Getting sound out of an iPhone and online quickly has been pretty easy for a while, and there are a number of startups playing in the space. Trottr works from any phone and is a simple call-in or upload system. The Tweetmic iPhone app has been gathering lots of speed in the U.S. due to its ability to publish on Twitter – but it has no attached social network. But it’s AudioBoo.fm, launched in December last year, which has been making waves with an iPhone-only app which works very well.
However, a new entrant, ipadio, is potentially about to steal AudioBoo’s thunder with a new iPhone app which covers all the bases: live streaming audio into a web page; high quality uploads from the iPhone; live phone-in service; upcoming Android app – plus, crucially, a business model.
Released to the public at the end of April the existing iPadio iPhone app is simple enough. However, not unlike BlogTalkRadio, it was based around making a phone call to get your audio online. But the new version of the existing ipadio iPhone app [iTunes link], poised for approval in the App store, brings a ton more functionality to the platform.
What the new app does is now give the user a choice. You can make a live telephone call via various global numbers (it works in the US, Europe and Asia) which are designed not to be premium rate – I did it today with the Yahoo/Microsoft press call. Ipadio tells me they make no percentage out of this call other than covering costs. In addition, it does something AudoBoo and other can’t – live stream your audio to the Web via a phone call. The call can be of an unlimited length. A premium “all you can eat” SpinVox/ipadio service which will cater for up to 10 minutes of text conversion, with users charged a small fee.
In addition to embedding calls to other systems and web sites, ipadio can also trigger updates automatically to Facebook and Twitter, while with, LiveJournal, WordPress, Blogger, Posterous and Windows Live Spaces it creates a new entry with the player embedded. Users can subscribe to ipadio “phlogs” (a pretty bad phrase I hope they dump) via email, RSS and iTunes.
But the new and more powerful addition is recording not via a scratchy phone call but via the iPhone’s in-built mic. This creates dramatically better audio quality, the ability to pause and resume (as with AudioBoo) and, a very long recording time: up to 60 minutes. The file generated also gets automatically geo-located on a Google map.
iPadio is also announcing a deal with Spinvox, the voice to text service which recently launched an API, which means iPadio broadcasts will be able to be translated in to text. Spinvox will also automaticaly add metadata like a title though the translation is limited to the first 60 seconds if the piece.
ipadio is essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of digital communication company Nemisys which provides a live-to-the-web broadcasting platform. Nemysis has plans to make the platform available to companies as internal communications and braodcast tools. Since Ipadio is basically a telephony product adapted for the Web it can bring multiple people to one call, as in a one to many broadcast. So a “large utility company” is currently using it to communicate with 20,000 field staff who don’t have smartphones. It can also perfom DTMF functions like phone polling. In the the meantime, Nemisys giving the iPadio consumer spinoff its head.