iPod Radio – Well Maybe
Apple recently announced the release of the iPod Radio Remote. This little accessory combines a wired remote control with a FM radio receiver. It works with the iPod nano and the most recent generation (fifth) of iPods. The iPod Radio Remote is a convenient way for music lovers to control their iPod and add FM radio for a reasonable price point. Using the remote, you can skip tracks and adjust the volume of your iPod even when it’s in a pocket or backpack. It’s main feature - lets you and listen to FM radio stations while it displays station and song information on the iPod’s screen.
“The iPod Radio Remote combines two great features in one elegant product,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s iPod Marketing guy said recently. “The iPod Radio Remote is both the best remote control and the best FM radio listening experience for iPod.” If you search the Apple iPod store online, you will also find a couple of competitors that launched similar products ahead of Apple. But I must admit, the Apple Radio Remote is a cleaner package. If you live in the city and get good FM reception, this is a nice little add-on.
If you live in the burbs and are looking for great sound - similar to the quality that you get from your iPod, then forget about the iPod Radio Remote. Why, because it is like any other small FM radio, it needs a strong signal to give you decent sound. But don’t give up, there is quite a lot happening in the real time audio market and you will have more choices in the coming months. There were several rumors in 2005 about Apple and satellite radio for instance. "The iPod is the biggest, baddest thing around and satellite radio is this small, cool device," said Steve Mather, an analyst with Sander Morris Harris. "Put them together and it's the ultimate." But there has been no evidence that such a dream machine is in the works. Earlier this year, Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin said he had approached Steve Jobs, the chief of iPod maker Apple Computer, about a possible deal but said Jobs wasn't interested. Sirius didn’t sit on its butt. They created their first portable device called the S50, a small, sleek device used with a docking port in your car.
It is like a TiVo for radio. It automatically stores music for later listening. You can schedule recordings from both music and talk stations (with a firmware upgrade), save favorite songs, and link up to a PC to load music files. But… you can't see the song list for recorded music. The S50 is available only with a car kit and the controls are hard to use. Not to be left out, XM recently unveiled a new satellite radio for spring ‘06. Like their initial radio, the new receiver will pick up satellite signals as you are walking around outside. No docking station is needed, which is a huge advantage over the Sirius S50. It also has 1 gigabyte of memory so that you can record 50 hours of radio play. Out doing the S50 - there are no restrictions on how or what you can record.
In fact, XM has made it even easier to capture individual songs. The new XM player also provides a "tag" feature that let’s you immediately purchase any song you hear from Napster's online store. When you reconnect the player to your computer, you can get those MP3's that you just purchased to create a mix of MP3's and radio content on the player. XM now appears to be ahead of Sirius and Apple in the radio wars. To prove it they announced the XM Passport, a small card that can be plugged in and out of future XM enabled devices. With the passport card, you need only buy one subscription to XM radio to power a number of satellite receivers; just plug in your passport card. ZZZZZZ .
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