CES round up

By | Published on Monday 10 January 2011

Lady Gaga

So, it was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, and I think it’s fair to say the music-related announcements were somewhat low-key this time round, with most attention being given to yet more tedious 3D video nonsense, net-connected tellies and the post-iPad revival of the tablet computer.

So much so, the biggest music-related event of the proceedings this time round was actually designed to sell cameras. At last year’s CES, Lady Gaga was appointed Creative Director of Polaroid. I don’t know how much creative directing she’s being doing around Polaroid HQ in the subsequent twelve months, but she ensured the camera firm plenty of press last week by showing up in Vegas to demo the firm’s rather snazzy new sun-specs-camera, yes, a pair of sunglasses that can take and display photos. Very Gaga.

There were, however, some CES announcements more directly linked to music products. US-based streaming music firm MOG, which is still planning a UK launch, announced that its mobile app would soon be preloaded on a selection of 4G smartphones sold by American tel co Verizon Wireless. The partnership will also mean Verizon customers can opt to pay their ten dollars a month MOG subscription via their phone bill rather than their credit card.

Said MOG man David Hyman: “The additional speed and bandwidth that Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network provides will make for an enhanced MOG experience. Users will be delighted by the high-quality sound and speed in which their favourite music is delivered. It’s exciting to broaden MOG’s reach and provide users with the ultimate listening experience. We’re pleased to be aligned with a company such as Verizon Wireless”.

Another US-based streaming service, the previously reported Rdio, which confirmed a partnership with Twitter last month, used CES to announce a new tie-up with Sonos which will see the Rdio service added to devices made by the consumer electronics company. I’m not sure of the specifics, though it may be similar to Spotify’s tie up with the electronics firm, which makes the European streaming service work on Sonos’s multi-room net-connected home hi-fi system.

Rdio’s other big announcement last week (though slightly too late for CES, I think) was that it has done a licensing deal with indie label consortium Merlin, which had previously been conspicuous by its absence from the streaming service. Rdio launched with the four majors and the smaller indie aggregators on board, but not the bigger independent labels represented by Merlin.

Finally in music-related CES gubbins, musical metadata experts Gracenote announced the next generation of its Discover music recommendation technology, which uses all sorts of info about tracks to recommend similar music to users. The new Discover will tap into ever more data to make ever more advanced recommendations. Plus, via a hook up with Getty Images, it will also be able to suggest what pictures will complement a song best. Or something like that. I’m pretty sure that’s what they said, though now I’ve written it down that sounds a bit daft.

Gracenote, of course, sells its technology to digital music providers rather than consumers direct, and also announced last week that the first company to use the new Discover technology will be London-based Omnifone. Says Omnifone boss Rob Lewis: “Gracenote Discover guides the consumer through the vast catalogue of repertoire provided by Omnifone’s unlimited music services. Partnering with Gracenote enables us to provide users with relevant and engaging music choices for channel based services and ‘you might like’ recommendations”.

And that’s enough CES nonsense, I reckon. I wonder if our man out there will bring another Vegas snow storm back with him for the office collection.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | | | |