Friday, May 24, 2013

Morning Brief: TuneIn Radio issues major update to bring TuneIn Live to the iPhone; Amazon launches new fan fiction publishing platform, Kindle Worlds

A new update for TuneIn Radio brings TuneIn Live to to the iPhone, plus a slew of other features and fixes. Unfortunately, if early reviews are to believed, the update has also introduced some bugs that will have to be addressed in another update.

TuneIn Live basically brings Pandora-like features to live radio programs like artwork that flips as the program changes. There are also calendar reminders for live events, though the app description talks about changes to the system due to App Store changes.

The update also brings access to the app directly to BMW and MINI drivers for owners of vehicles with the BMW ConnectedDrive and MINI Connected features (new vehicles, obviously).

TuneIn Radio still comes in two flavors: a free universal app and a "Pro" version which allows users to record programming.

Amazon launched Kindle Worlds yesterday, a way for users to publish their own fanzines (actually novels, novellas, and short stories) without having to secure their own licensing agreements.

"With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group's Alloy Entertainment for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way," the Amazon site announced.

One can imagine the quality of work that will result – but, hey, kids will be kids. Also, don't be surprised to start hearing stories of someone who has written a work of fan fiction and has sold millions.

Amazon says they will price these fan generated works for $0.99 to $3.99, and Amazon will retain all the rights to the work "including global publication rights, for the term of copyright."