Corp. is installing Gracenote Inc.âs music identification and playlist technologies as standard equipment on the â08 Cadillac CTS, marking the first time the two products will appear together on a vehicle in North America.
However, the Emeryville, CA-based supplier says it has a voice-recognition technology currently under evaluation by auto makers that it thinks will revolutionize in-vehicle entertainment even further.
The identification and playlist products on the redesigned CTS, which arrives in August with softer exterior lines and a more upscale interior, allow drivers to create and manage a digital library safely and easily by eliminating external devices, system programming and excessive button-pushing, Gracenote says.
The identification technology provides drivers with the usual CD information, such as album, artists and track names, but adds proprietary Gracenote information such as genre, artist type, era and region of origin.
With the playlist feature, drivers who hear a song they like can press a single âMore Like Thisâ button to retrieve and start playing all similar music in their library.
Using Gracenoteâs classification capability, the technology can create âinstant and intelligent playlists,â the company says.
Ty Roberts, Gracenote co-founder and chief technology officer, says more consumers are making purchase decisions today based on what technology appears on the vehicle, particularly as it relates to entertainment.
âDealers are realizing, too, that people might choose their car based on its level of connectivity,â Roberts says.
Navigation systems appeared in 4% of all domestic passengers cars sold in the U.S. last year, while concierge services were installed on 11.9% of domestic cars, according to Wardâs data. MP3 players were on another 14.6% and satellite radio appeared on 14.9%.
Roberts says Gracelandâs upcoming voice-recognition software, called MediaVOCS, would eliminate all button pushing. Although the software currently is under evaluation by auto makers, he thinks it could find its way into some â08 vehicles.
While declining to name the auto makers considering MediaVOCS, he says the technology would simply piggyback the hard drive on a vehicleâs navigation system.
The speech recognition software is said to be more sophisticated than what drivers previously may have experienced.
For example, the technology leverages a database of alternative names and phonetic transcriptions to recognize a request for the rap artist Fifty Cent, even if the name were pronounced more casually as âFitty Cent.â
âOr you could simply ask for âThe King,â and it would know to call up Elvis Presley,â Roberts says. âIn fact, thatâs better than just saying âElvis,â because it (would) call up Elvis Costello, too.â
MediaVOCS also can form a playlist of songs arranged by genre through keywords, such as âDetroit Soulâ for Motown music or âDylanâ for folk/rock.
If the listener is unsure of the song title, he can repeat phrases from the song, such as âchestnuts roasting on an open fire,â for âThe Christmas Song.â
Additionally, he can ask for âMore Like This,â request the name of an unfamiliar artist playing on the system or download a song as a cell phone ring tone.
Roberts says Gracenote hopes to link the voice-recognition system to satellite radio, as well.