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Leapfrogging HD Radio

In today’s HD Radio news, we discover that Sony will be producing some (particularly ugly) models for the tabletop and to adapt Sony-branded car stereos.

That announcement comes concurrently with this Business Week article which includes this plum quotation:

The key to broadening the audience for HD Radio is packaging. Susan Kevorkian, an IDC analyst who researches audio technologies, thinks HD Radio will catch on with a wide range of consumers over coming years, but only if hardware makers do a better job bundling it with satellite radio and other audio offerings. “AM/FM radio has historically been offered as a feature of a device that does another primary function outside of radio,” she says.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll note that this is something I have been saying to deaf ears for years. In my words, “people generaly don’t buy radios, they buy things that contain radios.”

What that means, in other words, is that it doesn’t matter what manufacturers make HD radios – what matters is who bundles them along with other things – for free.

And THOSE announcements have been slm to none.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has received a patent for a car stereo that would include a docking station for an MP3 player or other handheld device.

That is, the dock would be built into the radio, making your mp3 player as much a part of your radio as the scan button – no options, no add-ons, no extra charges, no cables, no jacks, no muss, no fuss. Plug in your key, plug in your mp3, and you’re good to go.

Can you say “leapfrog”?

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