Michael Robertson, founder of such companies as MP3.com and Lindows, appears to be daring big radio and music companies to challenge him on copyright again.
Robertson's latest company DAR.fm, billed as a TiVo for Web radio, is expected to announce tomorrow that the service will enable users to capture the radio shows they record instead of just streaming them to their PCs or Web-connected devices. In the future, DAR.fm users can record talk shows and music and download them to iPads, iPhones, or Android devices, Robertson told CNET today. Not surprisingly, DAR.fm users can store their recordings at Robertson's digital-locker service, MP3tunes.com.
The new feature is available for free for the first series, which means that if you listen to say, NPR's "All Things Considered," DAR.fm will record it and download it daily for free. For more series, up to 10, a user must pay $39.95 a year.
So, how is this different from subscribing to a podcast?
Remember that not all radio shows offer a podcast. Fans of Rush Limbaugh must pay a yearly subscription. Some shows post their podcast three days after they air and some offer only highlights. Robertson promises that DAR.fm can record any show on the Web, period.
The download feature will certainly be reviewed closely by the big radio companies, such as Clear Channel and CBS Radio ( which shares the same parent company as CNET), as well as record companies. "Yes, it's hard to imagine that the record labels are going to be excited about this," Robertson conceded. … Read more