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Tag - HD Radio
Tesla Motors scored a coup for its dealerships on Thursday as it hired George Blankenship to head up its dealership strategy. The executive is best known for creating Apple's core retail strategy in its early years and was just recently contracted by Microsoft for its own retail stores. Tesla hopes to "revolutionize" how cars are sold and hired Blankenship because he has a reputation for being "on time and on budget," the electric automaker's CEO Elon Musk said.
Apple could be preparing to add HD Radio support to new handheld models, a newly-published patent application hints. Titled Digital Radio Tagging Using an RF Tuner Accessory, the document suggests that future iPods and iPhones could be used to scan through all available radio stations, or only those with better-quality digital audio. Critically, data from digital stations could used as search fodder, for instance to locate a particular song or genre.
Pioneer today brought out the AVIC-Z120BT, a new flagship navigation head-end unit with a unique Apple tie-in. Those with both the in-car GPS and a new PioneerLink for Pandora iPhone app can both stream Pandora Internet radio over the smartphone's 3G connection and move the service's controls over to the AVIC's 7-inch touchscreen. The approach supports the usual thumbs up and thumbs down controls as well as changing stations and Quickmixes.
Microsoft late last week was sued for allegedly infringing on patents with the Zune HD's radio app. Illinois-based Edward Yavitz has claimed that the buy-from-radio feature, which lets users tag identified songs on FM or HD Radio and buy them from the Zune Marketplace, copies similar technology that Yavitz patented in 2002. He purportedly contacted Microsoft unsuccessfully about licensing the technology early and billed it as a way of preempting Apple.
Some Ford cars shipping next year will support iTunes Tagging, the automaker has announced. In vehicles equipped with HD Radio receivers, people will be able to push "Tag" buttons on their displays, automatically saving the track data from on-air music. Once an iPod is docked with a car via Ford Sync, up to 100 tags will be transferable for later display in iTunes.
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.
For awhile, many had thought the iPod touch had dealt blow to the Zune that Microsoft didn't have an answer for: the 2008 Zune update was just a mild refresh, and even the software team was mostly quiet for the next year. The Zune HD, then, is Microsoft's return salvo. It promises not only to put the Zune level in terms of features like multi-touch input and Internet access but to have features Apple lacks, such as 720p support, HD Radio and an OLED screen. We plan to discover just whether or not Microsoft's return to form is enough to quiet Apple's guns in our complete review.
The FCC has likely spoiled Microsoft's launch plans by posting test info for the player's wireless behavior. While the NVIDIA Tegra processor, Wi-Fi and Windows CE foundations are all public information, the filing specifically shows models with 16GB and 32GB of storage and confirms at least one rumor regarding Microsoft's strategy for the touchscreen media player. The company has previously acknowledged the Zune HD would replace flash players but has never specified how much storage they would have.
The web browser for the Zune HD will be one of the highlights of Microsoft's media player when it ships, a hands-on with the devices show. Testing with the player by CNET reveals that the browser, although made by the Internet Explorer team, is directly comparable to Safari for the iPhone and can do nearly everything Apple's software can, including multi-touch commands and the on-screen keyboard. It only lacks recognition of embedded video.
A handful of images have leaked today of the Zune HD ahead of a more official announcement for the device expected later today. Aside from confirming a black color in addition to the known silver, the shots also show that the music player has a significantly reworked music interface that lets users browse content more visually than on current Zunes, which only show a very small thumbnail. They also show the interface for HD Radio's sub-channels and replace early shots' "more" menu item with an "Internet" item, hinting that all non-Marketplace features, like web browsing, will go into that category.