Parts of CES focus on cutting-edge technology, put Pure aims to keep things solidly focused on everyday consumers, introducing two new iPod/iPhone docks, an Internet radio, and a new FlowSongs cloud-based music service that enables users to buy music directly from their Internet radios or the company’s Lounge iPhone app.
“Our new FlowSongs service creates a bridge between radio and the ability to own that music at the point of hearing it,” said Pure North America general manager Charles Bellfield, in a statement. “As the first cloud-based service of its kind to receive overwhelming support from the music industry, we believe FlowSongs, in addition to our other current and upcoming digital content services, will encourage consumers to rediscover radio.”
FlowSongs aims to enable users to take tracks playing on any FM or Internet radio station and, if they like, buy them from any Pure Internet radio with integrated Flow technology. Once purchased, users can stream their purchased to their devices with one touch, or download a high-quality MP3 version of the track for their music collection. The idea behind the service is to enable music lovers to spontaneously purchase music as they discover it—and eliminate that rush to write down (or look up) an artist or track name then remember to hunt for the material later. To use the service, users register their Flow-equipped radios on Pure’s music portal site The Lounge; once the accounts are set up with a credit or debit card, users can stream any material owned by that account to any Flow-equipped device.
Pure says FlowSongs will launch in North America this spring, with tracks prices from $0.99 for $1.49. Subscriptions to FlowSongs service will run $5.99 a year, enabling users to identify and purchase as many tracks as they like; users will get a free 90 days of tagging songs when they sign up for the service (so long as they have credit on file). iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users can also tap into global radio content (including Internet radio and podcasts) using a new $4.99 Lounge app.
Need a device to go along with your Pure listening experience? The company has you covered with three new solutions. The One Flow is the company’s more affordable internet/FM radio, featuring Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, a large LCD display, up to 20 hours of listening time on a rechargeable battery pack, kitchen and sleep timers, two alarms, and a 3.5mm aux input for MP3 players and other devices. The new i-20 iPod/iPhone dock movies audio processing into high-quality 24-bit/192 KHz digital-to-analog converters for high-quality sound, and offers coax, TOSLINK, and RCA audio outputs, along with component, S-Video (with adapter), and Composite video output for connecting up to televisions. Finally, folks looking for a traditional iPod/iPhone speaker dock with Pure’s Flow technology will be eyeing the Contour, featuring Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity for tapping into Internet radio, an FM receiver, full-range 3.5-inch speakers (and dual bass ports for a full sound), video output (component, composite, and S-video), and a slick retractable dock, plus the usual spate of alarms and timers.
Pure hasn’t revealed pricing for the One Flow or Contour, but the i-20 dock will carry a suggested price of $99.95.
The real question for Pure is whether it can attract music enthusiasts to its FM+Internet radio solutions as a legitimate avenue for music discovery. These days, many music fans are used to relying on their friends and acquaintances to discover new music—and they primarily do that via social networking on their computers, phones, and other devices. Pure’s Lounge taps into aspects of that…but positioning Flow and The Lounge as a paid subscription service may hinder adoption.