Over at Media UK’s radio discussions section there’s a thread about a new patent issued to Apple that allows for “seamlessly switching media playback between a media broadcast, such as a radio broadcast, and media from a local media library”. It reminds me that I have some thoughts brewing on this (update: my thoughts are now written-up here) but this is what I added to the thread (with the typo seen at Media UK cleaned up).
An obvious use of this tech would not just be for targeted ad insertion but also for some kind of content switching when a user’s streaming connectivity drops. Using Apple’s Genius functionality & a station’s playlist, an app could store a list of station-appropriate tracks that are already on my device and seamlessly switch to them. Let the station cache a few idents in the app and I may never notice I’d lost connectivity driving through the tunnel again.
Take it a stage further; could a station save on music royalties (and the listener on bandwidth costs) if it only provided the links and all music tracks were sourced from the user’s local music library (of tracks they own)?
The future of radio is at an interesting point. Even as a self-confessed radio geek I am finding that I spend more time listening to music and entertainment services that could not traditionally be called radio. More to come on this.