Aha Radio Adds Slacker to Car Radio

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Aha Radio, a free service in two Pioneer radios, has teamed up with Slacker Radio to offer Internet radio in an easy to use interface while driving.

Aha RadioSlacker radio stations and millions of songs will be available to drivers, who can access favorite preset stations via touch control in a simplified interface.

Slacker also gives you 150 pre-programmed genre stations that will be added to Aha’s current mix of news, traffic, Facebook and Twitter feeds plus other apps like Yelp!, again, via touch screen and audio.

Unfortunately, the current Pioneer radios that are Aha-ready will not work with Slacker when Aha adds it this fall. Slacker requires the hardware maker to include “heart” and “ban” buttons similar to Pandora’s thumbs up thumbs down buttons, which are not included in the Pioneer radios, said Aha’s Robert Acker. He suggested that next generation Pioneer radios could be compatible.

Aha has big plans for the car electronics market. Acker says more than 2 additional car radio suppliers will announce support of Aha Radio at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Car makers are also expected to deliver Aha Radio in factory radios by model year 2013.

Acker believes the service will become as common as Pandora and satellite radio in cars.

Aha acts as a kind of go between for the car companies and app makers. It’s owned by Harman with deep ties to auto makers. So for apps like Yelp!… “We can help connect them to the auto world…We can help a lot of Pandora alternatives and others that may want to get into the vehicle,” said Acker. Conversely, Aha helps the auto makers deal with an onslaught of apps vying for a pipeline into the car.

Slacker is just the first branded music source that Aha expects to offer, it said.

In addition to music, Slacker also offers personalized comedy, sports and news stations. It will provide personalized news from ABC and personalized sports from ESPN.

Aha Radio is also an app on the iPhone. And in-car users must connect an iPhone to the car radio to receive Aha Radio.

Watch the video above to see how Aha Radio works in the car.

Source: Aha by Harman

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