You saw the news that Insignia has released the HD Radio Portable Player this week. It’s about time, right? I saw a prototype at the 2009 NAB Show, and it looked good. I didn’t get to hear it (besides I didn’t want to put a set of public-use ear buds in my ears), but I scrolled through the display. I have heard that it sounds good and works well.
Radio is portable, and having a portable option for HD Radio is natural and necessary. We listen to radio on the go.
Now the downside: It’s just a radio. Listeners already carry personal devices for audio information and entertainment. Even at the modest $50 price, will the market be flooded with these portable radios? I doubt it. I don’t expect most listeners to add another device to the arm bands or pockets just for a radio.
Still, it’s a good step for the technology. Adding HD Radio to media players and smart phones should be high on the agenda. And once again, it shouldn’t be an option for the consumer, it should just be in the device.