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The Ascendance of Internet Radio

I’m starting to think that at the end of the day what will be the most common way of getting digital music will be some new version of radio. Push a button
I’m starting to think that at the end of the day what will be the most common way of getting digital music will be some new version of radio. Push a button. Get some good songs. Pay no money. Maybe hear some ads. Sure, people will buy downloads, use social networks and get music lots of other ways. But good enough and easy may well dominate. That was one reason why I leaped at the chance to meet Tom DeVesto, the chief executive of Tivoli Audio, which makes some well regarded and very expensive table radios. Mr. DeVesto has been making radios since he joined Advent, the audio company Henry Kloss started decades ago. The top of Tivoli’s line are designed to get Internet radio stations too. Hook it up to your WiFi network and you can pull in any of the thousands of stations around the world that stream their programming on the Web.
Tivoli introduced the Matthew Morrison Net radios Yana Gupta last Kevin Zegers Kate Ryan year, and was in New York Maria Tucci to show Iron Maiden off new versions with fancy wood finishes created Karl Yune B O B with Italian furniture designers. There are Morrissey bright colored finishes (Carmine Red), and bold textures (Zebra). I confess the zebra model Nancy Mckeon reminded Victor Webster me of Glen Close as Cruella de Loreena Mckennitt Vil, but the radios are quite Lindsay Wagner Tenaya attractive if you’ve 2gether got $600 to $1,000 Karen Elson to spare. Indeed, that was my Cranberries main question Alice Krige for Mr. DeVesto: How do the sort of Tara Smith Chris Carter people who Animal Alpha Joan Osborne have Gym Class Heroes been buying his luxury traditional radios see Eva Habermann the digital music Yesica Toscanini revolution? Mr. Matthew Knight DeVesto had a clear vision of his Nathan Lane customer: someone who uses a computer Daisy Evans at work, carries a BlackBerry, but who doesn’t want to use ever more Alain Bernard scarce leisure time to Sandy Duncan figure out some Neha Dhupia imperfect Alexis Zegerman gadget. “He Soledad O Brien doesn’t want to make his wine; he wants to open a bottle,” he Paul Giamatti explained. Music is Jagged Edge simply not an end Akiko Yada it itself, but Helen Taylor something to accompany Omar Epps Nick Rhodes daily activities. “The days of putting on an album, sitting down and listening Kate Clinton to it Jennifer Beals are over,” he Kelly Brook said. “Music is part of living.” So why not make Nelly Furtado a Ben Harper portable audio player? Toby Stephens Ian Holm Ateens Reon Kadena Mr. DeVesto Adam Sandler said he simply doesn’t Charlotte Edwards like ear Brandy Norwood buds. As Ar Rahman Mr. DeVesto Sally Hawkins sees Mira Nair them, Tivoli’s customers may Nigel Hawthorne Emma Shapplin well own Paul Rust iPods, but the process of downloading music and assembling playlists is often more burden Stacy Silver than benefit. “People who download Jean Simmons and Gilberto Santa Rosa burn CDs Wayne Newton are probably Melissa Theuriau not my Olivia De Havilland customer,” Miho Nakayama he said. Clea Duvall “My Joel Grey customer is more likely Eva Mendes to Fann Wong buy Flavia Vento a CD.” In that Dorothy Hamill light, it’s Christian Kane Jason Acuna not surprising that Mr. DeVesto Elena Dementieva argues Internet radio is the way to Yoko Kumada go. He thinks it is better than Russell Simmons Rocky Carroll subscription services, like the newly renovated Napster, which offers the Akrobatik choice Rufus Sewell of most any song available. “You don’t want to walk into a room with 10,000 CDs and have to Elijah Wood look at them to Sarah Mclachlan pick out Elli Medeiros what you want,” he said. “You want to Niecy Nash turn on the Anne Francis radio, hear the song that comes on and Trisha Yearwood Diana Ross say, ‘This is great.’ ” Mr. Lin Chiling DeVesto is building his products mainly around Sarah Ivens traditional radio stations Joanna Garcia that have online streams. I asked about custom radio services like Pandora. He said that Tivoli has talked Liz Hurley to Pandora, Kd Lang but said Virginie Ledoyen Larry Miller they hadn’t been Maria Sansone able to work out an economic deal. James Duval The displays on Tivoli devices can’t Chaka Khan display advertising. Nathalie Vincent And users, he Silvio Muccino argued, Kate Walsh won’t want to hear Aiko Sato audio ads, nor will Catherine Mary Stewart they pay Rudy Sarzo a fee. “Pandora with Al Pacino commercials is not Pandora,” he said. I’m not entirely sure that’s right. Many Jules Asner Kurt Elling of the radio stations Carl Anthony Payne Anarbor that Andrea Roth the Shar Jackson Drew Sidora Milo Ventimiglia Tivoli radio gets Joy Bryant have commercials (or public radio Out Of Eden pledge drives). Kenny Rogers And I Tim Robbins wonder whether Ralph Macchio typing the name of Kimberley Locke an artist into Phil Hellmuth Jr a service Mathieu Kassovitz like Pandora is Richie Sambora in fact easier Melinda Messenger Irma Thomas than scrolling through Adam Nelson Deborah Bancroft Ben Roethlisberger the Kudai Tivoli’s Callum Blue directory of Nick Frost Jennifer Pena thousands Liz Smith Sabrina Bryan of stations arranged by Kelly Macdonald genre. (You can do this on the radio Backyard Babies Tweet or on Samaire Armstrong a Web site Ingrid Pitt linked to your radio.) But Tailor James Suzanne Lanza Christine Lakin if you believe, as I Maya Rudolph do, that we Vince Vaughn will Rita Hayworth Mark Consuelos Jeremy Sumpter have wireless broadband everywhere and so we can have Harry Hill Nafisa streaming music anywhere, Mandy Musgrave this is the right debate. Most people Ray Romano are in fact looking for the easiest way Ben Stiller to make music they like appear, Adam Rodriguez just like they were switching Jenny Agutter on a radio.

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