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Friday, 24th November 2006

The Coming Age of the "Cellcast" or "Mobilcast"

The Coming Age of the "Cellcast" or "Mobilcast"

It's likely only a matter of time that many users will be able remove the step of downloading audio/video content and then playing it on an iPod/MP3 player. Already happening and we think likely to increase in usage will have users simply streaming (and then saving the content it they like) material to their mobile device or laptop/desktop computer. Live programming, already taking place on, will also grow. Increasing bandwidth from cell/mobile providers will help make this possible. We also think that it web access and wi-fi access will be coming soon to the iPod and other MP3 devices turning these devices into near smartphones. Of course, a smartphone from Apple is something that would not be surprising.

Those of you already owning smartphones (and we're sure many of you will be receiving them this holiday season) or other devices with mobile web access, might want to be alerted to a few services that we read about or used with a Treo 700P.

+ UpSnap
This mobile service (http://wap.upsnap.com) offers a number of features and is one that we've mentioned on ResourceShelf for several years as a mobile portal. They provide several free features (local directory search, sports scores, price comparison info and more) along with audio content. They also a number of podcast and other types of audio programming. UpSnap delivers the audio material over the plain old telephone system (U.S. phone numbers). After you select the program, you're given a phone number to dial and the program begins playing. UpSnap also offers SMS access.

+ Pod2Mob
Stream to your mobile, thousands of podcasts. Select from various formats (.m3u,.pls.,ram,.asx). Stream direct from the WAP site or use a Java client (will not work with Treo's).
++ Directory of podcasts
Sample entry. Note: It's also possible to download the cast.
Producers can submit their podcast for inclusion.

+ Melodeo
++ Once on the page, click the "Mobile" link
++ Offers both a podcast directory and a mobile service (Mobilcast)
++ Requires app download (does not work for Treo's or Blackberry's at this time)
++ Works on Nextel, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile networks as well as Rogers, Cingular, and AllTell.
++ MoboFlix is a new service allowing users to upload video content directly from their phones. The new AOL UnCut service (free) also provides this feature.

+ Radio4PDA (aka Tuned.mobi)
This is a site that we use on a very regular basis. The editors of this page have created an impressive directory
of mainstream radio stations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Ireland and created direct links to the URL where they stream their audio from. A real time saver. Those of you who have devices that can play Windows MP3 files, some Real content, and steaming MP3 (Shoutcast) will want to take a look here. Impressive!!!

+ Podlinez
Simply enter the url of any podcast and within minutes a phone number is provided to dial-in and listen to the program. Similar to UpSnap.
A directory of podcasts is also available.

If your favorite podcast isn't already in our directory, you can add it immediately and it'll be available to call within minutes.

See Also: Review: Melodeo Mobilcast (via PC Magazine)

See Also: MobiTv offers streaming video from CNBC, MSNBC, Discovery and other networks for smartphones. Fee-based.

See Also: A local Fox tv station in Albany, NY offers a "cellcast." Fee-basedi

See Also: The term "cellcast" has been bouncing around since the Spring. We first found it used in an article by Olga Kharif in TechNewsWorld. Kharif also wrote a related article for BusinessWeek.

See Also: UPDATE: New Stats About Podcast Downloading in the U.S.


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