Un-freaking-believably cool!!! I just downloaded Virgin's new 3G Mobile Radio client and it's so cool! I mean, so, totally, amazingly, cool!!!! It was easy to install, had three big buttons to press, buffering took all of 15 seconds (on my class 10 EDGE phone ~120kbps) and, bam, I was listening to music. No subscriptions required, no sign up, no passwords, just music on demand. ROCK.
The service does come with this stern (and needed) warning:
Data costs If you've got an unlimited GPRS or 3G data connection, this is for you. Unlimited data rates allow you to listen as long as you like, wherever you are. Unlimited data is cheapest in India and the USA, but is available in many areas: check with your network operator. In the UK, Orange are currently offering unlimited 3G data with every new 3G phone for a limited period.
Listening on pay-per-use GPRS is charged at your network's rate, which may be substantial. You're advised to check with your network operator before downloading this application. Data use per hour is around 7.2M.
Virgin Radio is actively working with mobile phone companies to offer special prices on radio listening with this application.
The warning makes sense. Even here in the U.S. with flat-rate data plans available, if you don't have one, Cingular (for example) will happily charge you 3 cents/kilobyte. That'd be $216/hr if you don't feel like doing your math. I'll listen to local crappy Clear Channel radio for that price. :-)
I always wondered why Idetic and Verizon started with video versions of their streaming media offerings first, when audio-programming was such a no-brainer to me. On demand radio is great! Who needs Sirius or XM, baby? I'm getting on-demand radio on my mobile right now. This is an awesome example of what sort of cool new mobile media services are coming soon. Think back to my Podcast Radio idea. Imagine if instead of getting Virgin's canned music, you got your personal podcast list instead, all organized as a long radio show? This is all *so* close to happening, I love it.
Way to go Virgin and Sydus Mobile which powers the service! I've been listening for the past 10 minutes or so and though the quality is a bit tinny, there's no lag or buffering whatsoever. It's great.
Wooohoo! I *love* cool new mobile services that *just* work!