Yahoo! Music Radio
From Seo Wiki - Search Engine Optimization and Programming Languages
|This article's tone or style may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (September 2009)|
|File:Yahoo! Music Logo.png|
Current Yahoo! Music Radio player.
|Developer(s)||LAUNCH Media (2001-2002)</br> Yahoo! (2002-2009)</br> CBS Radio (2009-Present)|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Broadcasting - Internet Radio service|
Yahoo! Music Radio (formerly known as LAUNCHcast) is an Internet radio service offered by CBS Radio through Yahoo! Music. The service, formerly offered by LAUNCH Media, and originally developed by Todd Beaupré and Jeff Boulter, debuted on November 11, 1999, and was purchased by Yahoo! in October, 2001. LAUNCHcast combined with CBS Radio beginning in February 16, 2009.
2001- 2009: LAUNCHcast powered by Yahoo! Music
LAUNCHcast allowed users to create personal radio stations or playlists of songs tailored to their musical tastes.
A recommendation engine suggested songs that might have matched a user's particular musical taste according to the following similarity criteria:
- Songs from the same artist
- Songs from the same album
- Songs from the same genre
- Songs recommended by users with similar musical tastes
- Songs recommended by Yahoo!
Users were not required to participate in the ratings system to listen to music. Pre-programmed stations based on theme, genre, or artist were available throughout the Yahoo! Music website.
Music videos could also be rated, allowing users to create personal music video channels as well. For legal reasons, specific songs could not be played whenever one wished. However, videos could be. The service could generate a personal video channel based on a single selection.
Users also have the option to turn off explicit lyrics while listening to their customized stations.
Users could share their personal stations publicly and listen to other users' stations.
When LAUNCHcast plus was implemented in 2003, music was available for streaming for free at "Low" or "Medium" quality; although in 2007, these were combined into "Standard".
Between tracks, free accounts would hear commercial advertising for the Yahoo! service and its partners and affiliates. The advertisements were generally 30 seconds.
In 2007 Yahoo! added permanent banner ads to the LAUNCHcast player. Because Launchcast was only compatible with Internet Explorer, which charges for its banner ad blocker, users must either tolerate the banner ads or pay to block them. An alternative was to use the Yahoo! Music Engine, which was called Jukebox in version 2 of the same software. The Jukebox was unable to stream music anymore following September 2008, although it remained available for download well into the following year.
Limited skipping was available, at up to 5 skips per hour. Previously, banning a song skipped the song automatically, but this was removed. If the skips were not used in the previous hour, they did not roll over.
Free accounts were limited to playing up to 1000 songs/mo (up to 120,000/yr) without any special restrictions. A song could be skipped to bypass an undesired track, but skipped songs counted against the monthly allowance. If a free account user exceeds the monthly limit, the user would no longer be able to listen to LAUNCHcast radio for the remainder of the month, although they could listen to their personal station with no skips. Like skips, songs did not roll over to the next month. This won't be the case when LAUNCHcast is powered by CBS as it will provide unlimited listening.
Free users had access to only specific stations labeled "free". Such stations had a yellow headphones icon whereas premium stations had a blue plus icon.
Pausing was only possible after 30 seconds into the song, although a song could be skipped before the 30 seconds by pressing "stop" and then starting the station again.
In early 2003, Yahoo! has introduced a premium version of the LAUNCHcast service called LAUNCHcast Plus. Some users subscribed to this service on a monthly ($3.99/mo [$47.88/yr]) or annual basis ($35.88/yr [$2.99/mo]), or it came as bundled software from some ISPs (included in price) such as Verizon Yahoo! online services. In addition to the features offered by the free account, LAUNCHcast Plus users received the following additional benefits:
- "High" quality sound (CD-quality)
- No commercials or banner ads
- Access to all LAUNCHcast pre-programmed stations
- Unlimited skipping
- Unlimited monthly listening
- Access to all artists, songs, and albums (subject to licensing restrictions by country)
- The ability to designate other user's stations as "influencers" of one's own personal radio station
- The ability to create "moods" (genre-based subsets of a user's personal radio station)
- Pausing whenever you want
LAUNCHcast Plus was only offered in the US and Canada through Yahoo. On November 2, 2008, Verizon Yahoo! announced via e-mail that certain services would be discontinued including LAUNCHcast Plus. In an e-mail delivered in January 2009, Yahoo states "the LAUNCHcast Plus premium service will be closing on February 12, 2009." . LAUNCHcast Plus was available to AT&T and Verizon subscribers at no charge previously.
