Mobilcast to provide streaming podcasts on Cingular Wireless

Cingular Wireless users will be able to use Melodeo’s Mobilcast to listen podcasts on their mobile phones. This service will be available to Cingular customers at a charge of $4.99/month. Last month Melodeo had entered into similar agreement with Alltel Wireless where the monthly subscription is for $3.99. Melodeo is headed by Jim Billmaier and is based out of Seattle, WA.

The Mobilcast service lets consumers search and listen to podcasts by either streaming or downloading the content. Users will have to download and install the Mobilcast application on their mobile phones. Currently around 15 mobile phones are supported including Motorola Razr/Rokr, and Nokia N90/N70.

Using the Mobilcast application you can search for shows according to your interest, and hit “Listen Now” to start streaming. While listening to podcast on Mobilcast you can view podcast show notes and description. Mobilcast also provides playlist functionality for episodes of a show. When one episode finishes playing, the next one starts playing automatically. You can also advance to the next episode or go back to the previous episode using the navigation keys on your phone. Users can create playlists on Mobilcast website and sync Mobilcast web-account with their mobile phone.

Mobilcast website by itself is somewhat difficult to navigate which uses Ajax for page refresh but does not have browser back button support. Even the search functionality is not among the best with extra long show notes displayed in the results itself. Podcasting site like Odeo with mobile support from Mobilcast is the perfect combination. Again, world is not perfect place and you will have to live with a clumsy site from Mobilcast for now.

Mobilcast can provide the much need push to podcasting for mass user adoption. Mobilcast takes away the pain of hooking up your ipod everyday to load new episodes. Now everything will be right there on the mobile except you will have to buy couple of new chargers for car and office. I have a blackberry which is not among the supported phones, so can’t really tell what is the quality of the service. Will like to hear from Cingular users about the service and quality.


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