James Cridland's blog

A radio futurologist writing about what happens when radio and new platforms collide
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Why iPhone v3.0 is good for radio

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 7:56 pm. #

iPhone voice memo

So, the Apple iPhone 3GS doesn’t include an FM radio. In spite of some of the rumours.

But iPhone v3.0 is actually very good news for radio: for two reasons.

It lets your listeners hear your station

Ah, yes, I know the old iPhone let you download an application to listen to the radio. I’ve got plenty of them: from LBC, to Absolute and NPR. But now, you can listen to many more stations – even smaller ones which can’t make their own app.

On your iPhone (running v3.0 software), try visiting http://resonancefm.com/listen and clicking the “listen” icon, as you’d do on any normal computer. And you’ll find it’ll work. Because iPhone v3.0 copes with streaming MP3.

And better than that: when the stream starts, try clicking your ‘home’ key and checking your email. Note that – unlike any app – the radio doesn’t stop. It keeps on playing in the background. Excellent. (Go back to Safari to stop it).

It lets you hear your audience

The Voice Memo app, at first, seems a little pointless. But, if you record a voice memo, you can email that voice memo – as a high quality AAC file. Which means you can file broadcast-quality audio from wherever you have internet coverage.

It’s the cheapest outside-broadcast unit you have. And, unlike Audioboo, it’s private to you. Until you broadcast it, of course.

And of course, it could be a way to hear your audience as well.

So, the iPhone v3.0 could be a very good thing for radio. If we’re clever about using new platforms to reach a new audience, and to get that new audience to make our product even better.


commenting at June 19th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I have blogged about the useage of Audioboo and the iPhone previously as applications for radio… and i agree totally. It’s perfect – decent sound quality, definatly broadcastable, and better than some ISDN units! BBC_SOS is showing that it’s good enough, with audioboo being used… But the iphone really does make it possible for reporters to file from anywhere. And also, the internet tethering with iPhone 3Gs makes it possible to file edited clips possible – not everyone had a mobile broadband dongle before now, and not always possible to get one if you worked in local radio. Now, if a reporter is first on the scene, it’s possible to broadcast straightaway.

Sky News showed that last year they were available to broadcast TV at the drop of a hat, with a Camera Operator outside Weston Super Mare pier fire within minutes (he lived in the town), broadcasting live pictures with his own satellite and commentary over the phone. The iPhone, as it has a much bigger market, can prove radio is the medium for the future. Now, if only the Phone call quality was that good – get rid of ISDN and crap telephone relying for ever, and make it cheaper. probably do-able when the radio spectrum is switched off.

alex lee
commenting at June 20th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I wanted to do a simple flash app at Gcap which would allow users to record, edit and submit their own dedications/questions. Seems like a simple way of allowing listeners to hear their voice on the radio without the overheads of staff editing the calls. Maybe someone will do an iPhone one (as it’ll be more PR worthy than a web page!)

Fluffy Links – Monday 22nd of June 2009 « Damien Mulley
commenting at June 22nd, 2009 at 4:35 am

[...] points out the latest iPhone software is better for radio listening now. Play it in Safari and it keeps playing when you go back to the main [...]

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