2009 - current: LAUNCHcast/Yahoo! Music Radio powered by CBS
Listeners are allowed to use the out-of-five rating feature that influences the stations. While banning a song entirely is impossible, giving a song a one-star rating will have it played very rarely. The rating tool was discontinued from the Yahoo! Music Radio player as of September 21 for a time until it was restored on November 2. Ratings in the new player are not yet be saved back into Yahoo! users listings, so until Yahoo! Music and CBS Radio associate radio ratings with their profiles, Yahoo! encourages users to rate songs, artists, and albums throughout their site as well as through their recommendations based on their tastes. As previously, play-on-demand is not provided, as with rewind, playback, and fast-forward.
Many ads can be skipped. However, some cannot and many disable all buttons, forcing the listener to hear the ad before any music is played. Ads which can be skipped have no label or video. However, skipping ads accounts toward the hourly skip limit. Ads disabling all buttons are, as of March 2009, advertising hair products. Such ads often play upon the player's launch, and some of them have a video. An occasional Nesquik ad disables the pause and skip buttons, but the channel can be changed.
As with the old service, unused skips do not roll-over.
The fan radio feature has returned to LAUNCHcast 5 months after CBS' takeover. Listeners can access the fan stations in the artist page by clicking on the "Artist Radio" link that corresponds with the artist/group. They also have the option to type in their favorite artist in the player itself.
Unlike its previous service, Yahoo! Radio by CBS does not have the option for users to turn off explicit lyrics. Although a hard rock or a hip-hop station may have edited content, some explicit songs maybe mixed in there. The user must either tolerate such raw language, skip the song, or change the station.
Since the merger, the LAUNCHcast branding has slowly diminished, although LAUNCHcast is still verbally mentioned during some of their commercial breaks.
The free version of LAUNCHcast was available in most areas of the world. However, content was varied by country due to music licensing restrictions.
In Canada, LAUNCHcast and LAUNCHcast Plus was dismantled altogether as of April 15, 2009. In Australia, their LAUNCHcast service was rebranded "Yahoo! Music Radio" until they dismantled it in July 7, 2009. Many other countries followed suit prior to the relaunch of Yahoo! Music worldwide sites.
The LAUNCHcast music player (from development date to February 2009) required Microsoft's Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher to function, although it could not be streamed from the Windows Media Player itself. Before the merger with CBS Radio, LAUNCHcast only worked with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6.0 and up web browser with Flash 6.0 or higher, and in Yahoo!'s Messenger and Music Engine programs on the Microsoft Windows operating system 98, ME, 2000 Professional, XP (Home and Professional). LAUNCHcast did not load properly using a Firefox web browser. According to Yahoo!, the LAUNCHcast music player was not compatible with the Mac OS X or Linux operating systems, however as of February 16, 2009; this may not be the case. Yahoo! stated that following CBS's acquisition, loading the player in Firefox may become possible.
Since the relaunch of LAUNCHcast by CBS, users are only required to download the latest Flash Player plug-in (currently Version 10). See external links (below) for Yahoo's help page on system requirements.
On April 27, 2007, Yahoo! defeated Sony BMG in a copyright infringement lawsuit involving LAUNCHcast's personalization features. At issue was whether or not LAUNCHcast's "personal radio station" constitutes an "interactive" service, which requires a negotiated license agreement with a record company, or a "non-interactive" service, which requires a cheaper "compulsory license" from SoundExchange. In an "interactive" service, users can play songs on demand, but with LAUNCHcast they can only influence whether or not a particular song appears in their station.
After a six-year litigation, a jury decided that LAUNCHcast was not required to negotiate licenses as an "interactive" service, and that the service's compulsory licenses as a "non-interactive" service were sufficient. The plaintiffs appealed the decision but on August 21, 2009 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the lower court's decision, finding that users did not have sufficient control over the playlists generated by LAUNCHcast to render it an "interactive service".
- ↑ Rising royalties send Yahoo's Launchcast to CBS, International Herald Tribune. Accessed Jan 2, 2009
- ↑ http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/verizon/misc/misc-02.html
- ↑ Yahoo! LAUNCHcast Transition FAQ - Yahoo! (accessed February 15, 2009)
- ↑ iPhone Apps - Y! Music - Apptism (accessed May 12, 2009)
- ↑ Information regarding changes to LAUNCHcast and LAUNCHcast Plus services on April 15th, 2009 Yahoo! Music Canada (accessed April 16, 2009).
- ↑ Yahoo! Defeats Sony BMG Infringement Suit, Billboard.com (accessed May 2, 2007)
- ↑ RIAA loses its case against Yahoo's Launch Media internet radio station provider (accessed August 23, 2009)