mSpot has developed a technology that enables users to stream music from a PC to their handset using the mobile network.mSpot Remix could be described as a kind of Slingbox for digital music, though it's entirely software based and needs no extra hardware other than a PC or phone to work.
It consists of a PC music management app and a mobile client. When a user hits 'play' on the handset client, Remix starts streaming a song, while downloading the full track – and the rest of the playlist – in the background.
Tracks are encoded at the PC end 'on the fly' at 32kbps, which mSpot says keeps file size to a minimum, while retaining more than enough fidelity to keep listeners happy. By our calculations a four minute song would come in at around one megabyte.
The client then saves the songs to the phone’s memory card so that the consumer has access to the 'mobile' library when not connected to the network. Users can also sync their phone to a PC music library using good old fashioned side-loading.
mSpot CEO Daren Tsui told ME: "Our mantra is that we want to make any phone feel like an iPhone. But even Steve Jobs acknowledges that 96 per cent of the songs on an average iPod haven't been bought from iTunes. That tells us that a portable media player - phone or otherwise - will never be a success it if doesn't allow people to take their existing libraries with them."
Mspot's eventual aim is to extend the Remix client to encompass its existing mobile video, full-length movie and radio services, which it's already supplying to Sprint and Bell Mobility, among others.
The first Remix operator partner is expected to be in place this summer. Tsui said that a number of business models are possible - a data plan will certainly be part of any package and mSpot will push hard for operators to make Remix functionality available for free, with a view to up-selling users to its premium services.