BMW announced today at SXSW that it's teaming up with Stitcher to integrate the popular iPhone app's on-demand streaming functionality into vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps and Mini Connected technologies. We ran into BMW's Robert Passaro in the halls of Austin's Convention Center and he was kind enough to give us an exclusive demo of Stitcher inside a lovely BMW 650i convertible ahead of today's launch. Most of the iPhone app's features are available using the vehicle's infotainment system, including the ability to search, provide feedback ("More Like This" and "Listeners Also Like"), and create / remove custom stations -- album art is even displayed in high-resolution alongside show information. Take a look at our gallery below, then watch us tune Stitcher into the Engadget Mobile Podcast right from the BMW's center console in our hands-on video after the break.
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BMW Group Partners with Stitcher to Make Stitcher Radio iPhone App BMW Apps and MINI Connected Ready
• Stitcher Radio offers on-demand and personalized access to over
5,000 radio shows
• Demonstration of the forthcoming in-car app integration to debut during SXSWi Conference in Austin, Texas on March 12, 2012
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 12, 2012.... The BMW Group and Stitcher are cooperating to make the Stitcher Smart Radio iPhone App compatible with vehicles equipped with the groundbreaking BMW Apps and MINI Connected technologies. Once completed, BMW and MINI customers will be able to easily and safely access unique features of Stitcher's on-demand streaming service in vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected options. BMW Group will demonstrate a prototype of the forthcoming Stitcher iPhone App for media during the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday, March 12.
"As promised, the BMW Group continues to deliver great, new services like Stitcher to our worldwide customers via the groundbreaking platforms of MINI Connected and BMW Apps," said Uwe Higgen, head of the international BMW AppCenter network, based in Munich, Germany. Development of the Stitcher app will commence via the BMW AppCenter Mountain View, California, which continuously scouts for new services in the Silicon Valley and the greater North American market.
When integration is complete, a simple update to the Stitcher iPhone app through the iTunes App Store will enable a host of Stitcher's unique entertainment features to be integrated seamlessly into the car, where they can be easily operated using the already familiar BMW iDrive and MINI Connected systems. The prototype Stitcher app for the BMW Apps and the MINI Connected platforms will showcase the following unique capabilities:
• Seamless integration and control of Stitcher's services through the vehicle's infotainment system, which enables easy searches for content, the ability to provide feedback ("More Like This" and "Listeners Also Like"), and fast forward and rewind control
• The ability to create or remove custom stations on demand
• High-resolution visual display featuring album art and convenient show/episode information, such as latest episodes, duration and whether the listener has already listened to the episode
Stitcher offers the following features:
• Personalized playlists of listeners' favorite shows
• Stitcher recommendation of other programs based on listening preferences towards the discovery of new shows and content
• The broadest selection of podcasts and live radio on-demand
• Stitcher SmartRadio enjoys a 4.5 star consumer rating and #1 ranking in the iTunes App Store's News category