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Tag Archives: Radio

OhGizmo! Review – Livio Radio

Livio Radio (1)

By Chris Scott Barr

Being the geek that I am, I have computers scattered all through my house. It’s something that people tend to notice when they come over for the first time, not because they’re ugly and out of place, just that there seems to be a lot of them. A couple of them are used almost primarily for playing music, namely the ones in my kitchen or garage. Usually I’ll either have them playing music from my iTunes, or Pandora. If you’re not familiar with Pandora, I highly suggest checking it out. Essentially it’s free internet radio. You can create stations with the exact artists and genres that you want.

I little while ago I learned of the Livio Radio, which allows you to play music from your Pandora stations without a PC. I was given the opportunity to review one, so I could find out if this was really as awesome as it sounded. Hit the jump for my thoughts.

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[CES 2009] Magno Sustainable Wooden Radio


By Evan Ackerman

Gadzooks! It’s something not made out of brushed metal or piano black plastic! The Magno radio hails from Indonesia, where it’s made from sustainably harvested hardwoods by pretty much an entire village of native Indonesians. Designed by Singgih Kartono, the big version costs $250 and the smaller one is $200. Seems like a lot to pay for something that grows on trees, but you can feel warm and fuzzy and green inside and that’ll make up for the additional cost. …Right?

[ Areaware ]

Volkswagen Type 2 Radio For The Hippy Crowd

Dreams VolksWagen Type 2 Radio (Image courtesy AudioCubes)
By Andrew Liszewski

Once the symbol of freedom and the ‘peace and love’ movement of the 60’s, the iconic Volkswagen bus has now been reduced to a cheesy piece of craptronics. From the Dreams company (Japan) this mini version of the VW bus features an AM/FM radio (they can make them that small these days!?), jacks for connecting an external audio source and radio antenna as well as a small LCD display in the back window with as basic a digital clock as one can find these days. There’s also a couple of dials for tuning the radio and adjusting the volume, and based on the above graphic it might even make some kind of sound if you press on the front-end.

But if this radio brings back fond memories or happens to appeal to your nostalgic side, you better hope you were one of those hippies who grew up and got a well-paying job working for ‘the man’ since is asking $129.99 for it.

[ Dreams VolksWagen Type 2 Radio ]

Intempo Rebel Music Sampling System

Rebel Black (Images courtesy Intempo Digital Ltd.)
By Andrew Liszewski

Given how many songs are ‘illegally’ downloaded from the internet every day, it’s kind of hard to claim you’re a rebel when so many other people are doing exactly the same thing. And even though this clock radio from Intempo ‘steals’ music it in a slightly different way, I still don’t think it deserves the ‘Rebel’ moniker. Instead of grabbing music online, the Rebel records the most-played tracks from any FM station and then converts them to MP3 files which can be offloaded to a memory card or USB flash drive. It does seem to be a slightly easier way to discover new music, as long as you’re happy with the quality of FM radio, which is far from CD quality. The Rebel also automatically removes DJ banter and commercials from the recordings, though I have my doubts as to how effective it is given that DJs will usually talk through the entire intro of a song.

Other features include a headphone and line-in jack, AC adapter, slots for MMC, SD and Memory Stick cards, a USB jack and enough on-board memory to store up to 40 recorded songs. You can get it directly from the Intempo website for about $136.

[ Intempo Rebel ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Olinda Digital Radio Prototype Incorporates Social Networking

Olina Digital Radio (Images courtesy Schulze & Webb)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Olinda digital radio was commissioned by BBC Audio & Music Interactive R&D as part of a study to see how physical products could benefit from features we’re accustomed to having while surfing the web. The radio uses a modular design that allows the listener to adapt the product over time to their own needs with hardware add-ons and upgrades. The first prototype pictured here has a social networking module that uses six lights to show when one of your friends is listening to the radio. Pushing their particular button will tune your radio to whatever they’re listening to, allowing you to discover new stations via your social network.

Another web surfing influence can be found on the Olinda’s tuner dials. While the outer dial scrolls the names of stations alphabetically, the inner dial only scrolls through your most listened. In the same way a web browser will auto-complete the URL for a website you’ve already visited, the Olinda radio will automatically compile and remember a list of your most frequented stations. No more having to manually program a list of presets.

