HD Radio on iPhone – There’s an App For That

Big news for HD Radio this week is that it’s available on iPhone. While the HD Radio app for iPhone is free, listening requires the  purchase a Gigaware HD Radio receiver accessory, which costs $80 and is only available at Radio Shack.

hd gigawareIn this interview with wsj.com, iBiquity chief executive Bob Struble mentions that first HD Radio went portable with Microsoft’s Zune, and now extends its mobile offerings to Apple’s incredibly popular iPhone. In addition to being able to listen to your favorite stations digitally, the app enables you to tag songs that you hear and like for future purchase.

HD is simply a brand name for the digital upgrade to AM and FM, says Struble. AM/FM is the last analog medium in the US, and HD is the digital version of those offerings.

The question is, will listeners adopt the new HD technology and move to HD devices and listening, or will they shift directly to an alternative like Internet radio? Streaming Pandora, for example, is free for everyone on iPhone. The reason to purchase the HD Radio iPhone accessory, according to Struble, is that it will allow listening to HD Radio stations on your iPhone even when you don’t have a wifi connection. (but your purchase of the iPhone required you to pay for a monthly data plan that gives you unlimited broadband…)

He hopes they will convince Apple to build HD Radio receivers directly into iPhones and iPod Touch devices, which would eliminate the need for additional hardware. It sounds far fetched to me, but a while back I was betting against FM on iPhones

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One response

  1. The company that took Radio out of it’s name is selling a radio app that costs $80. Not sure the performance of HD so far indicates a desire among iPod users for a radio receiver, especially one that could be described as the “HDTV converter of radios”. Not exactly a simply plug-n-play device, this one. There’s that big, fat iPod-required cable in addition to the HD receiver, flopping around.

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