On Wednesday, Tokyo-based tech start-up, Flight System Consulting[J] released the iPhone/iPod touch app that allows you to listen to Japanese community FM radio services over the Internet, in association with CSRA[J] or Community Simul Radio Alliance. The app costs 350 yen. At the time of the app’s release, nine stations participating in the alliance can be tuned in, and all 36 member stations will be available by this summer.
The app is available only at Japanese AppStore, but it has no geographically-based access restriction, that’s why you can tune in radio programs with it regardless of whether you’re in Japan or abroad.
The current version has the feature showing you weather update as well as tuning in radio programs. The coming future updates will support additional features including video broadcast, link shortcut to the iTunes’ page of the tune being aired, and link to e-commerce sites selling local specialties in the area of the station that you’re currently tuning in.
According to Taro Kimura, the well-known news anchor and the president of CSRA, the proceeds from the app sales are mainly allotted for system integration cost. Radio stations participating in this service get no financial profit from the app sales because buying the app needs to be taken same with buying a portable radio for clearing copyright issues. (If radio stations got profit from the app sales, they might be required to pay additional copyright license fees.)
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