Monday, January 29, 2007

Melodeo Hires a President of the United States of America


Melodeo Mobilcast announced today the hiring of Dave Dederer, best-known as a founding member of the multi-platinum rock band The Presidents of the United States of America.

Dederer joins Melodeo as the company’s Senior Director, Media Content. Dave and I are joining forces on Mobilcast and bringing music to the forefront. Mobilcast will still be a complete international solution for spoken-word audio and video content.
Dave’s primary responsibilities will be to bring more emphasis on music to Mobilcast, Melodeo’s mobile podcasting product, which is currently available through Cingular, Alltel and other major carriers worldwide. Dave said, “This is an extension of what I’ve tried to do as a musician, which is to help people tap into the transformative power of music,” said Dederer. “Mobilcast is a great platform for enabling people to access music they already love and to discover new music. I’m thrilled at this opportunity.” Melodeo CEO Jim Billmaier, is thrilled to see Dederer join the Mobilcast team. Jim said, “We’ve courted Dave for a number of months now and I think he’ll bring a lot to the table. He has a tremendous base of experience and contacts from many years of running the Presidents’ business, and those will be assets to Melodeo and Mobilcast.” Dave and I worked together to create his first Mobilcast audio feed: Hear his first episode and his feed URL

Here is a video of Dave performing on David Letterman's "Late Show".

Rob Greenlee

Music Content is becoming King at Melodeo Mobilcast

The Melodeo Mobilcast content team is getting bigger tomorrow (Tues, Jan 3o my birthday) as you will see a fun announcement from us on the content side that will signal to the world a renewed focus on music with Mobilcast.

Our user stats have shown for months now that music is the top interest category in Mobilcast. The other interesting fact is that our music category has the largest percentage of podcasts in our catalog.

Check back with this blog to "Hear and Read" all the details.

Looking For Mobilcast Users

I am on the hunt for current and past Mobilcast application users. Please if you know of someone or you are that someone who has used Mobilcast on your phone then "I Want You".

I am just kidding a little bit on this, but I do want to reach out to our 10's of thousands of users to get direct feedback on some pretty basic things about how your experience has been over the past year.

Here is an example of some user feedback we got over the weekend;

"Why did you change the New Today category in mobilcast to have so many news and weather podcasts? It used to be my favorite way to listen to many podcasts. Now is such a mess. Maybe make a different one - "News Today" for all the different versions of the same day's news if that is what some people want but put back one that has various interesting podcasts together that I can just let play one after another."

My answer to this user frustration is that we have been testing the addition of localized content with Daily Weather forecasts and Daily Horoscope audio and it has unfortunatly messed up the "New Today" category function. We are going to take action on this right away as it is a problem for me and I am a heavy user of Mobilcast.

I too want my "New Today" category back in better play again.

Here are some basic questions that I would love to get your feedback on with Mobilcast.

1) What function or feature is missing from Mobilcast?

2) How useful is Mobilcast today for you?

3) Do you prefer my Editorial Selection of Content or Do you prefer to create your own playlist?

4) Do you mostly use the "New Today" category to listen to content?

5) How important is "Search" in Mobilcast on the phone?

6) What audio content genre's are most important to you?

My email is (rgreenlee at melodeo.com) and my office line is 206-812-4327.

Give me a call and leave a message and I will call you back.

Rob Greenlee

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Melodeo JV Expands Into China with Sony BMG and Warner Music

Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have partnered with a joint venture operating in China that develops technology for distributing music downloads and other content to mobile phones. This deal also involves Mobilcast, as part of the technology bundle that makes up ACCESS China Media Solutions.

The two music companies have invested in ACCESS China Media Solutions, a joint venture between China's ACCESS Ltd., and Seattle-based digital media firm Melodeo.

This deal is huge because it involves full-track music (downloads) and mobilcasting through Mobilcast. Read more in AP article in the USA Today

Here is the official release from Melodeo

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fox News and The O'Reilly Factor Available on Mobilcast

Fox News has launched a new weekly Fox News radio audio podcast that has now been included in the default mobilcast on-phone podcast catalog.

http://www.foxnews.com/podcasts/index.html

The 10 minute "Radio Factor" podcast available on BillOReilly.com is also in the Mobilcast catalog.

