It's no secret that what we once thought of as "radio" is changing drastically. Already, there are things like satellite radio and digital radio -- and there are those who consider file sharing, podcasts and music players like iPod as "the next generation of radio." Two more examples are about to hit the market, suggesting that this next generation for radio is also getting fairly crowded. First will be Motorola's new iRadio service, which we saw launched at DEMO in February (for the first time -- apparently this second launch is... um... just 'cause). The idea is to have the mobile phone be the core of the audio experience. You can download audio files directly to the phone, and then either listen to them directly off the phone, or use Bluetooth to stream the songs through your car stereo or home stereo. It's a neat idea, but it'll be a few years before it gets anywhere near realistic/useful. How many people actually have Bluetooth enabled car stereos or home stereos? Yes, Motorola will offer an adapter, but you also need to buy their special phone, which doesn't really seem to hold that much data -- so it all seems a bit limited. Then, you've got the launch of visual radio, which is basically just trying to update existing FM radio with things like song information and album art. It seems like a fairly weak attempt at updating radio in the face of a lot of competition, but it's hard to see it having much of an impact, considering the competition should be able to keep doing much, much more.
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