mobile carriers in 2015. Key to the FCC’s plan is convincing broadcasters that they can efficiently consolidate feeds onto fewer television channels. Continue reading Trial Proves HD and SD Streams Can Share Same TV Channel

Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

In somewhat anticlimactic fashion, the lengthy, dramatic battle regarding what digital music service Pandora should pay ASCAP ended Friday when U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Pandora should continue to pay the performing rights organization what it has been paying through 2015. Pandora had argued that it should pay less than the current 1.85 percent of revenue, while ASCAP had argued for an escalating rate structure that would require Pandora to pay 2.5 percent of revenue for 2013 and 3 percent in 2015. Continue reading Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

Aereo: Internet TV Service on Hold in Denver and Salt Lake City

TV startup Aereo has temporarily shut down its service in Denver and Salt Lake City. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit refused to overturn a preliminary injunction granted by a Utah District Court judge that prohibits Aereo from operating in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. Aereo is issuing full refunds for this month to customers in the two cities. Despite the setback, Aereo continues its expansion with a recent launch in Austin, Texas one week before the SXSW conference. Continue reading Aereo: Internet TV Service on Hold in Denver and Salt Lake City

Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Samsung launched a free radio-streaming service in the U.S. last week, which aims to attract customers for its Galaxy-branded smartphones while taking on the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Apple. The initially ad-free “Milk Music” combines content licensed from Slacker Radio’s catalog of about 13 million songs with music obtained exclusively for Samsung. It differs from other services in that users do not need to log in or even register. The application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Continue reading Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Execs Discuss Era of Advanced Broadcasting at HPA Retreat

How to advance broadcasting to its next iteration was the topic of two sessions at the HPA Tech Retreat this week, one a panel moderated by Ericsson SVP TV Technology Matthew Goldman, and including representatives from Fox, Sinclair Broadcast Group, CBS, CBC, PBS and Cox Media Group, and, second, a discussion led by former Fox Engineering President Andy Setos, with broadcast executive Jim DeFilippis joining via Internet from the Sochi Olympics. Continue reading Execs Discuss Era of Advanced Broadcasting at HPA Retreat

Two LA TV Stations Test Channel Sharing to Free Up Spectrum

KLCS and KJLA in Los Angeles will be the first television stations to participate in a pilot test to determine if sharing airwaves can be achieved effectively without reducing signal quality. Since the conversion to digital broadcasting, stations have been able to use their spectrum allotment of six megahertz more efficiently and broadcast multiple signals on a single band. The FCC hopes the experiment will encourage broadcasters to participate in spectrum auctions so that more airwaves can be used for wireless broadband. Continue reading Two LA TV Stations Test Channel Sharing to Free Up Spectrum

New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

What if every radio station was searchable and you could look up a song you wanted to listen to, pick one of the stations it was currently playing on, and listen? Radio Search Engine, a new venture by entrepreneur Michael Robertson, allows just that. The site indexes around 40,000 radio stations in real-time and allows users to tune in from the Web. Currently in beta mode, Radio Search Engine essentially turns thousands of radio stations into a searchable music jukebox. Continue reading New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

Sony Agrees to Sell Gracenote to Tribune Co. for $170 Million

We recently reported that Gracenote would introduce ad targeting to terrestrial radio consumers in an effort to make radio ads in vehicles more relevant through personalization (the company is expected to promote its next-gen automotive platform at CES). Sony, which acquired Gracenote in 2008, recently agreed to sell the audio-recognition software business to focus on fewer products. In a deal that highlights the growing importance of metadata, the Tribune Company will pay Sony $170 million for the subsidiary. Continue reading Sony Agrees to Sell Gracenote to Tribune Co. for $170 Million

5G Mobile Technology: The End of the Cell as Building Block

Although it seems like 4G mobile technology is relatively new, it has been around since 2006. Specialists are now speculating about what the fifth generation holds. Federico Boccardi at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs and colleagues are focusing on technologies that are likely to have a disruptive impact on the next generation of mobile communication. They are pinpointing technologies that force us to rethink networks and how devices use them. Continue reading 5G Mobile Technology: The End of the Cell as Building Block

Image-Sharing Imgur Wants to Provide a TV-Like Experience

Image-sharing site Imgur wants to create a more TV-like experience. Creator Alan Schaaf believes the site can step in where TV leaves off to provide mindless (in a good way), easy-to-consume entertainment. The site’s biggest appeal is its ease of image uploading, sharing and commenting. Consuming is just as easy to do, and Schaaf thinks it’s equally as enjoyable as TV. Imgur launched a chat feature last month and is shifting from image host to a social community and public destination. Continue reading Image-Sharing Imgur Wants to Provide a TV-Like Experience