updated 01:25 pm EST, Mon November 9, 2009
iBuqity outs HD Radio tuner, app for iPhone
Gigaware and iBiquity Digital have unveiled a new app and peripheral combination for the iPod touch and iPhone that endows the devices with HD Radio tuning support. The wired Gigaware HD Radio receiver mates with both the user's headphones and a free iPhone app to provide the digital-only radio format. The add-on lets listeners pick up local, analog FM radio stations as well as HD Radio stations, including sub-channels.
Unlike streaming Internet radio applications such as Pandora, users will not need to use up their data allowances and the music will be more widely accessible. The app is iTunes Tagging compatible and will mark songs for purchase through iTunes the next time users sync their devices. Although HD Radio is more prone to dropping its signal entirely, iBiquity and NPR have promised to improve reception in the future.
According to iBiquity's chief executive Bob Struble, Apple and iBiquity are in talks on integrating an HD Radio receiver into future versions of the iPhone and iPod touch. Before that, however, a more compact HD Radio receiver accessory should be launched in time for the holidays.
The Gigaware receiver is available at Radio Shack locations now and should be priced at $80. [via WSJ]