Friday, September 7, 2007

Tag Your iTunes

Here at CEDIA, tons of new high-end A/V products and integration tools are being launched, but there have also been some cool new consumer-oriented gizmos and gadgets that will be making waves during this upcoming holiday season. Given the recent launch of the latest sixth-generation iPods, I thought I’d mention one neat product/feature that might catch the eye of digital music lovers: iTunes tagging.

By pressing a simple “tag” button on the front of any product that has this feature along with HD Radio, the currently playing tune will be “tagged” and transferred to a connected iPod. Don’t get too excited just yet: the actual tune isn’t yet yours to keep. Once you connect your iPod to the PC, the “tagged” tracks will appear in a dedicated tagged section in iTunes, at which point you can preview them, and download and purchase should you so desire.

This iTunes system reminds me of the XM + Napster partnership, which allows customers of certain XM Satellite Radio receivers to perform much the same task. However, this is the first service of its kind to integrate with the widely popular iTunes, and will probably be popular amongst the iPod crowd.

One neat new product that will include iTunes tagging is a tabletop radio from Polk Audio called the I-Sonic Entertainment System 2. This funky-looking unit has an iPod dock on top, with cleanly-designed buttons on the front. Up to 50 songs can be tagged and stored at a time; and the unit works with all dock-connecting iPod models. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but I have heard its predecessor model (which offered a CD player instead of iPod dock), an it was impressive for a radio of its small stature. As for HD Radio, although it isn’t yet available in Canada, it has been approved by the CRTC, so it’s only a matter of time.

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