Ford to Add iTunes Tagging in 2010

Ford, the first U.S. automaker to offer factory installed HD Radio receivers, is adding iTunes song tagging to its growing list of high-tech options. In 2010, Ford vehicles will offer the two new features alongside terrestrial radio, Sirius satellite radio and Internet radio.

iTunes tagging allows listeners of HD Radio to “tag” songs they like, store the information in an Apple iPod, then purchase and download those songs via the Apple iTunes music store when the iPod is synched with the computer.

“iTunes tagging and HD Radio technology are strong new additions to the growing collection of Ford convenience features and technology we’re offering customers to make driving even more enjoyable,” said Mark Fields, president of Ford Americas.

For radio broadcasters still working to make HD Radio a more ubiquitous radio technology, Ford’s commitment is welcome news. More than 2,000 radio stations broadcast in HD Radio and more than 1,100 launched HD side channels, but consumer acceptance has lagged.

“Ford continues to lead the market in bringing advanced capabilities to popular vehicles,” said Jeff Jury, COO of iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio technology.