∞ Ford to add iTunes tagging to new cars

Ford announced Tuesday that select vehicles in its 2010 lineup will feature HD Radio, a technology that enables users to “tag” song they listen to for later purchase on iTunes.

HD Radio is a terrestrial radio format supported by almost 2,000 radio stations in the U.S. The technology provides improved sound quality, support for “multicasts” (mini-stations that are spun off of the main station), and embeds digital information in the carrier wave signal. Unlike satellite radio, you don’t need to subscribe to HD Radio, though you do need a radio receiver capable of decoding the information.

HD Radio has been an option on third-party head units from aftermarket car radio manufacturers for several years; it’s also available in some desktop and home audio sound systems.

Ford claims to be the first auto manufacturer to offer HD Radio as an option in factory-installed car stereos. Ford’s news comes on the heels of an early December announcement from HD Radio maker iBiquity indicating plans from several luxury auto manufacturers to offer HD Radio as an option in new models, including BMW, Volvo, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Rolls Royce.

One of the most prominent features of HD Radio for iPod users is iTunes Tagging. When you hear a song you like, you push a “Tag” button on the radio display. The song information is stored in the radio’s memory. The radio can retain up to 100 tags. When you connect your iPod to the car’s radio, that tag information is downloaded to the iPod. The next time the iPod is synced to your computer, it will create a playlist of tagged songs – you can then preview them and purchase them in the iTunes Store.

  • Algores Nutz

    Some people are adamant that they wouldn’t switch from Verizon to AT&T for an Apple iPhone if their life depended upon it!

    I feel very similar regarding Ford. In fact, Ford couldn’t pay me to buy their vehicles! So having a technology that enables users to “tag” songs they listen to for later purchase on iTunes in Ford vehicles don’t mean squat! Sorry Apple.

  • Get a BMW or a Mercedes, then. 😉

  • Edward Villa

    Or a Toyota Scion or a Mini Cooper. Car brands that have supported Apple iPod and iPhone integration for a few years now. Right out of the dealer lot, these cars have built-in iPod and iPhone support. I know because I own such a car.