Below is a press release about the additional features on the 2012 changes to the standard radio on TDI (standard only in US, Canadian base radio on TDI is the RCD 310). Note - this applies to model year 2012 and newer RCD510 only, 2010-11 did not have HD radio or tagging.
The Artist Experience feature shows album art or other stuff on HD radio stations if they broadcast it. On a side note, I listened to AM HD radio the other day for the first time - I usually never listen to AM radio and was shocked at how clear it sounded. AM radio is normally scratchy and remote sounding. In HD, AM sounds as clear as HD FM.
HERNDON, Va. – September 9, 2011 – iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of digital HD Radio Technology for AM and FM audio and data broadcasting, today announced that Volkswagen is the first automaker to launch the new Artist Experience feature with the Premium VIII radio on select 2012 models now at dealerships. The automaker will also introduce the popular iTunes® Tagging feature to its drivers. Volkswagen launched HD Radio Technology in 2009.
Artist Experience enables the Premium VIII radio to display album art and other images broadcast from HD Radio stations on its screen. HD Radio Technology provides other significant benefits for Volkswagen drivers: crystal-clear sound quality; additional local FM channels known as HD2, HD3 and HD4; Program Service Data (or PSD) which displays the song title and the artist’s name on the radio screen; and iTunes® Tagging, which allows listeners to Tag (store) information about songs they hear to later purchase and download through iTunes®.
"We are extremely pleased that a market leader like Volkswagen has taken the lead on rolling out Artist Experience,” said Jeff Jury, Chief Operating Officer of iBiquity Digital, the developer of digital HD Radio Technology. "HD Radio Technology is an important standard feature of any infotainment system and Volkswagen is taking advantage of all that HD Radio has to offer. Volkswagen customers will enjoy the expanded digital radio audio and visual experience.”
HD Radio Technology is available nationwide, with more than 2000 digital stations on-air, and more than 1300 HD2/HD3/HD4 digital-only channels that broadcast fresh new content that can only be heard with an HD Radio receiver. A sampling of the formats on these extra channels, which vary in different markets around the country, include: Dance/Electronica; Bluegrass Country; Comedy; Local Music; Chill/Coffee Shop Music; South Asian; Talk; News; and Sports, to name just a few.
iTunes Tagging in Volkswagen vehicles will enable drivers and passengers to easily capture information about a song they hear on their HD Radio receiver. By simply pushing the "Tag" button on the HD Radio receiver, the song information is stored to the iPod, once connected. The next time the iPod is connected to iTunes, a list of tagged songs appears which can be previewed, purchased and downloaded.
Artist Experience brings a visual component to radio by enabling broadcasters to send artist images and/or station logos along with the current audio programming. The HD Radio receivers then display these images on the radio screen, adding a completely new dimension to the radio experience. Broadcasters are currently rolling out this feature and will continue to add stations throughout 2011 and 2012.
HD Radio Technology is offered on select Volkswagen models