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Tune in to your favourite song onrad.io

A new radio station search engine lets you tune in to your favourite song on-air anywhere

By James Cridland
Posted 22 November 2015, 10.51pm est
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Chances are that Adele's "Hello" is currently playing on a radio station somewhere in the world. Here - have a listen onrad.io/Adele.Hello and you'll probably find it.

Paul Simon's Graceland plays around once every 25 minutes somewhere in the world on the radio. You might be able to tune in onrad.io/Paul.Simon.Graceland but I'll bet there'll be some onrad.io/Paul.Simon to listen to somewhere; and you'll be able to set an alert to catch it playing next time.

Unlike a song on YouTube, the URLs are human readable and relatively forgiving; so a link to onrad.io/Taylor.Swift.Wildest.Dreams is rather easier than leaving your chat session, going off to YouTube and discovering a URL like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdneKLhsWOQ, then copying it, switching back to the app you were using, and then pasting it in. There's a lot to be said for human-readable URLs.

All this is courtesy of Michael Robertson's newest company, OnRad.io - a nifty way of linking to your favourite song. Since it uses simple URLs, it works via SMS, webchat, Twitter, or any other URL-based service; and since it uses radio streams, it's free for everyone. Write a URL yourself, and it makes a good guess as to what you're looking for (normalising the URL in the process). It's simple and nicely done.

If this is sounding familiar, it's using the same kind of data behind his 6 Seconds app that he released in April - except, this new service works on desktop too, and is now granular enough to deal with songs as well as simply artists. And, like 6 Seconds, this is a great trial mechanism for new listeners. Discover a station because it's playing the Coldplay track you like, and it's then up to the station to keep you listening once it's finished with another decent song or some great content.

Any service like this is, of course, highly reliant on the data available: and it's not perfect. Some stations are slow at updating their now-playing data on which this service relies, so you get some other song entirely. (It would be good to be able to report this to flag up errant broadcasters, so the system can give a preference to more accurate ones).

What this service does do, however, is highlight the need for a search engine that isn't just music-based. "I want to hear something that'll make me laugh", "Tell me more about the Brussels news", "Is anyone talking about schoolies on the radio?", "Find me an interview with Peter Mandelson sounding catty", "Which radio station is Ed Sheeran being interviewed on now?", "Give me a nice story about cats", or even just "Keep me company on this drive". Radio excels in all these things, too: but Google is blind to them.

Perhaps Google's move into podcasting will give them the data they need for real-time audio indexing. Here's hoping so.

Here's a video showing it working; and a press release.

Press Release

OnRad.io, A New Company Brings Search Engine to Online Radio, Brings Listeners to Their Sought-After-Songs in the Exact Moment it Airs

OnRad.io Find the Songs and enables Sharing on any Messaging Platform

SAN DIEGO, CA (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 19, 2015 - OnRad.io, a new company from digital music pioneer Michael Robertson, is making online radio more discoverable while enabling users on messaging apps to share music instantly. Artists in this innovative configuration are still being compensated.

The new search technology tracks free online radio stations every second and determines what songs are being played at that exact moment. This technology opens up a vast library of popular songs, all of which can be searched, found and played in real time.

"Because Google doesn't index online radio streams, radio is invisible to searchers and radio companies are missing out on more than 100 million users per day,” says Chief Executive Officer of OnRad.io, Michael Robertson. "Our goal at OnRad.io is to make it one-click easy to find any song playing on the radio and to easily share those songs with friends, this ultimately drives more listeners to the great content on radio.” OnRad.io introduces three significant advancements for online radio.

Search and Play any Song Playing Anywhere in the World on Radio: Music fans can use OnRad.io to find songs or artists from free stations from around the world. Mobile users can use free Android or iOS apps while desktop users can use OnRad.io via a browser. Searches scan about 100,000 stations in under 100ms looking for matching songs. For songs available on multiple stations, the station nearest the beginning of the song will be suggested to users first. To hear a song, users connect directly to the broadcasting station where they'll hear whatever material is broadcast.

Song Sharing in any Messaging App: Using OnRad.io music lovers can share songs in any messaging app including Snapchat, WeChat, Twitter, Gmail, WhatsApp and others. To send a song users simply construct an OnRad.io URL appending either a song or artist name to the URL and send it to another user. A smart algorithm detects whether the link is a song or artist name, even if it is a partial name.

When the recipient clicks the received URL, the free OnRad.io app will open and play the desired song or artist. If the song is not immediately available anywhere on radio, the user is notified when the song is expected to play on radio. A notification will be sent to the user when the song starts and they can tune to that station if they desire. See Video Demo of Song Sharing in Snapchat:

Every song now has a freely accessible web page with Listening and Statistics: A web page has been constructed for every song played on radio. These web pages make it easy to listen to the song either immediately or to be notified the next time it’s broadcast anywhere on radio. Statistics are displayed showing song popularity, the stations that play the song and when the song is expected to play on radio. Anyone can access these URLs to listen with no subscription fee, login or registration required. To listen, users are connected directly to broadcasters playing the song.

Benefits to Radio Companies And Artists

OnRad.io benefits radio companies and artists. Artists get paid for every radio listen of their songs. OnRad.io helps artists get their songs heard on radio which leads to higher royalty payments. Online radio companies can expect a significant influx of customers who will find their station and heart their songs as well as the programmed audio advertising, as expected on traditional radio. For the first time, online radio stations can receive direct search traffic to their station. This will help them garner more listeners and better compete with Pandora.

To experience OnRad.io users can go to OnRad.io from their computers or smartphone. Using mobile phones, they'll be invited to install the free OnRad.io app. Those on desktop computers will get a web based experience.

About OnRad.io

OnRad.io is a search engine company to help music lovers find the ideal online radio station by giving them up-to-the second accuracy about what every station is playing in real time. Artists get paid when people listen to their songs on the radio so support your favorite artist and online radio by using OnRad.io. Digital music pioneer Michael Robertson leads the OnRad.io team. Robertson is best known as the founder and former CEO of MP3.com. Other companies founded by him include desktop Linux company Linspire and VOIP company Gizmo5, which sold to Google.

James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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Comments

1 year, 12 months ago

Isn't this a great way to link to songs that are already halfway through?

1 year, 11 months ago

The technology is smart and always selects the station earliest in the broadcast. Meaning the more popular song the closer it will be to the beginning. With very popular songs you may even hear the previous song ending before the song you selected begins. Like try this: [onrad.io/Adele] (http://onrad.io/Adele) to experience it yourself.

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