If you're like me, a jog without music just drags. Visions of the proverbial gerbil on the exercise wheel penetrate the brain, and the miles go by achingly slowly. Add the right song, at the right volume, and suddenly the run becomes something akin to enjoyable.
On today's show, we discover the universe's biggest diamond floating out there in space. Plus, the FCC is investigating why cell phone networks went down during this week's East Coast earthquake, especially with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast even as we speak. Our BOL PSA to you: text, don't call. And also, be safe. Plus, Pandora makes some money and the most awkward voicemail session ever.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That must have been Toyota's mantra when approaching the redesigned 2012 Camry, because the broad strokes haven't changed much for this generation. However, for prospective Camry owners, that's a good thing. The Camry's strong points--comfort, safety, and reliability--appear to have been left intact. But the areas in which the previous generation of the Camry could use a bit of improvement--cabin technology, fuel economy, and that awful interior design--have been massaged and tweaked.
We took a ride in the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE to get … Read more
Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Friday, August 12.
Bay Area Rapid Transit, a regional transportation system in the San Francisco area, cut wireless service prior to a planned protest at four downtown San Francisco subway stops. Activists were responding to a shooting by a BART police officer, but their protest seems never to have materialized because of the disruption of cell service. "BART staff or contractors shut down power to the nodes and alerted the cell carriers," James Allison, deputy chief communications officer … Read more
Ford EV's will run on solar...sort of. Harman Kardon blends home tech and car tech. Andy Rooney could live without all of it. And we drive the Mini Cooper Clubman and its connected app.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 228 SHOW NOTES
Pandora's share price is down 50 percent from its high but is still "dramatically overvalued," says one of the leading Wall Street tech analysts.
The company's stock was trading at just under $13 this morning, down from a high of $26. But Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG Research, writes that "our conviction level in our sell-rated investment thesis has increased."
In a blog post titled "Why we would continue to short Pandora stock--remains dramatically overvalued" Greenfield said the Web's top radio service is worth "at best" $5.50 per share.
Pandora enables users to choose their favorite artists and musical genres and based on those choices the company uses an algorithm to determine what music to play. That is the limit on the control Pandora users have on what they hear.
The company offers an ad-supported service that is free of charge to users but limits them to 40 hours of free listening per month. Another service, called Pandora One, costs $36 annually and offers unlimited commercial-free listening. Since most of the users choose the free-of-charge service, advertising is vital to Pandora and lately it seems that the company is selling more of them.
One problem with that is throwing too many ads into the listening experience means Pandora risks alienating users, especially when YouTube and Vevo enable visitors to listen to music free of charge as well as the ability to listen to the same song over and over again, fast forward or reverse, and do so often without being pestered by any ads at all.
Pandora's real problem though is that the business model doesn't appear to scale well. Pandora must pay SoundExchange, the company that collects royalties on behalf of music creators, each time someone listens to a song. The larger Pandora's audience gets, the higher its costs.
In June, a SoundExchange spokeswoman explained Pandora's position this way "Because the rate they pay is based on per-spin, more listeners doesn't make them more profitable. It doesn't solve their problems. They have to make each listener more profitable." … Read more
Thanks to streaming services and file sharing, there's little incentive to purchase music anymore. Everybody knows CD sales have been falling for years, but as soon as the record labels stop making CDs, their value will skyrocket.
Sure, there's still a sizable market for CDs, but if sales continue to decline I think the labels should offer a very limited run of each CD title on its original release, say a few thousand discs, with beautifully printed booklets and packaging, and auction them on eBay. When they're gone, they're gone. Prices would go through the roof, … Read more
To go along with the consolidation of the Sirius and XM satellite radio services, the new SiriusXM rolled out a unified hardware platform: the SXV100 SiriusXM Connect vehicle tuner. We've already seen the first receiver to offer compatibility with the SiriusXM Connect from Alpine. Now, Sony strikes back with the second, third, fourth, and fifth as most of its new CDX line of CD receivers is now compatible with SiriusXM's module.
Four of the six new CDX receivers feature compatibility with the SXV100 SiriusXM Connect module ($60) and connect to the module's proprietary connection. The SXV100 draws … Read more
Pandora Internet Radio app playback and control are old hat for car audio receivers--that tech's been around since CES 2010. However, with the exception of one OEM implementation, it's mostly been an iPhone-only affair, with Android users being left out in the cold. That's about to change with the announcement of the Sony DSX-S310BTX, the first aftermarket car stereo to offer Pandora integration with Android and BlackBerry devices.
The DSX-S310BTX communicates with a paired Android or BlackBerry phone via Bluetooth, taking control of the Pandora app and streaming audio wirelessly. Users get the standard Play, Pause, and … Read more
Pandora is everywhere. It's in your cars, your phones, and your TVs, but let's not forget where they started--your computer. If you're still listening to Pandora on your computer, these eight keyboard shortcuts may help you groove along a little easier.
Space bar: Play/pause Right-arrow: Skip track Up-arrow: Volume up Down-arrow: Volume down Shift-Down-arrow: Mute volume Shift-Up-arrow: Maximize volume Plus (+): Thumbs up Minus (-): Thumbs down
Within a few minutes, you'll be flying around Pandora without having to use that pesky little mouse.
Note: The browser window or tab that is playing Pandora must be … Read more