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The new WiFi-pod – Radio dodges a bullet…for a “nano”-second

A few people had predicted that the new iPod, announced today, would include not only the hotly anticipated ability to download songs from iTunes wirelessly, but also the ability to access the iPod’s streaming stations and presumably purchase and download digital tunes as you hear them stream (just as some satellite radio units can do now, and as HD radio fancies itself doing in the Jetsons-like future).

The new iPods do the former but not the latter (I didn’t expect it, and I’m surprised it got as much digital ink as it did).

That’s the bullet I’m talking about. And radio dodged it. Because if you can listen to thousands of streaming stations via WiFi on the world’s most popular mp3 player, then chances are you will. And if I’m listening to thousands of them I’m not listening to you. Unless of course you’re part of that iTunes list, in which case you have thousands of instant new competitors.

On the day something like that happens the new definition of “radio” will be “something that has nothing to do with an over-the-air radio station.”

Something that has nothing to do with you.

So now the iPod is enabled to “discover” music wherever there’s a hotspot and the will to do the work.

Not quite the same as radio, but creeping ever-closer – as I have long predicted it would.

But don’t breathe easy quite yet.

Here’s something folks generally aren’t yet anticipating: Apple is great at creating products that become their own ecosystems. That is, products that other companies build products and services around. The fact that every iPod Touch will be its own portable “window on the web” means developers will create specialized applications that bring a wealth of utility to the device – with features we can only imagine now.

And I have no doubt that some of those applications will involve streaming and/or cached audio entertainment, i.e. “radio.”

Already there’s a hack that allows iPhone users to stream Sirius and Live365. And that same hack should work on the new iPods.

Voila. Instant radio.

Can the legitimate radio-like interfaces be far behind.

Don’t bet against it.

Something tells me numerous comments to this post will expose many such applications, already available.

How’s your web strategy coming?

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