Feeds

Mobile 'impulse downloading' plays live in the new year

DAB joins the digital music party

Seven Steps to Software Security

Mobile radio listeners will be able to download tracks as as they hear them from early next year. Radio production outfit UBC and Heart FM will roll out downloads via DAB in beta form this year, with a full commercial launch in Q1 2007.

Each track, which cost £1.25 in the recent pilot project in Birmingham, comes as two WMA files.

One is delivered to the phone and rated at 32kbps - which UBC claims was acceptable quality in the trial, with 84 of 100 users satisfied - and a higher quality 128kbps version more suitable for adding to users' music libraries which will be accessible online.

The Register understands the first device able to take advantage of the technology will be Virgin Mobile's Lobster DAB-enabled phone, which launches this week. The first order Virgin placed with manufacturer HTC was for 40,000 handsets.

UBC's download project director Pascal Grierson told us the service would enter beta testing in all five of Heart FM's DAB broadcast areas in December. All being well a full launch will go ahead in the new year.

The driver for mobile music downloads via DAB comes from radio stations, forced to seek new revenue streams in light of falling advertising sales.

Mobile downloads over DAB will face big competitors in the form of the mobile operators however, all of whom fancy themselves as direct providers, it being an obvious application of their massively expensive 3G investment. Witness the ubiquitous industry sponsorship of every music festival/award show/tv programme this year.

Manufacturers like Nokia are building music content operations too, and there are competing technologies going up against DAB for delivering digital radio and TV to handsets. DAB has users beyond mobile phones, of course.

Also in its favour, UBC says the simplicity and instant gratification offered by DAB downloads will open opportunities previously untapped by digital music marketing, particularly among women. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.