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Ford tag-teams HD Radio, iTunes tagging

Starting in 2010, car buyers will be able to get a factory-installed HD Radio receiver through which they can tag songs for later purchase and download.

Jensen in-car HD Radio
An in-car HD Radio device from Jensen. Ibiquity Digital

Ford Motor just can't seem to get enough lately of high-tech flourishes for the dashboard.

Earlier this month, the automaker unveiled plans to integrate Wi-Fi into its Sync entertainment systems so that drivers can turn their cars into wireless Internet hot spots. On Tuesday, Ford said that starting in 2010, car buyers will be able to get a factory-installed HD Radio receiver with iTunes Tagging capabilities:

"Through the Sync system," Ford said in its press release, "iTunes Tagging will provide Ford customers with the ability to capture a song they hear on the HD Radio receiver for later purchase. With a simple push of the 'TAG' button on the radio display, the song information will be stored in the radio's memory.

"Up to 100 tags can be stored on Sync until the iPod is connected to receive the download of metadata. When the iPod is then synced to iTunes, a playlist of 'tagged' songs will appear. Customers then can preview and, if desired, purchase and download tagged songs from the iTunes Store."

Ford is proclaiming itself the first automaker to offer HD Radio with iTunes tagging as a factory-installed feature, but its announcement comes nearly a year after consumer electronics company JVC began touting its KD-HDR50, an in-car stereo system that comes with a built-in HD Radio tuner that incorporates iTunes Tagging.

For more on HD Radio and the gadgets that get it, see:

• HD Radio options compared