What the FM Radio-powered iPod Nano means to you….
Well this is cool.
And that's coming from somebody who broke the cardinal rule of soothsaying: Never say "never," as in "The iPod will never have an FM radio."
Because now it does.
And in typical Apple fashion, it's much more than an FM radio, it's an FM radio with significant value attached – in the form of iTunes tagging (if so enabled by the station) and DVR-style features to scan forward and back and to freeze live radio.
From Apple's perspective, this makes sense in that they were able to essentially "re-create" radio in their own image. Rather than simply add FM they enhanced it, which is a very "Apple" thing to do.
Also from their perspective anything that helps sell content on iTunes is a good thing. And radio will no doubt be so elated at its featured role on the new iPod we will pimp these units until the proverbial cows come home. And pimping good products that solve actual consumer problems and spark actual consumer interest is very good for both radio and Apple.
From radio's perspective this is a piece of positive public relations that transcends any amount of money. And that is most assuredly welcome.
Does this change radio's digital future? Not by a long shot.
Does it enhance our ability to build on-ramps to that digital future and establish ourselves from the position of strength we so richly deserve? And does it reinforce our relevance in the lives of consumers – even the ones who buy iPods?