Rob Greenlee

Friday, January 19, 2007

Do We Really Want Unlocked and Converged Mobile Phones in USA?

I think everyone would like to be part of the Nokia Blogger Review Program and get expensive unlocked N-Series phones for free on your door step. I have been very lucky to be part of that program for many months now.

I have enjoyed the benefit of having access to these powerful unlocked phones. Prior to being part of this program with Nokia I just took the free phones that the carriers gave out with minute plans.

I had never owned a smartphone until Andy Abramson sent me the Nokia N90 last winter. Prior to last December of 2005, I just had basic phones.

It must seem strange to those that have been following my WebTalk Radio past to know how mobile challenged I was just over a year ago. Getting this N90 phone was shocking to me to go from just a very basic phone to this MultiMedia computer as Nokia called this N90.

I have been a long-time user of a Dell Axim Pocket PC and that device really shaped my perceptions of what a mobile device should be able to do. In just over one year, I have gone from not needing or really wanting a smart phone to it being a requirement. Well to be fair it is pretty important for me to have one to use and test on here at Melodeo.

I have swung from one extreme to another in what I expect from a mobile phone. I also know that that based on my experience with my Pocket PC that I do want a convergence device. Many still claim that a functionally specific device will always be better. Well, I don't really agree as I am seeing the evolution of the Nokia N-Series devices and they just keep getting better and more able to do media well and still handle calls to perfection.

In the office, we just got in for testing the Nokia N95. I have already blogged about this device from Nokia as it is the one phone that takes me beyond even the Apple iPhone. Sure the iPhone is getting huge buzz, but it just does not do it for me like the N95 does.

I believe that the iPhone goes after a different user then me. Just like I have very little interest in an iPod. I find that my iRiver Clix with 2GB of flash memory is all I need to have and I also have 2GB's in my mobile phone memory.

I do like the complex convergence type devices like the N95, but the truth is that Nokia is making these phone easier to use all the time. I do like a phone that is more like a laptop then a phone. Now, I know the iPhone could fall under this heading with that big display. While simplicity and graphical interface coolness is a hallmark of all Apple devices. I just feel more akin to a mobile media computer like the N95 with a 5 megapixel still camera, built-in GPS and 30 frames per second video recording.

I also must say that I am attracted by the path less traveled and not walking the Apple path feels that way. I do think it is funny that Apple gets so much attention and buzz, but they are still very low in marketshare for adoption of a computer device like the MAC. I will be sticking with my Windows PC, Nokia or optional Windows Smartphone for some time into the future.

To get back to the discussion from above. I have pondered the question as to why anyone would want to willingly buy a locked phone. I love to get unlocked mobile cellular phones. I just wish that phone buyers here in the USA had more options to buy unlocked phones like people can do in Europe. Here in the USA the wireless carriers have such a hold on the market here, that companies like Nokia who sell unlocked phone directly to consumers here in the USA are slowly pushed out of the market and don't get new phones into the market by many of the wireless carriers.

Here is a list of USA online retailers that are selling unlocked phones.

http://www.egizmo.com
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.cellular-blowout.com
http://www.cellhut.com

The downside of the growth of direct selling of mobile phones here in the USA is that the purchase prices of the phones are at least double the usual carrier sales cost as all the carriers subsidise the cost of the phones with the 1 or 2 year contracts. We would all pay more for phones this way.

Here is a discussion around whether it is legal to unlock a currently locked to a carrier mobile phone. Kathy Gill, who teaches digital media at the University of Washington sent me a link to her WiredPen Blog that discusses a section of the copyright code that discusses whether it is legal to use third party software or unlock codes to free a locked to a carrier phone if you want to change carriers?

The Seattle PI wrote an article about this topic and the below is a highlighted area that should help expain the resolution issues.

"Unlocking a phone requires entering codes or a special set of numbers, which a cellular company may or may not share with the user. Verizon Wireless doesn't lock its cell phones. T-Mobile will unlock a customer's phone 90 days after fulfillment of the contract. Sprint won't unlock phones because it believes customers already benefit from a Sprint-subsidized phones, said Travis Sowders, a spokesman for Sprint Nextel. Cingular will do it upon request but only when a contract expires or under specific conditions, said Mike Broom, a Cingular spokesman."

