TiVo on the Radio

How many times have you turned on your car radio and there’s a song playing that is halfway through? And you wish you could rewind the song (or the discussion) back to the beginning? I’d love to have a type of TiVo for the car radio: a small hard drive that is live recording your preset stations for you, so that you could pause mid-stream or even time-shift to hear pre-recorded stations.

It would work in a similar fashion to DVRs: keeping a set amount of time in storage that can be rewound or replayed. You could also record a show, or pause it to resume later. Because it is sound only, the hard drive wouldn’t have to be large–a few gigs would likely suffice. Many car stereo systems are being built with hard drives already, so why not put them to better use?

You could pause the “morning zoo” when you got to work, and the resume it in the afternoon as you drove home. You could record shows being broadcast in the middle of the day (like KFOG’s legendary 10@10) to listen to later, or on long car trips.

It’s not really a new idea: companies were working on these products back in 2003. I don’t think they ever caught on. But maybe now its time has come.

Of course, once you put a hard drive in your car stereo, this begs the question of why not add wifi as well, allowing it to download audio content from the interwebs? Or have the ability to hear a song and purchase it immediately: it’ll be waiting for you in iTunes when you open your laptop next. There’s a lot of possibilities.