HD Radio Launches iTunes Tagging

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On Monday, Clear Channel Communications made a quantum leap forward in evolving their approach to HD Radio: iTunes tagging. Amy Gilroy of This Week in Consumer Electronics (TWICE) brings us details of the rollout:

San Antonio — HD-Radio iTunes Tagging officially launched today, as Clear Channel Radio began broadcasting over 340 stations that allow listeners to bookmark their favorite songs for purchase or review at a later time.

As the timeline progresses we are seeing, and in my opinion will continue to see, a convergence between broadcast and the Internet. It seems as though each week the arguments for why ‘net based audio is superior are being whittled away as they are adopted by the “traditional” radio entities. The ability to tag individual songs has long been the bastion of online listeners and users of MP3 players. No more.

Jeff Littlejohn, distribution and development executive VP for Clear Channel Radio, explained, “You hear something on the air, you press the tag button, and the next time you sync to iTunes you can purchase it or find out more about it.” He continued, “It marries two things that have just been dying to get together. About 65 percent of new music is discovered on broadcast radio, not satellite radio and not Internet radio. And more and more, the way people buy music is through these electronic stores. This just puts those two things together.”

While it will require a special radio to make use of this feature, it is still a major step forward. The article mentions a Sony Radio that shipped to retailers last March which can make use of the tagging feature, a radio that is already available in 200 Apple Stores, and more models are on the way from a variety of comapanies. The expected rollout of compatible car radios announced by Alpine and Dual sweetens the pot even more.

Welcome to the future!

Photo Courtesy of Naf : 4D, used according to its Creative Commons license

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