A broader relationship with Apple would be of obvious benefit to iBiquity's HD Radio platform. A report suggests that the digital radio technology could find its way to greater use with Apple devices like iPods and iPhones.
The story is on the AppleInsider website, which details a patent application from Apple that centers around HD Radio. "Entitled 'Digital Radio Tagging Using an RF Tuner Accessory,' the application states that users could use a handheld device to scan all stations, or only for stations delivering high-quality digital audio content," the article reports. "Collecting a list of digital stations and the accompanying 'raw digital data' broadcast with them would allow users to scan and search stations based on the content that is currently playing, or a number of other factors included in the data."
According to the application, enhanced metadata and searching could provide a listener the ability to "refine station choices without having to listen at length to any particular station," and facilitate tagging for later purchase.
What that all might mean toward the ultimate goal of getting HD Radio actually into the popular Apple devices themselves is unclear.
"Apple's new portables could go beyond FM with an HD Radio tuner, allowing full integration with HD Radio -- a feature that has been rumored for some time," AppleInsider continues. "The system describes both an external radio receiver, wirelessly transmitting audio and data to the portable device. It also suggests that such data could be shared with a stereo system in a vehicle." The article notes an earlier story in the Wall Street Journal that Apple was in talks with iBiquity to bring HD Radio to future models of the iPhone and iPod touch. Read the AppleInsider report, which includes patent application diagrams, here.