The phone isn't a traditional music listening device but that's changed dramatically in the last few years. Just think about the iPhone. Two of the most popular applications for the iPhone are Shazam, an app that helps you identify music, and Pandora, the ultimate music discovery tool if you can tolerate some absurd song picks from time to time.
Now it's possible to receive Sirius XM on a cell phone although it sounds like garbage and of course Slacker is now offered on the iPhone. SanDisk announced it's slotRadio product at CES and hopes says it will have the cards working on mobile phones this year as well.
On the device side FM transmitters are being added to the chip sets so now you can beam any audio content from your phone to your FM stereo on the frequency of your choosing.
So, here's a crazy scenario. Run the Sirius XM app on your cell phone and send it to your car stereo via FM. Nuts. I know. For the true geeks just because they can. A more likely scenario is to load up a microSD card with lots to music and use the phone as wireless MP3 player in the car.
We reviewed the LG Chocolate 3 a while back and sort of chuckled at the FM transmitter. Cool, but how much would we really use it? Well, it's actually been extremely handy. While riding n a friends car I can DJ with my own collection of music and simply tune the dial to my tunes. My cell phone is the one device I always have with me. With a 16GB microSD card installed I have access to over 4 thousand tracks. We can go on a road trip and listen to music 24 hours a day, 10 days straight. That's pretty nuts.
This is just the beginning. We're going to see more devices and better GUIs that make it seamless and fun to access more and more content, especially music on wireless devices. The evolution of these phones is just remarkable. Many support more codecs than standalone portable media players.
The final piece of this puzzle will be ruggedized designs with extended battery life. This will be the death blow to the already declining standalone portable media player market.