• Napster is the first streaming service in Germany to offer in-flight music
  • The complete offerings include music and audio books for adults and children in Lufthansa’s in-flight entertainment system
  • The partnership is set to begin in Summer 2016

Frankfurt, Germany | July 18, 2016– Napster has taken over the skies as the first music streaming service in Germany! Streaming services are enjoying increasingly more popularity, whether at home, on the way to work, at the gym or on vacation at the beach. To enjoy the diverse range of music in the air, Napster and Lufthansa Systems have formed a strategic partnership. Lufthansa Systems is one of the world’s leading suppliers in the Airline Industry and already equips a variety of airlines across the globe with its innovative BoardConnect platform, as well as the corresponding entertainment content. Through Lufthansa System’s BoardConnect, Napster will offer passengers selected playlists and audiobooks for adults and children, making traveling more enjoyable and entertaining. By this summer, Napster and Lufthansa Systems together want to equip the first airline with the service, Eurowings.

Aside from having access to the extensive selection of music and audio books from Napster, the greatest feature is that passengers will no longer have to use the built-in aircraft screens to access the media content, but will also be able to connect their own smartphones or tablets with BoardConnect via onboard WLAN. With this connection, users can enjoy a selection from the music-streaming pioneer. The Napster playlists, as well as audio books will be updated monthly and provide plenty of popular and up-to-date content for all ages.

Patric Niederländer, Vice President of Business Development Europe at Napster, said of the cooperation with Lufthansa Systems, “Napster has always stood for innovation. We are pleased to have developed, together with our partner Lufthansa Systems, an attractive proposition with which we move into another business segment. Our aim is to offer all music lovers the best and most multifaceted listening experience – whether on the ground or in the air.”

“Diverse onboard entertainment programs are increasingly becoming a competitive advantage for airlines,” says Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “We are pleased to have found in Napster an important partner, who brings with it its music expertise and will in the future provide our BoardConnect platform with an exciting program.”

In addition to the selected music program on board, Napster will initially offer all Euro Wings passengers discounts after their flight. That means that all passengers who register during the flight can then enjoy three months of Napster for just one euro and discover new music through playlists, recommendations and advice. Favorite artists, albums or single tracks, as well as individually created playlists, can be stored and easily managed in the user archive. Favorite songs and albums can also be accessed by up to three devices, i.e. smartphones, tablets or computers with iOS, Android or Windows operating systems. The premium service also allows users to download individual songs, albums, or playlists to access offline, which requires no mobile data or Wi-Fi – the perfect solution for enjoying music on the move. The completely ad-free catalog of more than 40 million music tracks, as well as the more than 15,000 audio books of all genres for users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, leaves nothing to be desired.

Napster Deutschland – Stephanstraße 5 – 60313 Frankfurt am Main

Going to APEX EXPO in Portland Oregon, USA, September 28 – October 1, 2015? Here is a link to the Early Bird Rates – APEX 2015 EXPO. See you there!

Chris Fallon sent IFExpress this: Today, Virgin America announced it will deploy ViaSat’s satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity service, Exede In The Air, for its next 10 aircraft – offering ‘home-like’ broadband experiences with full streaming media capabilities in the air – to passengers. This is a major move for the airline, as they will now offer significantly faster WiFi service in the skies – all backed by a service level agreement to every connected passenger.”

Announcement highlights include:

  • Virgin America/ViaSat partnership will bring the fastest, highest quality Wi-Fi in the skies to Virgin America’s next 10 A320 aircraft deliveries – beginning this September.
  • ViaSat’s satellite system will deliver internet speeds that are 8 to 10 times faster than any other in-flight Wi-Fi system – allowing travelers to experience internet speeds similar to what they have at home.
  • Virgin America will be the first commercial airline to give guests continuous connectivity access to the best available network by operating in both Ku and Ka-band satellite networks on the same aircraft.
  • With the unique bandwidth economics of ViaSat-1 and the forthcoming ViaSat-2 satellite networks, only ViaSat can enable airlines to engage ALL of their guests in an in-flight, online experience just like they’d get on the ground – including streaming high quality video.

Check out the YouTube Video

IFExpress got a peek at Tim Farrar’s (TMF Associates) presentation at the June 8 Global Connected Aircraft Summit in Washington DC and thought our readers might like to see what a connectivity expert had to say and how he views the inflight connectivity market – don’t miss this one, it’s free. Tim is a “big picture” expert and you will learn something from almost every chart.

