Polk Audio has taken the wraps off the I-Sonic Entertainment System 2, the follow-up to the company's impressive 2006 tabletop AV system. The new ES2 model gets the iPod dock that was missing from the original I-Sonic, but it loses the Swiss-Army-knife luster of that all-in-one model: gone are CD/DVD player and XM satellite radio support (though an auxiliary line-in port lets you connect any external device of your choosing). Video output (for the increasingly burgeoning number of video-capable iPods) remains, as does the dual alarm clock and HD Radio tuner. And it's the interaction between the HD Radio and the iPod where the new I-Sonic debuts a first-of-its-kind feature called iTunes Tagging.
It's a pretty straightforward affair. Hit the ES2's prominent Tag button when you hear a song you like on any HD Radio broadcast. The unit will then bookmark it and upload the info to the docked iPod. The next time you sync the iPod with your computer, it displays all of the tagged music in a special iTunes playlist--ready to be sampled or purchased.
The Polk Audio I-Sonic Entertainment System 2 will be available in October for a hefty $500; that's $100 off the price of the original I-Sonic, but we would've preferred a bigger cut, given that some big features (CD, DVD, and XM) have been cut. The upcoming JBL iHD, also due this fall, will offer the iTunes Tagging feature as well, with more products expected to follow in the subsequent months.