I think in the long-run phone will be purchased like laptops and laptops will be more like phones. I can see a day when a wireless phone carrier is selling bundled laptops or UMPC's with their 3G/4G chips already inside the device and these carriers are also bundled with cable TV, digital phone phone, cable or fiber optic internet access.

The future is bundled and converged. Here comes AT&T and is Comcast far from AT&T's grasp. You will get a kick out of reading this article about Comcast buying AT&T in the USA Today from 2001. We may see another articl like this again you never know.
Rob Greenlee

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Singapore Mobilcast Listening

I have spent a few days this week working to improve our mobilcast mobile phone podcasting experience with M1 wireless carrier in Singapore. I have been working with a great source of interesting podcasts called Podcast.sg. This site is built around a group of broadcast radio stations in Singapore. They have podcasts in english and in many other local languages.

Check them out for a little international podcast listening experience.

Rob Greenlee

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Mobilcast Video Demos - Mobile Phone Podcast Listening Software Video Posted To YouTube

I have created some new comprehensive video demos of the mobile phone podcast listening application called "Mobilcast" and Melodeo.com. The other videos document the process to make a Melodeo.com website playlist sync to mobilcast on your mobile phone. In the spirit of full disclosure, I do work for Melodeo Mobilcast.

I have wanted to to make this below demo for a month now and I finally got to it. The demos will give you a great feel for how our application works. Give it a Watch.

To get Mobilcast go here



Here is a direct link to this YouTube video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=T1BHuQ5RbLU

I have also created a few other videos below as well that are posted to my Windows Streaming Media Server. Feel free to share these links around.

- Here is the same as above 5 minute Mobilcast Video Demo in a Windows Media Stream.

Windows Media Stream (300K stream).
Watch - http://www.mytalkradio.com/melodeo/mobilcast-demo-5min.asx


- This video shows you how to use Melodeo.com to setup your "My Favorite" podcasts and have the same favorite podcasts available in the same "My Favorites" folder inside the Mobilcast Mobile Phone Podcast Listening Application.

Windows Media Stream (750K Stream)
Watch - http://www.mytalkradio.com/melodeo/melodeo-mobilcast-link2web-4min.asx


- This last video will show you how to enter your "My Favorites" link code into mobilcast.

Windows Media Stream (340K Stream)
Watch - http://www.mytalkradio.com/melodeo/mobilcast-webtomobile-on-phone.asx

New Mobilcaster Blog Feed URL

Here is the new RSS Feed for this blog.

http://www.mobilcaster.com/atom.xml

Thanks for subscribing and being a fan of the potential of mobile podcast listening.

Mobilcast Podcast Listening Now Official in the UK

Yesterday we officially announced our 3 UK rollout of Mobilcast.

I posted about this launch in the UK a few weeks or more ago.

Here is a link to 3 UK's great website presentation of Mobilcast.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mobilcaster Blog is Born

I have renamed this blog about mobile podcasting and mobilcast to the "Mobilcaster Blog" at http://www.mobilcaster.com

