DETROIT -- Next year Ford Motor Co. will be the first automaker in North America to offer HD radio technology and the ability to tag songs on iTunes in the vehicle for later purchase, the company said today.
The technology initially will be available only on certain vehicles. Ford will announce which vehicles early next year.
HD technology captures free digital radio broadcasts, helping eliminate problems associated with traditional analog signals, such as static and fade-out. For a listener, it means CD-quality FM audio along with AM audio that resembles the quality of today's FM broadcasts.
HD radio digital technology also delivers extra FM channels and on-screen information such as the artist's name and the song's title.
If a listener likes a song, he or she can capture it on the HD radio receiver through Apple Computer's iTunes tagging and buy it later. To do so, the listener pushes the “tag” button on the radio display, and the song information is stored in the radio's memory.
Up to 100 songs can be stored on Sync, Ford's hands-free information technology, until an Apple iPod is connected to receive the download. Once the iPod is hooked up to iTunes, a playlist of “tagged” songs appears. The customer then can preview the list and buy the songs from the iTunes store.