Friday, September 07, 2007

iPod Takes First Cautious Steps Toward a Radio Hook-Up

Sure, the iPhone's Nabbed The Headlines, but the Device that Started All The Hoopla Gets Better and Cheaper

When you listen to your iPods, the only thing that might get you nostalgic about your Walkman is the inability to take a break from your downloads and listen to the radio.
That's still the case, but now only to a point.
The nascent HD Radio industry (see two posts below) got a big-time boost this week when receivers were unveiled with what's being called iTunes Tagging.
People who own special HD Radio receivers by JBL and Polk Audio ($499), which have a docking station at the top of the receiver for the iPod. If you hear a song you like, you then push a button that "tags" it on the iPod.
The next time you log onto iTunes, you can then preview the song and buy it if you like.

It's expected that hundreds of stations will have upgraded their HD Radio software to enable the tagging.

No word on whether the stations will get a cut of the iTunes kitty from the tagged songs. Either way, it's a win-win for the radio industry, which is getting ready to mount a multi-million dollar ad campaign touting the receivers and the tagging.
Radio companies are starting to place bigger bets on HD, despite the fact that the current listenership is miniscule, consumer awareness is at a very low ebb, and no clues about whether HD will ever be profitable, unlike satellite radio.
But hooking up to iTunes is a great way to find out.

1 comment:

PocketRadio said...

Yea, it is not the big-deal it is made out to be - consumers have shunned table-top HD radio, so why should they spend $500 for a device that still requires AM-loop and externally-mounted FM-dipole antennas to even have a chance to pick up the fragile digital HD signals. This is far from having Apple actually including it as a part of the new iPod. This is all to late for HD Radio: