Today’s Apple rumour at least has its basis in fact – a patent application filed by Apple to allow a portable media device (i.e. iPod) to tune into a wireless audio signal, identify songs, and give users the option to buy them. The patent mentions AM/FM radio, satellite radio and Wi-Fi as possible sources, and also talks about in-car functionality, to connect the media device to an in-car radio receiver.
In other words, that song you heard on the radio while zipping down the M4 but never caught the name of, could be cued up for automatic purchase on iTunes when you get home. Or something. It remains to be seen if Apple would vary the technology according to geography though – in the UK, we have DAB digital radio rather than satellite, for example.
These radio-recording features would also be a step up from Microsoft’s Zune’s peer-to-peer Wi-Fi sharing, although depending on when and if Apple’s patent turns into an actual product, Microsoft may well have come up with its own similar functionality by then.