Say what you will about TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO ) and its miserable performance as a stock. There's a certain je ne sais quoi about the cuddly digital video player. I mean, really, what other appliance in your house seeks only to give you want you want, as TiVo does?
The feature, while hardly perfect, is so endearing that now Vodafone (NYSE: VOD ) and Sony (NYSE: SNE ) are teaming to bring something like it to mobile music mavens. Called RadioDJ, the new service streams music to a compatible cell phone. Users indicate their preferences by clicking buttons for "like" or "dislike." And that, over time, allows the service to learn.
Vodafone, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick, expects to launch RadioDJ in the U.K. in the next few months, according to The Times of London. Initial subscription prices will range from 10 to 15 euro monthly. Streamed songs may also be downloaded for an expected price of 1.50 euro each.
The combination of streaming and downloading has Vodafone hoping that RadioDJ --when combined with advanced phones from the likes of Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) and Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY ) -- will offer stiff competition to Apple's iTunes and iPod by introducing the prospect of more choice and new music discoveries.
Certainly, it's an interesting concept, but the argument falls on deaf ears for this Fool. First, Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI ) and Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick XM (Nasdaq: XMSR ) have their own portable satrad services and may soon introduce recording capabilities into their iPod-sized devices. That would effectively emulate the functionality offered by Vodafone and Sony, albeit using much different technology.
Moreover, iTunes is entirely about choice. I use it because I only download what I want. Which means there's no need for a "like" or "dislike" button. I'd prefer to keep it that way. And I suspect more than a few here on our shores feel the same.
Brrrring! It's related Foolishness calling:
- Could iTunes be Firefoxed?
- The iTunes network is already off to a good start.
- What's with digital music's mixed messages?
TiVo is one of the few losing stocks in the dual portfolios maintained by David and Tom Gardner forMotley Fool Stock Advisorsubscribers. Indeed, they're each pounding the market by more than 25% as of this writing.Find outwhich superstar stocks are making David and Tom's readers rich by taking a risk-free 30-day trial. Orsign upnow and we'll throw inStocks 2006, which features our top analysts' best picks for the year ahead. All you have to lose is the prospect of better returns.
Fool contributorTim Beyersdownloaded some killer tracks from the Foo Fighters before penning this story. Tim owns shares of Nokia. You can find out what else is in his portfolio by checking his Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.