It’s rare that things like this get covered in print before they do online, but XM‘s upcoming XMp3 device is one of the exceptions. Appearing in the latest issue of Popular Science, the XMp3 has yet to receive an official release date or price. What we do know is that it can decode, and record, up to five XM stations at one time. That’s kind of cool, we guess, although radio recording isn’t really our thing (although, some of that O&A stuff can get pretty hilarious.) Once we know more, you’ll know more. For now, just know it’s on its way.
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We have shown you a lot of bizarre radios, so we thought it was time to get back to basics. Boston Acoustics has released the Horizon Solo, their smallest tabletop radio with backlit blue LED. Place the 5 x 8 x 6-inch device vertically or horizontally or set it on its side for cramped quarters. The radio has 3 knobs for mode, volume, and tuning, and 2 buttons for dual alarms. The Solo also features a snooze bar, up to 20 presets, a stereo headphone jack, and an auxiliary and AM/FM antenna inputs. Choose between grey and white and look for a price of $99.99. An extra $9.99 will give you a colored front grill as well.
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Coby Electronics has released a pair of cordless HD Radio Receivers. The HDR-700 and 650 receive digital HD, AM, and FM stations with no subscription charge. Each features an LCD display with backlighting, a preset station memory, and SDcard slot, and is housed in a brushed aluminum casing. The receivers come with remotes and have both an RCA connection and 3.5mm headphone jacks. Look for prices that start at $99.99, depending on where you shop.
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It looks like AE isn’t the only company to jump on the Internet radio bandwagon. The Phoenix WiFi Radio scans automatically for access and you choose the one you want. Then you add in the time zone, and the gadget is set up to receive over 10,000 Podemus radio stations and 5,000 podcasts. It also features an alarm with snooze and sleep, 2 2W stereo speakers, a USB port for your MP3 player, and comes with 4 rechargeable batteries and AC adapter. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, contact the company for price and availability.
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Roberts has come up with the nifty Stream 202 radio that plays DAB, FM, and WiFi if you have a broadband connection with wireless router or Ethernet. Stream your computer’s stored tunes, listen to stations all over the planet, and save your faves with 15 presets. The Stream also features an intuitive menu, 2 alarm timers, an aux. input for MP3 player, and a socket for headphones. At a size of 300 x 174 x 115mm and a weight of 1.47kg, the radio comes with an AC adaptor or can run on 6 D batteries (not included.) It carries a price of £149.99 (~$292.00.)
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Reminiscent of the iDog is this multi-function 4-port hub with built-in speaker and LED light. Decapitate the Smart Dog’s head and you have a portable radio (88Mhz - 108MHz) to keep you company on the road. USB 2.0 compliant, it has both an in and out 3.5mm audio jack. At a size of 8 x 7 x 6.5cm, the radio/head needs 2 AAA batteries (not included,) comes with earphones, and carries a price of $19.15.
Read More | Latest Buy
Acoustic Energy is working on what they say will be the planet’s first WiFi Internet Radio. It will be able to reach about 99% of radio stations online through broadband connection anywhere in your house. AE claims there will be no pops, crackles or signal coverage problems. Expected out in November, there will be no subscription fee involved with the radio. Look for a MSRP of ~£199 (~$394.00.) At that price, we think we will stick to radio ramblings via our computer.
The 1920 Style Spirit may look retro but is as modern as it gets. The device is a 4-hand analog clock with alarm, AM/FM radio, and a full feature CD player with programmable memory. Encased in wood, it has a metal handle, steel toggle switches, and a backlit dial. At a size of 5 x 11.5 x 6.25-inches, it puts out 0.8W per channel and carries a MSRP of £129.95 (~$257.00.) A Clock Radio version is also available for £99.95 (~$198.00.)
Read More | Expert Verdict
Slacker Internet radio is going portable! Slacker offers free, sponsored Internet radio with 1 to 2 minutes of interstitial ads per hour. In its free service, Slacker allows 6 skips per hour per station, but with over 100 genre stations to be listened to (working out to the ability to skip 600 songs per hour), even the most skip-happy listener can satisfy their urge to get to the next song quickly. Slacker’s Premium membership offers unlimited skips and saving and replaying favorite songs starting at $7.50/month.
Slacker Portable is Slacker’s companion personal media player. Available in 2, 4 and 8 gig models (translated to 15, 25 and 45 stations), Slacker Portable fills itself from the user’s favorite stations every time it’s synced. Not only is the music on the player, but anything available from Slacker’s site is available on the Slacker Portable, including artist bios, reviews and album art. Because Slacker Portable isn’t constantly connected to Slacker’s HQ, there’s no cutout when a listener enters a subway train, goes into a tunnel, or anywhere that a signal would be lost with an FM or a satellite radio. And if you can’t live without that certain album at your disposal at all times, Slacker Portable allows you to load mp3’s from your own library.
It’s a veritable cornucopia of co-hosts, as Andy, Hawkes, Edie and Steve519 (from XBLRadio) initially intend to talk up this week’s gaming news but instead delve deep into what we think is a growing plague on the landscape of podcasting: Corporate Lapdoggery. Yes, this is the episode where we pretty much rip apart Microsoft’s MVP program and pretty much expect we’ll be banned from all Microsoft events from now on.
We didn’t want to do it, but it had to be done. What can I say, kids, after months and months of everyone thinking it, someone had to pipe up and say the emperor has no clothes.
Just be warned, we’ll say a lot of stuff that will make us enemies, but we believe we are firmly on the side of truth, fairness, and the open exchange of information. We believe that you should be able to trust podcasts—any podcast—as much as you trust your local newspaper. Is that too much to ask? And even though we’ll probably take a lot of heat for this, we’d rather be dead right than alive and wrong.
AND!! There’s a contest for Halo2 and Shadowrun for Vista and Stalker for the PC (XP or Vista). Just listen before the first break and the end of the show to find out how to win!