[ Olinda Digital Radio ] VIA [ DVICE ]

2-Way Hand-Crank Radio Also Works As Walkie Talkie

2-Way AM/FM/NOAA Crank Radio (Image courtesy the Herrington Catalog)
By Andrew Liszewski

Normally the terms hand-crank & radio really aren’t that interesting, and this time is no exception. However, I do like the fact that this particular hand-crank radio from Eton can be used to talk to other persons with the same radio, or other 2-way radios tuned to the same band of the 22 available channels. The website claims you can store enough power for an hour’s worth of use with just a “few smooth turns” of the fold out crank, but from my own experiences it usually requires a bit more effort.

Besides AM and FM stations, the radio can also be tuned to the NOAA weather broadcasts if you’re worried about an upcoming storm, or are currently in the middle of one that’s knocked out power. And for those times when even a “few smooth turns” seems like too much effort, the radio can run off of 4 AA batteries and also includes an AC adapter. But even with all those features I’m not sure if it’s worth $149.95.

[ 2-Way AM/FM/NOAA Crank Radio ] VIA [ GeekAlerts ]

Slacker Portable Internet Radio


By Evan Ackerman

The one thing I miss about radio is being exposed to new music. I like all the songs on my iPod, but now that I have an established music collection, I rarely add to it. The Slacker WiFi portable radio acts like a cross between your iPod and the radio (sort of like, I don’t know, XM?), letting you access radio stations (or create personalized ones) over the internet, in addition to playing music that you already own. The neat thing is that the Slacker will buffer your radio stations on its HD, so you don’t have to be connected to the internet all the time in order to be listening to new music.

As you might expect, there is a monthly subscription cost to take full advantage of the radio service. The basic radio is free, but includes a ‘limited number’ of ads, and you can only skip 6 songs per hour. The price for premium radio is $7.50 a month, and for that, there are no ads, you can skip all the songs you want, and if you like something, you can save it from the radio onto your player. The player itself features 10 hour battery life, a 4″ screen, 802.11 b/g WiFi, and weighs 5 oz. A 2gb model (with 500mb for personal music, 1.5gb for radio music) will cost you $200, or you can get a 4gb (1.5gb personal music) for $250 and an 8gb (4gb personal music) for $300. Not too bad if you ask me, although I’ve never been a big fan of subscription based music.

[ Slacker Portable ] VIA [ Electronista ]

Pogo! Radio YourWay Mini – Digital Radio Recorder

Pogo! Radio YourWay Mini (Image courtesy Pogo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

With most major radio stations simulcasting their broadcasts online, I really don’t see the need for a portable radio recording device. But maybe if you’ve secluded yourself in a remote cabin and have shunned all technology except radio, this could be useful for catching the talk show you missed while checking the traps, or while involved in that confrontation with the FBI.

The Radio YourWay Mini is considered the “little sibling” of Pogo!’s Radio YourWay LX model, but still includes all the scheduling abilities of the larger version. The 1GB of memory isn’t particularly large, but if you’re only recording talk radio, or your dictated manifesto, it will actually go a long way. And like Tivo or other PVRs on the market, the Radio YourWay even has a 1 minute buffer, which is constantly recording the last minute of broadcast should you need to rewind or what-not.

At $99.99 I don’t see why they couldn’t have thrown some MP3 capabilities in there, but maybe that might not appeal to whatever demographic they’re trying to target.

[ RadioYourWay Mini ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

[CES 2008] Eton Radios

Eton Radios

By Evan Ackerman

It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about radios. It’s easy not to think about them anymore, now that NPR is avilable on Podcast and I’ve, um, paid for and legally downloaded all of the music that I’m interested in. But last weekend, my house (in California) was hit by what I’m just going to go ahead and call a hurricane and we lost water and power. Needless to say, I completely lost my sanity.

What might have saved me would have been one of these colorful little radios by Eton. From the look of things, they’ll work just about wherever, whenever, and however. They recieve (in addition to AM and FM) NOAA weather reports and GMRS, and you can even transmit out to others. Most (if not all) of them are hand crank powered in addition to battery power and optionally solar power. They’ve got integrated lights, and they’ll charge your cellphone.

And, like I said, they’re colorful. Guaranteed to inform and brighten your life in the event of a disaster. Anywhere from $30 to a few hundred for all the hand-crank powered bells and whistles (literally).

[ Eton ]