Aircraft security is now in the forefront for the FAA – Check out (US DOT), DOT OpSpec D301, Aircraft Network Security Program (ANSP) to support the Next Generation, e-Enabled aircraft. We contacted Mark Thompson and the quote that stuck with us is as follows; “Hardware security is the only secure way to protect your key,” obviously referring to the potential of eliminating hacking solutions to on-aircraft data communication. “I am concerned that without some positive actions, we could have an incident. I worked at McDonnell Douglas, and the worst possible thing that can happen is an incident. They happen, and when they do, we all ask ourselves, could I have done more to stop it. I like that the FAA has chosen to create an AC, we need to make sure people understand security will not increase costs at all. The FAA is going to require all operators to create a security system like what is provided by the OEMs on new aircraft. He mentioned an article that you might want to review if aircraft security is your thing. Further here is another news source that might be of interest.

We just discovered BOSE Quiet Comfort 20i Acoustic Noise Canceling Headset (ear plug-in’s) and since most of our readers travel with phones and audio reproduction devices, we had to pass on what we have learned and in summary:

  • Firstly, they sound incredible, almost as good as the BOSE QC 25 headphones.
  • Second, they are comfortable for long periods of time to listen or block out noise. While 13 -to15 hours of comfortable wear have been reported – we believe it, and they stay in your ear…
  • Third, the noise reduction is almost as complete as the BOSE QC 25’s.
  • Fourth, they all allow device phone calls (if using an iPhone) with volume controls, answer switch… and a neat side button that toggles noise cancellation for listening to outside sounds. (On the plane, there is the continual issue with headsets that involves answering a question from the cabin crew or a passenger seated near you. Not so with the BOSE QC 20I’s, there is an Aware Button on the side of the control case that allows external sounds to come right thru – push once and the music level drops a bit but the external sound is clear, push again and you are back into music.)

And last, at retail, they are expensive, but more on that in a minute.
You can find lots of Internet /YouTube reviews so if you are seriously considering a pair, please review there too. But make no mistake, these earphones were designed to be used with Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod… and they do seem to work with all perfectly… thus the “i” in their name. The BOSE QC 20’s are for the non Apple devices as you might have guessed.

Headsets (cups) on a plane are usually the audio connection of choice because they, by their nature, limit the outside noise intrusion. With noise cancellation, they even work better. The issues that work against them, however, are “ear heat” in the confined space and ear drum pressure that seems to result from an unbalance of ear drum pressure in the cabin vs in the headphone cup/ear cavity… especially when there is a change of altitude. Further, lugging around headphones is a bit more bothersome that earphones, and we note, until we tried the advantage of earphones for convenience, we will never go back… never. While I love my BOSE Noise Canceling Headphones, for travel, the QC 20i is the new travel mate… and this doesn’t even include consideration for the zipper headphone case.

Now, price…ugh! the market demands $250 (US) if you search out retail. We checked on eBay, and a new pair went from $169 – $200. If you don’t mind “used” and have a little denatured alcohol, we have seen deals under $100.

BOSE QC 20iCompatibility –
The following Apple® products are compatible with the audio cable that has an inline remote and microphone on the QC 20i:

  • iPhone®: 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus
  • iPod touch®: second, third, fourth and fifth generations
  • iPod classic®: 2009 (120GB and 160GB)
  • iPod nano®: fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh generations
  • iPad®: all models
  • MacBook®: unibody and Pro
  • iPod shuffle®: 3rd and fourth generation

Finally, from the hackerspace (Facecrooks): Delta Air Lines, Facebook Users Hit With Viral Giveaway Hoax. “A Facebook promotion from ‘Delta Airways’ has gone viral on the site, getting shared nearly 65,000 times in 24 hours. The only issue: the promotion is a hoax, and it’s from an imposter Facebook page.”

Itasca, Illinois | July 7, 2014/PRNewswire/– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider, announced today that it has partnered with Chevrolet to offer passengers free access to Facebook through Gogo on select Gogo equipped flights through July 20.

To access free Facebook, passengers simply need to launch the browser on their laptop, tablet or smartphone device while in flight and look for the Chevrolet sponsorship advertisements. Passengers simply need to click on the promotion to gain access.

“This sponsorship opportunity is a great way for passengers to keep connected through social media while they travel over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s Chief Commercial Officer. “This is another example of how Gogo is working with top brands in creative ways to market their brands to passengers at 30,000 feet.”

First, we had planned to write this Hot Topic around the recent Las Vegas CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and tekkie love fest but our volunteer IFExpress reporter dropped off the face of the earth… we suspect that he is in some off-the-strip keno parlor still trying to win back the money we fronted him. Moving on, besides all the crapgadget laptops, apps, games, the one item we found IFE-friendly was the surge in Ultra HD “4K” displays. While the ones at CES were gigantic (which is where “4K” shines), better screen quality is always a class differentiator. No doubt, biz jets will get ’em first, but classy carriers will pickup the slack. Last year at CES Sony and LG brought the absurdly priced and oversized devices, this year, Toshiba, Samsung, Panasonic, and others were there delineating a trend. What is a Ultra HD display you say? Simply put it is a high res product with better everything… “4K” Ultra HD TV 3,840 X 2,160 pixel display (“4K” = 8 megapixel Ultra HD, while 1080p HD is 2 megapixel – 4 times the information… at that price ratio as well). Panasonic and Sony also showed a “4K” OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display that really has future potential for applications that require lower power & lighter weight, and from what we hear they were terrific. You can probably guess who will have the first aircraft “4K” model but you heard it here first. Most likely only in First Class but at least in the beginning. Video display trends have a way of getting on to the aircraft but there are issues like increased bandwidth (fiber optics?), cost, size, etc. The real problem: “Where is the content?”