Rob Greenlee

Thursday, January 04, 2007

UK's Mobilcast Top 50 Most Popular Mobile Phone Podcast Streams

UK's Top 50 Most Popular Mobile Phone Podcast Streams

December 2006

Rank Name
1 Scott Mills Daily
2 BBC: Best Of Moyles
3 The Adam & Joe Xfm Podcast
4 The President's Weekly Radio Address
5 CNN News Update
6 BBC Radio NewsPod
7 The Onion Radio News
8 BBC: Today
9 Al Murray - Virgin Radio
10 Holiday Music - WhyFidelity's Podcast
11 Top Hits - AccuRadio
12 New York Times Front Page
13 Eighties - AccuRadio
14 Indiefeed: Hardcore/Punk
15 Times Online UK Podcasts
16 IndieFeed: Hip Hop / Rap
17 * InfoWorld Daily Podcast *
18 Tim Lovejoy: Virgin Radio
19 Football Weekly on Guardian Unlimited
20 IndieFeed: Alternative / Modern Rock
21 CNET News.com daily tech news podcast
22 The Best of Youth Radio
23 Lifespring!
24 KenRadio's World Tech Roundup
25 World Soccer Daily Podcast
26 open source sex
27 Radio 1's Music Interviews
28 Radio 1's Entertainment News
29 Mobility Today
30 MSNBC TechWatch
31 Lonely Planet Travelcasts
32 Mark Kermode's film reviews
33 MSNBC Business News Headlines
34 Day and Webster's Football Rules
35 The World: Technology from BBC/PRI/WGBH
36 MarketWatch Internet Daily
37 The Premiership Podcast
38 European Breaking News | Reuters Audio
39 The Ricky Gervais Show
40 National Geographic Minutes
41 Wake Up To Money
42 World Today Select
43 Radio 1 Documentaries
44 Broadway - AccuRadio
45 NPR: Holiday Story of the Day
46 Fighting Talk
47 China Business Podcast
48 Science @ NASA Feature Stories Podcast
49 Today in Parliament - BBC Radio 4
50 Sex is Fun

Rob Greenlee

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Nokia Blogger Review Program Being Ethically Challenged

Robert Scoble has just posted about the Nokia Blogger Review Program that gives out Nokia N-series mobile phones to Key Mobile and Tech Influencers and whether it is ethical to do so.

See the Scobleizer post:
"Nokia is giving out cell phones to bloggers just like Microsoft gave laptops out, according to Steve Garfield, who got one of the cell phones and wrote a review. These are very expensive models, too. Again, I don’t mind this."

I am part of the Nokia Blogger Review program and must say that the key to this blog review program working is the honesty of the blogger. I always mention in my blog posts about the getting these Nokia phones via this program. I also give an honest review about its abilities in the context of the topic of my blog. My current blog is about Mobile Phone Podcast Listening and the use of Melodeo Mobilcast to do it. In my blog I talk about many types of cool phones that enable podcast listening.

I also think that this program is very smart for Nokia to do. I know that these cool Nokia N-series phones get a lot of attention when I use them in public. I am in the mobile media business and thus these phones get shared a lot in the office and Mobilcast gets tested on these devices.

My teen age kids also use them sometimes and share them with their friends. The benefits of doing this program are huge for Nokia.

I don’t think any company should be bashed for doing one of these programs with key influencers. I believe that most of these key influencers are honest people that disclose. I am currently using the N80 phone and it is a small cool phone, but am dying to get the N95 as that sounds like it could be a dream smartphone with a quad-band, wifi, 3G UMTS/HSDPA and 5 megapixel camera. It is only missing an internal hard-drive like the N91.

Rob Greenlee

See Mobilcast Video Demo Posted at YouTube

Here is a video review of 3 UK version of Mobilcast. This will give you a good demonstration on how the podcast application works and the on-phone podcast catalog. Give it a watch.



I am planning on making some videos of mobilcast myself of all the different mobilcast client versions as the content and catalogs are all unique.

Rob Greenlee

Saddam Execution Video Recorded from Mobile Phone

Many are saying that this was a jump the shark moment for mainstream media by user-generated mobile video. Users created the video content and released it online when the major media did not do it. See this blog post from Adam Curry:

"One last prediction as we close out 2006: The Saddam Hanging video will go down in history as the Shark Jump moment for mainstream media worldwide. The “people” get what they want to see and no bureau chief or network boss can stop us. Recorded on a cellphone by a single citizen in Iraq, seen worldwide the very next day."

Another post from PodcastingNews.com:

I think they are correct that mobile video will be big for the creation and capture of moments that have up till this time been lost. The mobile phone has seen some early success as a playback platform with MobiTV, but we will continue to see slower adoption of viewing video on the mobile phone then we will see with the creation and publishing side. Look for a big push from Melodeo soon around our new mobile video publishing and viewing platform MoboFLIX.com.

Rob Greenlee

Pimp My Moto Mobile with Mobilcast

You thought pimping your ride was cool from the MTV show. PC Magazine online has a very interesting to do list for customizing your Motorola phone and making it an iPhone. This process involves adding Mobilcast to listen to podcasts. The multi-step process even involves scrubbing off the carrier logo from your phone.

Check it out: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2066644,00.asp

Rob Greenlee