FlyTunes makes your iPhone into an Internet radio

FlyTunes is no Sirius, but it's cool nonetheless.

I got a demo at CES of FlyTunes, an Internet radio aggregator whose CEO, Roy Smith, is pitching as an alternative to Sirius Satellite Radio.

No radio in your iPhone? Try Flytunes. Rafe Needleman / CNET

It's a stretch to compare it with Sirius, but FlyTunes is a worthwhile idea. A service designed for Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch, it displays a curated list of Internet radio stations, and, over Wi-Fi, streams and records the stations you listen to. What's cool is that it can work when you're not online. It will record streams for your favorite stations. Then you can dock your iPhone or iPod to play your tunes over your home stereo or in your car.

Users will need to install a piece of software on their home Mac or PC to act as an intermediary. That software will redistribute the streams via Wi-Fi to registered mobile devices.

What it's not, though, is a bona fide content network, like Sirius is. FlyTunes owns no studios, no distribution channels, and no media. It's a low-overhead operation and Smith eventually hopes to make a few bucks by running noninvasive ads on browser screens during audio playback.

The service is in private testing now; it should open up this month.

Speaking of Internet radio, check out this cool Internet tabletop radio I spied at the Asus booth:

Now that almost all radio stations are streaming their content, Internet radios (like this Asus) are essentially world-band receivers. Rafe Needleman / CNET
 

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