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Polk, JBL Radios Combine HD-R, iPod & iTunes Tagging

Those who are eager to merge iPod and digital radio technology got some good news this week.

Those who are eager to merge iPod and digital radio technology got some good news this week.

The new Polk Audio I-Sonic combines HD Radio technology with iPod compatibility and new iTunes tagging. JBL introduced its iHD system.

In its announcement coinciding with the product introduction Thursday at the high-end audio show CEDIA in Denver, the manufacturers said they are the first receiver makers to combine all three functions.

Using Apple iTunes tagging, users can buy songs they hear on HD Radio stations. The radio stores information about the tagged songs to its memory and transfers the tags to an iPod when docked. When the consumer connects the iPod to his/her computer, iTunes automatically presents the songs in a new Tagged play-list for the consumer to preview, buy, and download.

Polk chose the new feature set to serve new media customers more likely to use their iPod for video delivery.

The Polk I-Sonic ES2 includes a second-generation HD Radio tuner with multicasting capability. The unit accepts all iPod models with dock connectors in its top-mounted dock hidden beneath a sliding door. S-Video and composite video outputs allow the user to connect a television or video monitor to the IES2 for viewing video content stored on a video iPod.

The unit also includes an alarm clock that can use the radio or iPod as the alarm. It also features a headphone jack, 24 radio presets and a wireless remote control.

The I-Sonic ES2 will be available from specialty retail stores, Apple stores and direct from in October for $499.

Meanwhile, JBL’s iHD is a compact desktop system featuring HD Radio and an iPod dock
with iTunes tagging technology. By pressing the “tag” button on the JBL iHD or its included remote control, the tagged info is saved and songs can be purchased the next time the user syncs on iTunes. JBL’s iHD also comes with multiple alarm settings, iPod navigation, clock, IR remote and other radio and alarm features.

JBL did not announce price or availability for its iHD.