MyVocal and RadioWeave: Content solutions for commuters
Moving beyond radio and CDs, new tools shown off at DemoFall offer custom streaming content via cellular or Internet.
SAN DIEGO--MyVocal is launching here at DemoFall 09 what looks like a useful service for anyone who ever gets bored while commuting in a car. The service lets you combine into a single stream your audio podcasts, as well as your text RSS feeds, which it will read to you. You get a local phone number to call to listen to the stream, and if you hang up and then reconnect later, it'll just pick up where you left off.
The company also has services for publishers. It can help them make their RSS feeds accessible to users on less-than-smart phones, plus the content feeds get links to download stories as dictated MP3 files, as well as the option to add a stream to a user's dial-up custom broadcast.
If you'd rather listen to streaming radio over an Internet connection in your car, it's worth also looking at RadioWeave, also demoed here, which will blend streaming music with other audio channels like traffic reports--or even text-to-speech readings of Twitter streams--into what looks like a clean iPhone interface. Users can also record their own quick messages from the iPhone app to share with their friends.
Of course, it's much easier to just turn on your car radio or CD player than it is to user either of these services, but they both show how Internet content is entering drive-time. I hope to see car audio systems updated with these kinds of technologies, but realistically I don't expect the car manufacturers to get up to speed quickly. So we're all probably going to be stuck with docked iPods and audio over phone connections for a while.