HD Radio Comes to the iPhone
iBiquity Digital, the company behind HD Radio, has finally released the first digital radio solution for the iPhone. It requires a Gigaware HD Radio Tuner, which costs $80 through Radio Shack, and uses your earphone cord as an antenna.
HD radio uses a digital signal piggybacked onto existing analog broadcasts, allowing high-quality sound and song metadata (artist, track and album). There are nearly 2000 stations in the US are already broadcasting a digital HD Radio signal. The Gigaware tuner, like all HD Radio receivers, can pick up both the digital and analog stations, so you can get regular AM and FM along with the HD broadcasts.
Bob Struble, the head of iBiquity, told the Wall Street Journal
that the relatively high cost of the HD tuner is offset by the fact that digital signal can often be picked up in areas where there is not WiFi or 3G signal for services like Pandora. “The signal is coming from your local radio broadcast, so in most cases, if you’re within range of that signal,” the app will work exactly as a radio does. Users are able to access a wide variety of multicast as well as local radio stations.
Struble says iBiquity is trying to get Apple to add a built-in HD Radio receiver to the iPhone and iPod touch, as the external device is somewhat unwieldy. Microsoft released the fourth-generation [URL="http://zune.net:80/en-US/"]Zune HD[/URL, which has an integrated HD Tuner, in September.
iBiquity's Navigator Control
app is free on the iTunes Store.
image via iBiquity Digital