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Internet radio player launches for baby boomers

A free streaming service with 18 channels went online July 3 for US and Canadian residents, offering music programmed for over-50 music fans as an easy-to-access digital music resource.

The online venture, referred to as "radio for grown-ups," is a partnership between AARP and the Concord Music Group and covers a selection of genres, from current rock, pop and R&B hits, as well as classic rock, oldies, jazz, classical and Latin songs.

AARP is an American non-profit organization serving the 50+ population. Concord Music Group, a music publishing firm, has a catalog that includes artists such as Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Little Richard, Paul McCartney, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Baby boomers are considered passionate music fans, who still prefer to acquire CDs instead of downloading music, so AARP Internet Radio is intended to serve their needs.

"Finding new music and even old favorites has become more complicated and difficult for so many people," said Concord Music Group president/CEO, Glen Barros, in the company statement.

Artists on the Fresh Sounds channel highlight new acts such as TV on the Radio. The Artist channel will stream a different legend each month, starting with Paul Simon in July. More channels are in the works including an interactive guest DJ spot for members.

Available through the AARP website, the service is designed with simple controls - play, forward, pause and skip (to a new song). The music player is provided free by Slacker, allowing users to stream a station while working online.

An online music page provides music news, reviews and artist interviews. Plans to roll out mobile apps for smartphones and tablets are also in the works.