If you are in the car a lot and live in an area where your favorite music genre isn’t available things can get tedious. You can only listen to your CDs so many times before you want something different. DICE and Livio have announced a cool new system that allows drivers to take internet radio stations with them on the road.
This radio consists of a 10cm cube made of nothing but cuteness. Armour acts on the idea that although they've got thousands of choices on the daily, listeners of internet radio regularly only listen to 2 or 3. Because of this, the Q2 cube allows users to select from their favorite four stations at any one time, programming them in when they turn their Q2 on for the first time by plugging them into a Mac or PC machine. After that, there's no need to ever go back to any more difficulty in using the cube other than charging up the battery.
One of the problems we've had with internet radios in the past is that it can be pretty overwhelming trying to sift through the many thousands of stations on offer, meaning we tend to stick to the same old channels. Sometimes, we even find ourselves missing the analog days of spinning an FM dial. Sagemcom's new RM50 internet radio claims to fix all that, with a "Smart Random" button that automatically picks a different channel for you based on the type of stations you listen to most often.
If you are a big music fan or know someone who is, you might be familiar with Pandora radio. The radio service is a streaming offering that allows the listener to customize their own service with the sort of music that they like rather than just listening to whatever is playing.
TerraTec have plowed away at the internet radio segment, and their new NOXON iRadio 500 is a slick example of the breed. A €299 ($386) standalone model, with both WiFi and a wired network option, the iRadio 500 has a 2.1 speaker system, large 3.8-inch color display and straightforward controls. As well as playing internet radio, it can also stream locally-stored music across your network from a computer or NAS.
With HDTVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs, HTPCs and cable boxes all offering YouTube access, it's hard to believe there's a mainstream service out there which hasn't slapped streaming video into their offering. Ironically - given it's all about having a fat pipe for accessing media - Verizon's FiOS TV is a latecomer to the field, with the service just now updated to support browsing and playback of YouTube content all from the TV screen, together with internet radio support.
With WiFi digital media streamers getting cheaper and cheaper, if you want to charge a premium price then your device needs to offer something out of the ordinary. Grace Digital Audio reckons their Allegro portable WiFi radio/streamer ticks that box by virtue of its sound quality; the Allegro packs a Class D 8 watt digital amplifier, outputting via a single speaker, and can be run off of mains, regular or rechargeable batteries.
As well as over 17,000 radio stations, 20,000 plus on-demand programs and over 35,000 podcasts, the Allegro can access Pandora for streaming audio. Connectivity includes WiFi b/g/n, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a stereo speaker jack, and you can control Pandora's thumbs up/thumbs down rating system directly from the mediaplayer itself. The company also offers a free iPhone remote control app.
WiFi radios have fallen to a price point where you have to be pretty DIY-obsessed to bother making your own rather than picking one up off-the-shelf, so we're all the more impressed by Gary Dion's effort. Starting from an ASUS WL-520GU wireless router, he threw in a USB audio adapter and a VFD display together with a custom enclosure to match the rest of his A/V setup.
Naim Audio have pushed out a new all-in-one audio system at CES 2010, the Naim UnitiQute, a combination radio, internet radio, DLNA streamer and media player. The UnitiQute packs an FM radio, together with DAB in markets where the service is broadcast, along with both ethernet and integrated WiFi connectivity for UPnP streaming of audio from local and internet network sources.
Pure's radio range has been taunting would-be US buyers for a while now, so it's good to see that the company is finally bringing some models over to North America. We grabbed some playtime with the Pure Sensia at CES 2010, first announced in Europe back in September 2009 and now delivering its 5.7-inch touchscreen, WiFi b/g and FM radio, web-widgets and more to the US market.