WHAT’S NEW IN GADGETS AND TECHNOLOGY

 
Timothy Barber
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SPOTIFY HITS THE MILLION USERS MARK
While Charlie Sheen has made tech headlines as well as tabloid ones for drumming up a million Twitter followers in just 24 hours, music streaming service Spotify has taken a bit longer to reach its own seven-figure landmark – a million paying subscribers. The company, which allows users to create and share their own music playlists, was last month reported to be in talks with Russian tech venture firm DST over an investment that valued the company at around $1bn. This week it announced passing the million-punter mark for those paying either £4.99 monthly for ad-free music on their PC or Mac via the Spotify Unlimited service, or £9.99 for the Spotify Premium mobile app service. And the company hasn’t even launched yet in the US, the world’s biggest music market.

PERSONAL RADIO FROM WE7
Spotify may be the highest profile, but it isn’t the only service providing music streaming on the move. One interesting rival is We7, a free, advertising-supported music streamer which this week launched a “personal radio” service (don’t worry, there are no DJs involved) that loads your phone with music when it’s wi-fi connected, so that you can listen back when you don’t have a data connection. Simply called We7 Radio, the app generates “radio stations” based around the artists you select, and adds new content to the stations whenever you’re wi-fi connected – one way of getting round pesky 3G data allowances. It’s ad-supported, or you can upgrade to a £9.99 premium service.

SHOWER POWER RADIO
A waterproof radio that you can take into the shower so that you don’t miss a single moment of Humphrys & Naughtie is one thing, a radio that’s actually powered by the shower is quite another. The new H20 radio, launched his week by Brit alternative energy specialist Tango Group, uses a micro-turbine which generates power from the flow of water through your shower. It also memorises your last-tuned radio station and volume setting. Simple, clever and energy-free – we like. www.tangogroup.net