Today was a big day for Facebook as they rolled out “GRAPH”, their new private search feature. What has this to do with IFE? Not much; however, you can bet users on connected planes will be GRAPHing their Facebook accounts for the best lunch spots in airports, or hotels in San Francisco, or pickup bars in NYC, or possibly, what airline gave me and my friends the best deal on a flight to Hamburg last year! There, it does have IFE connections! While this development won’t make Google too nervous it does open the door for future e-commerce deals and gives the Facebook community a new term – Personal Social Network Search, or PSNS.

Heard about the Super Wi-Fi Summit? This meeting will explore and define the work in sorting out all the opportunities and ongoing FCC related initiatives to develop “white spaces” for ground Wi-Fi expansion. This effort is beyond the current developments to increase Wi-Fi throughput to at least 1 GB/sec, at 5 GHz (802.11ac). The “white spaces” are usually bulk unused RF spectrum between used bands, unused or previously allocated spectrum. Wikipedia says: “Most commonly however, these white spaces exist naturally between used channels, since assigning nearby transmissions to immediately adjacent channels will cause destructive interference to both. In addition to white space assigned for technical reasons, there is also unused radio spectrum which has either never been used, or is becoming free as a result of technical changes. In particular, the switchover to digital television frees up large areas between about 50 MHz and 700 MHz.” A lot of them are in the TV bands, and while we are not aware of aviation related onboard Wi-Fi conflicts, time will tell. “Houston, we may have a problem.”

Perhaps you have seen the latest Samsung advertisements pushing mobile phone bump technology. Well now there is a new high speed format developed by Sony. Basically it is a near field, high data rate communication tool and it certainly may have future potential on planes. How? What if your friendly carrier wants to send you a paid movie or a complete route schedule of their flights (and give you a deal in the process). Just “bump” the hot spot on your seatback. Now that almost everyone has a mobile device, all you need is an app and a plane so equipped. Link

And lastly, Panasonic’s announcement at CES outlining their intent to become a Web Broadcaster got us thinking about their potential to do the same thing through their onboard Global Communications Suite! Stay Tuned on this one.

Itasca, Ill. | October 24, 2011 — Gogo, a leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and Ford have teamed up to give passengers free access to Ford’s new interactive Mustang Customizer. This is the first time travelers will be able to access Ford’s popular Mustang Customizer and share their Mustang creations from the stratosphere for free.

Passengers aboard flights equipped with Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi who configure their Mustang will then gain access to Facebook for the duration of their flight. The special promotion starts October 21, 2011 and ends November 18, 2011.

Passengers can choose to customize their Mustang from literally trillions of combinations: 78,791,049,216,000 combinations to be exact. Passengers start by choosing a Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302 or Shelby GT500. Their custom touch is blended with three different backgrounds – a dragway, cityscape or drive-in restaurant – along with five different angles from which to check out the design. Accessories include body kits, wheels, decals, grilles and decklids, along with parts from Ford Racing Performance Parts and Ford Vehicle Personalization. Passengers can also save and share their mustangs with their friends on Facebook. When they’re through playing with their new Mustang, they can enjoy free access to Facebook on Gogo so they can keep in touch with friends and family at 30,000 feet.

“This is the second time Gogo has worked with Ford in creative ways to promote their brand via Gogo’s in-air network,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief marketing officer. “We’re extremely excited to work with them on building a rich media opportunity to reach travelers and bring their cutting edge, interactive Mustang Customizer to passengers at 30,000 feet. This promotion is one more way Gogo is working with partners to bring exciting entertainment options to travelers while offering creative marketing solutions for advertisers.”

Accessing the Ford Mustang Customizer is easy. Passengers with their own Wi-Fi enabled device can simply open their Internet browser. From there, they will automatically be directed to Gogo’s in-air Web site where they will see a special promotion. From there, they just click on the promotion and they will automatically be directed to the Ford Mustang Customizer.

“We are really excited to give Gogo users a chance to customize their very own Mustang while in flight,” added Brian McClary, emerging and social media specialist at Ford. “The Mustang Customizer has proven to be a great way for users to create their own Mustang and provides an interactive and immersive experience.”