GM announced that it was expanding the vehicles in which Pause-and-play radio would be available. What is Pause-and-play radio, you ask? Here’s how Gear Log describes the device:
Pause-and-play radio is a feature that allows passengers to pause a live song or program over AM, FM or satellite signals, record as much as 20 minutes of it to an embedded hard drive and play it later. (The Cadillac CTS system allows up to 60 minutes of recording.) All it takes is a push of a button - think of it as the DVR of car radio. The best part of the feature is that the car doesn't even need to be on for it to work. If you stop at a gas station to fill up, you can pause the current program and return to it when you're done.
CNET also covered the announcement here, which is ironic. A device that aids radio listeners was better covered in the tech press than the radio press.
It turns out that GM has offered the option since 2008. Right now it is just available in high-end GM vehicles, but it will soon be available in the Buick Regal and Chevrolet Cruze (shown above).
OK. It isn’t the iPad. It is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but it deserves more attention in radio than it got.
Pause-and-play radio is part of GM’s navigation systems. While Ford and after-market companies are focused more on Internet connectivity, GM is offering a product that adds greater functionality to radio.
Time shifting in television has been shown to increase viewership. People who own a Tivo watch more television than people who don’t. Empowering listeners in the same way that Tivo empowers viewers helps radio.
Arbitron credits time-shifted PPM encoded radio. That means if a panelist with Pause-and-play is listening to your morning personality and stops to run into Starbucks, you will get credit for the portion of the show that is played after she gets back into the car.
Arbitron will even credit the listening up to seven days later, so were Pause-and-play expanded so that radio listening could be stored, indexed, and played on a later date, the quarter-hours could add up.
Let’s hear it for GM.