// Internet Duct Tape

Where is the last.fm or Pandora application for mobile phones?

Posted in Gadgets, Music, MP3s and Internet Radio, Technology by engtech on August 02, 2006

UPDATE 2007/04/17: M3Solutions have put together a last.fm python app for SymbianS60 phones

What would I do if I had a flat data rate cost on my new EDGE smartphone? I’d use a version of last.fm/pandora for my mobile phone. This is how mobile phones could use the fact that they are internet enabled with equivalent speeds to some broadband networks to compete with proper MP3 players and satellite radio.

Auto-discovery of music you like based on OTHER music you’ve liked is big/will be big.

In an ideal world the apps would use the existing last.fm/pandora servers and have the same features of the Windows application. You would be able to buy/download tracks to your phone, and it would make money off of these music sales. This would also get around not being able to use last.fm/pandora in corporate settings.

The hole in one would be negotiating a contract to develop this for last.fm or pandora as this could be a huge, huge market. But if that didn’t work out, developing competing software for the wireless market could still be a coup d’etat (but would require more work developing contacts with the music market).

Music companies sell more music. Phone companies sell more smart phones. Wireless providers get more usage of those data networks they shelled out so much cash for (which will reduce costs over all, get more people into using their phone for data, etc). Mobile has a killer app to compete with the MP3 player / satellite radio markets. We take a chunk of the change along the way.

I’ve submitted my idea to Cambrian House for their Idea Warz competition. You can vote for it here: last.fm or pandora-like app for mobile phones

Full disclosure: they’re sending me a free X-Box because I won a contest (unrelated).

This isn’t a totally new idea. It came to me fully formed, but I can see that other people are having it:

It’s always a good sign that a lot of people are having the same idea at the same time because that is a clear indication that this is something the market can and will support.

12 Responses

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  1. frambojan said, on August 03, 2006 at 6:57 am

    Is the sound quality on the phone equivilent to an MP3 player?

  2. engtech said, on August 03, 2006 at 9:53 am

    It’s more about how compressed the audio is. Modern EDGE smart phones are fast enough that to stream audio to the phone over the internet as fast as using a computer with broadband.

  3. […] Where is the last.fm or Pandora application for mobile phone? Full disclosure: I’m reviewing a new mobile phone I got for free from a marketing company in Toronto called matchstick.ca. They gave me a sweet package as well: […]

  4. timofsuburbia said, on August 24, 2006 at 6:09 am

    If you like Pandora, come check out http://pandorastations.crispynews.com, a digg-style Pandora stations recommendation site.



  5. The Dirge of iPod « //engtech said, on September 19, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    […] I’ve been using last.fm exclusively for a few months and it’s so much more natural to how I want to listen to music. I want to quickly choose genres/artists I’m interested in at that moment and then have it auto-select what it thinks I want to hear next — continually improving as I love/hate songs. […]

  6. yuting said, on November 17, 2006 at 6:28 am

    Actually there is flash player for windows mobile, which plays embedded flash in pocket IE. Will try last.fm on it and post results… http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer_pocketpc/

  7. engtech said, on November 17, 2006 at 10:36 am

    @yuting: Good find. I wrote this back before last.fm supported a flash player. Let me know how it goes.

  8. Tomas Hjelmberg said, on December 25, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    Please post your findings, we are very curious about the outcome of your test…

  9. Erik Pettersson said, on December 25, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    I’ve been pushing for this for over a year and a half!

    The issue is that providers put a neat little cap on the flat rate data thingies so you get around 15kb/s. 16kb/s is needed for streaming MP3, and for cellphones you will need more as it’ll loose the connection.

    I wrote some software that converts the stream on yer own server to ogg or aac+ and then re-sends it to the phone, just missing that special phone software :S

  10. Richard Cooke said, on February 21, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    I just had the same idea as you guys and came up with this blog on google. I always was a bit slow. I have been playing with Nokia’s Open Source internet radio thingy http://opensource.nokia.com/projects/s60internetradio/index.html and believe this could be the basis of the client application. I am giving the server side some thought and would be interested to hearif anyone has got any further along with this.

  11. Ben said, on April 21, 2007 at 3:20 am

    I’d love this. But I think there is a more practical approach. Enabling play count in the phone’s mp3 player. The iPod does it, and probably other players as well. Then it’s only a matter of synchronizing it with the media player on your computer every once in a while, and Poof. The Last.fm plugin takes care of it as per usual.

    And at a slight tangent, I’d also appreciate the possibility of rating tracks on my phone, like I can on my Sandisk Sansa.

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