BlackBerry Adds FM (and Other News From CES)

NPR, Clear Channel and other radio companies are making news here
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Among radio-related news here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:

-- Radio industry leaders were pleased to learn that Research in Motion has provided FM radio as part of its BlackBerry Curve 9360 and 9380 smartphones, as part of the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system update.

“The FM radio circuitry is already built in to the Curve 9360 and 9380 models and BlackBerry 7.1 provides users with a new app that allows them to tune in and enjoy local FM radio stations. Listening to the FM radio does not require a data plan or use data services,” it wrote.

-- Clear Channel Radio announced public availability of an application programming interface and affiliate program for iHeartRadio. The developer program will enable third parties and developers to integrate iHeartRadio content and services into their products as well as Web pages and applications.

-- Drivers of Ford vehicles soon will be able to control an NPR app by voice, using the Sync AppLink. The companies noted the increasing habit of drivers using wireless data connections to stream audio. The announcement was made by Doug VanDagens, global director of Connected Services at Ford, and NPR President/CEO Gary Knell.

NPR says it has doubled its “digital” audience in two years to 19 million people (referring to apps for tablets, smartphones and desktops).

-- Digital radio chipmaker Frontier Silicon said it has shipped 17 million digital radio processor ICs. DAB/DAB+ digital radios are big users of its tech. It said the success of its digital radio processor ICs “is testament to the growing popularity of digital radio across a number of high-volume markets.” Frontier Silicon’s CEO John Behrendt said the “rapid development” of digital radio “proves how popular the medium is globally and digitization ensures that it will be relevant in an ever-changing media landscape.”

-- Pure, which makes wireless music and radio systems, is previewing a cloud-based “on-demand” music offering called Pure Music. Content will be available for Pure wireless music and radio systems, a smartphone and a computer for a monthly subscription. Caching to a mobile device allowing offline playback will be available for an additional monthly fee. Pure Music is supposed to go live in North America later in 2012. Pricing is not yet public.

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