Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Online Listening Made Easy (by the fans)

69° - scattered clouds at 11:30pm

Purely by accident tonight
- I stumbled across Yahoo Widgets - a collection of desktop programs "that give access to favorite content". And can include access to streaming radio.

Presently to listen to most radio station streams - one has to open a browser, go to a station website - click here - click there - maybe click again - perhaps "log in" to the player. Lots of hoops.

Why not a simple "click to listen" icon on the desktop? Like this for WMMR/Philadelphia that I downloaded from the Yahoo website:

Clicking on the WMMR icon ("widget") - right next to the RCS icon on my desktop - instantly starts the station stream playing through my speakers. Listening anytime just a click away.

I can also click a button on the widget and access the station website through a browser.

Amazingly - this WMMR widget wasn't station-sanctioned. It was developed by a fan of the station:

A consumer-generated solution. And done out of loyalty - offered for free - by a fan of the station. I have yet to see one station - anywhere - make something like this available.

A station-developed desktop widget would likely include "now playing" artist/title/album info - and be very similar to the existing streaming players most stations use. Its a tool a listener could simply download from the station website and install on his or her desktop.

And here's another desktop widget that not only allows you to listen live - but also access a library of podcasts:

Perhaps this will stimulate some discussion about your streaming and internet strategy. I'd be all over this. Make online listening as easy as turning on a radio. A one-click one-button world.

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