Is that a radio in my Apple?

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It looks as though Apple may finally be warming up to the idea of building radio functionality — including HD — into its family of portable media devices. According to a Neil Hughes article in Apple Insider, a new patent application by Apple suggests the company is preparing to integrate HD Radio reception as a built-in feature of hand-held devices such as iPads and iPhones.

The most interesting part of the application hints at functionality that would scan raw HD data, "collecting a list of digital stations ... allow(ing) users to scan and search stations based on the content that is currently playing, or a number of other factors included in the data."

The feature set would naturally include iTunes tagging as well.

Apple fans seem to like the idea. One thread that's been showing up in user forums reflects the fact that an FM/HD feature would allow users to listen to new music without running up the monthly bandwidth tally on their wireless data accounts.

Now there's a concept.

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