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.