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ALPINE ELECTRONICS DEBUTS AWARD-WINNING HD RADIO TUNER WITH iTunes TAGGING FUNCTIONALITY

Back January 7, 2008

TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 7, 2008 – The era when consumers had to choose between listening only to AM/FM radio or to CDs while driving is over. These days, the number of digital entertainment and content choices while on the road is expanding exponentially. Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., the industry-leading manufacturer of automotive mobile media solutions, takes the lead in bringing all-digital HD Radio™ broadcast content into the car with the new TUA-T550HD HD Radio tuner. This innovative add-on not only enables consumers to receive new audio channels and static-free HD Radio content in their cars, it is the first to introduce iTunes® Tagging to the automotive environment. The consumer electronics industry has taken notice: The TUA-T550HD captured a coveted CES Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Award in the In-Vehicle Audio category.

The TUA-T550HD HD Radio tuner is a small hide-away box that can be connected to any of Alpine’s 2008 model Ai-NET head units to add HD Radio Technology as a source. With HD Radio receivers, consumers gain crystal clear music and talk from the more than 1,500 AM/FM radio stations nationwide that are currently broadcasting digitally. When the head unit is tuned to an HD Radio station, the head unit’s display will list artist, album and song information, if this selected station chooses to broadcast this metadata. As an Ai-NET pass-through source, the TUA-T550HD also allows for the addition of other Alpine Ai-NET audio sources, such as satellite radio, USB-based MP3 players and Bluetooth® (separate adapters and subscriptions required).

Users may also enjoy HD Radio broadcasting’s unique multicasting benefits. FM multicasting allows consumers to listen to HD2 and HD3 multicast channels above and beyond the main station. This allows stations to expand their offerings to the public, without the fees associated with satellite radio.

Alpine is the first mobile electronics manufacturer to bring iTunes Tagging into the car. The pairing of HD Radio with iTunes Tagging provides a new way for consumers to easily discover and purchase music. iTunes Tagging through the TUA-T550HD is available with Alpine’s iDA-X100 Digital Media Receiver, IVA-W505 double-DIN Mobile Multimedia Station™ and the iDA-X100M Marine Digital Media Receiver. Each of these units has a dedicated “Tag” button. Users can easily Tag songs from HD Radio stations that are broadcasting metadata. Information about these Tagged songs is stored by the TUA-T550HD and transferred to the iPod®. When the iPod is connected to the computer, iTunes automatically presents the songs in a new Tagged playlist so the user has the option to preview, buy and download the songs.

Each song Tag is only 512 bytes, so a nearly endless number of songs can be Tagged when an iPod is connected to the system. If no iPod is connected, the TUA-T550HD can store up to 50 song Tags. Previous Tags are automatically erased from the TUA-T550HD when an iPod is connected, so new Tags can continue to be added.

“HD Radio technology is poised for substantial growth in 2008, and Alpine is ready to meet the consumer demand in the automotive environment,” said Stephen Witt, vice president, marketing and product planning, Alpine Electronics. “As the first to deliver iTunes Tagging functionality in the car, we continue to take a leading role in providing consumers with the most current, easy-to-use options for enjoying new digital music content in their vehicle.”

“We are pleased that industry-leader Alpine shares our vision of the future of digital entertainment,” said Jeff Jury, COO, iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio Technology. "The ability to offer iTunes Tagging in the car is a prime example of the many benefits afforded consumers by the HD Radio System."

Pricing and Availability
Alpine products are available at authorized Alpine dealers.

TUA-T550HD HD Radio Tuner
Availability – March 2008
Suggested retail index – $230
iDA-X100 Digital Media Receiver
Availability – February 2008
Suggested retail index – $400
IVA-W505 2-DIN Mobile Multimedia Station
Availability – April 2008
Suggested retail index – $1,100
iDA-X100M Marine Digital Media Receiver
Availability – April 2008
Suggested retail index – $450
About Alpine Electronics
Alpine Electronics is a global supplier of automotive mobile media solutions including audio, video, satellite-linked navigation and portable device connectivity systems for original equipment and aftermarket applications. Alpine is at the forefront of vehicle entertainment and information system innovation, with many first-to-market technologies such as portable navigation that docks into an in-dash unit, iPod® integration, full-range digital amplification and automated acoustical correction sound systems.

With manufacturing and R&D facilities in Japan, China, Europe and North America, and more than 1,600 global patents, Alpine’s premium sound systems and user-friendly navigation products combine the latest in advanced technology with an enhanced user experience.

Alpine is a consolidated subsidiary of Alps Electric Co., Ltd., one of the world’s premier manufacturers of electronic components for computer, communications and car electronics equipment. Visit www.alpine-usa.com to learn more about Alpine products or to find an authorized retailer.

About HD Radio Broadcasting
Available to more than 80 percent of Americans, HD Radio™ Technology is transforming the radio experience. Listeners can enjoy the local stations they love, now digitally enhanced in crystal-clear sound: FM is CD-like quality audio and AM sounds like FM, with no more static, hiss, pops and fades. The HD Radio multicasting feature enables additional, new local FM channels for more choice in music, news and sports. HD Radio Technology also puts information on radio display screens real-time song title and artist, traffic, weather and other data …All Subscription FREE. More than 1,500 stations in the U.S. are broadcasting with HD Radio Technology, with over 700 new multicast (HD2 and HD3) channels. Visit www.hdradio.com to find the local stations in your community.

HD Radio Contact:
Vicki Stearn
(443) 539-4345
stearn@ibiquity.com

Notice: Product information is based upon current information at the time of writing, but cannot be guaranteed. All designs, features, specifications and delivery dates are subject to change without notice.

Alpine Media Contact(s):

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
AlpinePressRoom@alpine-usa.com