Audiofeast Internet Radio Service

Audiofeast have a new service, designed to help listeners get the most out of internet radio – using their Virtual Broadcast Network, subscribers can rip internet radio stations for time shifting, or listening on their MP3 player.

The service features more than 400 channels of news, sports, business and entertainment radio programming in an “all you can listen to” format for PCs, MP3 players and other mobile devices.

“Our goal is to reignite the passion consumers once felt for radio programming, and deliver that experience on a portable player in high fidelity,” said Tom Carhart, AudioFeast’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Although the market for MP3 players and online music services has undergone explosive growth in recent years, the task of searching for compelling content and loading it on a portable player is still a difficult, time-consuming and expensive process for consumers. Unlike track-at-a-time downloads, AudioFeast delivers a vast library of radio programming that is constantly refreshed, affordable and ready to listen to whenever you are.”

The company have licensed media from more than 70 partners, including Bloomberg Radio, BBC Radio, Discovery Channel, History Channel, NPR, SportsNews Radio and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network.

The service uses Audiofeast’s Virtual Broadcast Network, a secure distribution system which is actually based on P2P technology to keep distribution costs down. Like a TiVo, Audiofeast allows users to skip, pause or rewind radio broadcasts, and transfer them to their portable devices for later listening. The client is compatible with players Creative Labs, Dell, iRiver, iRock, RCA and Rio, with more being anounced. iPods aren’t directly supported, but since MP3s aren’t protected, you can transfer your files manually to your player.

The company intend to launch a music service in October top complement their existing product. A one year subscription costs US$49.95 (€51).


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?