Bloggers have been buzzing about a new service from Zing that combines Wi-Fi connectivity with digital radio, after a prototype was shown off at the D4 conference this week.
The prototype had both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, used to upload data and download music. The two-way connectivity would, among other things, allow consumers to figure out what album a song comes from, tag it, and download it the next time they're in Wi-Fi range.
CNET Reviews' Rafe Needleman noted that features in music devices and cell phones are starting to overlap, but "for most people, a cell phone is a necessity while a music player is a luxury; I think that indicates which way the market is going to tilt."
Blog community response:
"Still, the built-in mic means that Zing-based products could potentially incorporate VoIP services as well, which would make them serious contenders for some of the musicphones on the market if not for their limited utility outside the range of a hotspot."
"This opens up the possibility of SIRIUS coming out with a WiFi powered repeater, so you can have a SIRIUS zone in each room of your home. The possibilties are endless with an established standard such as WiFi."
"The vertical integration that most complain about, however is seen as ease of use by consumers. While we talk about new features, the less-is-more Apple philosophy resonates well with the mainstream America. But above all, Apple's iPod has become a cultural phenomenon, and entered the mainstream consciousness."