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Gracenote unveils new Internet radio technology

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Gracenote, a Silicon Valley company whose name-that-tune technology is the backbone of some of the most popular digital music services, is unveiling a platform to power the next generation of Internet radio stations.

Dubbed Rhythm, Gracenote's technology will allow companies such as retailers and automobile manufacturers to offer their own Internet radio services to customers. Such brands would be looking for a way to capitalize music's popularity and on listeners' growing enthusiasm for streaming music services such as Pandora or Spotify.

"We're seeing quite a few brands that want to use music to extend their engagement with consumers," said Gracenote President Stephen White. "A company like Mercedes or Nordstrom or Starbucks could use this platform to bring radio to market."

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Gracenote's technology will allow brands to offer radio stations with such familiar features as the ability to build a station around a favorite artist, song or genre, and to personalize the music stream by indicating whether the listener "likes" or "dislikes" a particular song.

Rhythm will allow companies to tap into Gracenote's database of information about more than 180 million songs, as well as the staff's music expertise, to create Internet radio stations tailored to a particular mood, tempo or era. The technology is to be available to developers in February.

The Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, recently announced that it would acquire Gracenote for $170 million.

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