Radio stations are about to feel the same pain as the television stations scrambling to keep advertisers in the wake of commercial-skipping DVRs.
PopCatcher, a Stockholm-based company, has patented a technology that can automatically detect and record music from FM radio, AM radio, Internet radio or DAB radio (for our Scandinavian readers who were wondering).
The PopCatcher MusicDock MD-601 distinguishes between speech or commercials, and music. It records music played by its radio and stores each song as an MP3 file.
The MP3 player dock is a regular radio with built-in speakers. When you place the PopCatcher MP3 player in the dock, the docking station automatically records music played by the radio station you're tuned to. It can distinguish between individual songs and imports each as a single MP3 file to the MP3 player. It does not record commercials or DJ chatter. Of course, that also means it can't record talk radio. You are out of luck if you are trying to record Tom Ashbrook's On Point, but if you just want some of the latest tunes for free, the PopCatcher may help you out.
The MPS player will come with 512MB or 1GB of flash memory and charges while in the docking station.
While PopCatcher is taking orders for when the MusicDock MD-601 becomes available, it is also offering to license its technology to others.
Good thing, since the MP3 player shown here is not exactly something I would crave.