Inventors have been dreaming up ways for radio listeners to tag jams emanating from boomboxes and alarm clocks since the late ’90s. That was when a company called Xenote devised a USB keychain that could tell which songs were playing over the squawkbox with a push of its button. But it worked like crap and it never really caught on. But with HD Radio signals now a reality in most areas of the country, song information can be send over the air along with the signal, which is how iTunes Tagging works in the Polk Audio I-Sonic Entertainment System 2.
At $500, the Polk isn’t exactly cheap, but this four-speaker unit packs a considerable sonic punch considering its size and fills rooms with sharp audio in a way that eludes more inexpensive iPod speaker systems.
But really it’s the iTunes Tagging feature that has us intrigued. Basically this function lets users tag songs with a button on the unit or the remote (some iPods not supported – see the “Tired” section). This saves the song’s information from any track currently playing on HD Radio and transfers it to the dock’s internal memory. The next time you dock the iPod, the song data gets transferred to the Apple device’s memory. Sync your iPod to your computer, and you’ll see the songs you tagged appear in a special playlist, were they can be easily purchased from iTunes. We just wish this thing were capable of handling internet radio streams too.