Motorola Phones Bridge Cars, Home Stereos

iRadio allows for wireless music connectivity.

Motorola has unveiled a wireless music system designed to extend the reach of Internet radio stations and personal music collections to subscribers' cars and home audio systems -- using mobile phones as the hub.

The iRadio system allows Motorola phones and appropriately enabled car stereos to communicate and share content. Users can transfer their PC-based music collections and Internet radio stations to supported mobile phones. The phone then uses Bluetooth connectivity to stream music through a car stereo equipped with an after-market audio adapter. Music also may be streamed through Bluetooth-enabled home stereo equipment, allowing users to pause music played in the car and resume it inside the home.

Several Motorola iRadio-capable phone models have already been released, and the company will introduce an after-market audio adapter for in-car systems when the service launches commercially. Motorola hopes car audio manufacturers will ultimately manufacture head units with the technology built in.

While the system will immediately support personal music collections, participating Internet radio stations and streaming services will have to agree to port their content through Motorola servers. Motorola says it is negotiating with several Internet radio services on this point and will begin customer trials in April ahead of an expected October launch.

Motorola says it will provide the iRadio system for wireless carriers and online music services to brand and market to their subscribers directly, and offered no specific pricing details at this time.

Motorola made the announcement at the DEMO@15 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., which ends tomorrow (Feb. 15).