Apple readying HD Radio push for Macworld | iLounge News

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Apple readying HD Radio push for Macworld

iLounge has learned that Apple plans a push for iTunes Tagging-ready, HD Radio-equipped boomboxes with iPod docks during the mid-January Macworld Expo event in San Francisco, California. Announced in September, iTunes Tagging is a new HD Radio feature designed to further boost iTunes sales by allowing listeners to “Tag” the currently playing song, automatically adding its information to a “Tagged” playlist on the connected iPod. When synced with a computer, the playlist appears in iTunes, making it easy to purchase tagged tracks from the iTunes Store. 

iBiquity Digital, the developer of HD Radio technology, currently offers a special end-to-end Reference Kit for the production of HD Radio receivers with iPod Docks and iTunes Tagging. The kit is available to all licensees of both Apple’s Made For iPod program and iBiquity; iPod accessory manufacturers such as Sony, Griffin Technology, and Cambridge Soundworks have all announced HD Radio products, though none has specifically announced iTunes Tagging support.

Since the announcement of iTunes Tagging, CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Cox, Entercom and Greater Media have all announced that they are in the process of installing iTunes Tagging technology. “We are very pleased with the strong support iTunes Tagging has received from the broadcast radio industry,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of iPod Product Marketing. “iTunes Tagging is a great way for local broadcasters to jump into the digital music space and for consumers to easily discover new music on their HD Radio and enjoy it with iTunes and their iPod.” According to a document on iBiquity’s website, “Apple plans to offer participating stations a revenue share for songs referred to and purchased on iTunes,” adding extra incentive for HD Radio broadcasters to adopt iTunes Tagging.

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Comments

1

Picture if you will, intrepid reader, an iPod that plays all your favourite radio stations, (mmmm, say “Fred” on XM?), and you simply click an icon that slates the current song playing for purchase.
Given this news, I hope that such a vision will soon be realized.

Posted by Miranda Kali on December 28, 2007 at 8:05 AM (PDT)

2

Does this mean there will be an iPod Hi-Fi 2.0?

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on December 28, 2007 at 9:47 AM (PDT)

3

I hope it means iPod radio remote 2.0 with iPhone/Touch support.

Posted by anti-luddite on December 28, 2007 at 4:20 PM (PDT)

4

Too bad massive media consolidation has made radio just about the least interesting method for finding new music. HD radio is after all just a better quality broadcast of existing FM radio stations isn’t it? Well in my area, that’s about as interesting as louder commercials.

I have much better luck surfing around on iTunes listening to previews for an hour than a year listening to radio.

It’s not Apple’s fault, but I think the HD radio tie-in idea is a dud. Thanks to FCC deregulation, mega-media mergers, highly predictable and limited playlists, radio is now a dud. HD is just lipstick on a pig.

Posted by T.Rex on December 28, 2007 at 8:16 PM (PDT)

5

I think the comment made by T.Rex is painted with much to wide a brush. Because of the advent of HD radio, my local NPR station is adding two additional feeds. One of these feeds is going to be devoted totally to new and independent music!

Posted by Heart_Man_2000 on December 28, 2007 at 10:25 PM (PDT)

6

We’ll see how many “programmers” find a way to distill Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stone’s entire careers down to 2-3 songs on their auxiliary stations as well. The only thing that could make HD radio a rich environment for music lovers will be the pressure from iPods and satellite radio. FM has slid so far down the path of irrelevance in my area, it’s ridiculous. So far, that I don’t even know if anyone cares what HD radio is, or whether to give a hoot. Like if MTV were broadcast in HDTV, would anyone interested in music really care?

Posted by T.Rex on December 28, 2007 at 11:17 PM (PDT)

7

You can do iTunes tagging with plain analog FM and RBDS, which is #1 cheap to build for stations and receivers and #2 found all over the world.  You don’t need HD Radio, which is expensive for stations and receivers, unlikely to succeed beyond the USA, if at all, and almost impossible to find.

Posted by Technocrati on December 29, 2007 at 11:29 AM (PDT)

8

The free AOL Radio software has some XM stations, and provides direct links to the iTMS for currently playing songs.  I have found this feature to be an excellent way to discover music.

Posted by dwielt on December 30, 2007 at 8:14 AM (PDT)

9

AOL Radio links to iTunes, but doesn’t support Safari. WTF?

Posted by T.Rex on December 31, 2007 at 7:52 AM (PDT)

10

JBL, Polk Audio, and Alpine have announced products with iTunes Tagging, so no need to wait for Cambridge, Sony, or Griffin.

HD Radio is more than just your local FM rebroadcast in digital.  They have added extra channels and special events that you can’t get from Satellite or your iPod.  Now internet radio is another story

Posted by crismer on January 2, 2008 at 11:23 AM (PDT)

11

I happen to be one of the converted (seven years now) who have drunk the Apple Kool Aid.  I love everything Apple (though the iPhone has some limitations).

Crawling into bed with iBequity <http://www.ibiquity.com> <http://www.hdradio.com> is a bone head move.

HD radio just sucks.  For one thing, the HIGHEST data rate for both the music is 96k BITS/second.  Would you rip your CDs for your iPod at 96k?

It gets worse when the “Secondaries” are used—64k for the “main” and 32k for HD-2.  So much for “CD quality stations between the stations.”  The HD-3 is 8k BITS/second.  UM, that’s CD quality!


The next problem is the programming.  NPR has some stations that are doing something useful on the Secondaries.  I know of one station that does mostly classical music, and does jazz on the Secondary.  They have done jazz on the weekends for a long time, so now they exchange the formats on the weekends.  Good for them.  Some NPR stations are putting BBC on the HD-3 nearly voice quality station.  Sure, that is sort of useful, but the quality is better when I stream it to my computer—MUCH BETTER!

Say what you will about the awful state of FM music programming, but MUCH less effort goes into the commercial secondaries.  Many stations don’t really have a way to even listen to their HD-2 programming IN THE STATION!  Most have a computer playing the music and sometimes they will quit and no one notices for days.  That says two things, the station doesn’t care, but more important is that the PUBLIC isn’t listening.

Finally, the power levels are very low, and building penetration is just awful.  Just try an HD radio in most Radio Shacks.  I have been in about three DOZEN Radio Shacks trying to find a working unit, and ONLY ONE had a working radio.  I had to go all the way across the country to Kent, Washington to see one work.

Mostly, the radios just suck too.  They are very insensitive, so it adds to the problem of picking up the already weak stations.  Unlike the iPod, no HD radios are portable either.  The chip sets just draw too much current.

Apple shouldn’t be associated with such a losing system.

Posted by MacZealot on January 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM (PDT)

12

I am looking forward to the inevitable BBC Radio 3 support, where the artists are so varied and obscure. imply tracking them down on the playlist after is hard enough—but at the push of button; to download their music would be The Brakes!

Posted by Samuel on January 7, 2008 at 1:29 PM (PDT)

13

Samuel:

The only BBC programming I have seen on the HD-3 channels is the World programming, not music.  8k BIT/second music would be pretty awful.

Posted by MacZealot on January 7, 2008 at 4:26 PM (PDT)

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