Ever since the general public began to gravitate toward Internet Radio, the cry has always been "Where's the portability?"
In the beginning we were tethered to a computer. Then came wireless broadband. Then came faster broadband. Then came Internet-connected radios that worked with wireless broadband. Then came mobile broadband. Then came radio on our smart phones, traditional streams and unique Internet streams.
Still, many wondered when will Internet Radio be in my dashboard just like the radio I now have? Early on, some inventive folks created plenty of clever "work-arounds" to do that. I remember writing about people using laptops in cars, wires, cables, tiny FM transmitters, you name it.
Then, some companies began to market more sophisticated devices that were designed to fit iPhones and Androids by physically linking together and throwing the source from the phone into the radio through a small transmitter or wire. It looked better, was easier to hook up, but didn't really solve the problem.
Maybe that's because our perception of the problem was the problem!
Radio: Behave Yourself!
For years, we've all been trying to fit a round peg in a square hole by insisting that Internet Radio behave like traditional radio. In our minds we keep thinking the problem will be solved when we can just push a button on our dashboard. Maybe that's the problem: Internet Radio is not traditional AM and FM radio.
Internet Radio found a home in your cell phone. And unless someone you have a car radio that functions like a cell phone (and requires you to get a data plan) so you can stream your stations, you're stuck with Internet Radio in your hand-held smart phone.
Connecting Your Car to Your Phone
Maybe that's what the folks at Stitcher Smart Radio were thinking when they released talk radio's first API for the car, "Stitcher Connect". An API is an "application programming interface." Basically, it's a specification or set of programming standards intended to be used by software components to communicate with each other.