Sunday, November 25, 2007

WiFi 01 : Noxon iRadio

I remember when I was a lad ... Eeeeeee ... you were lucky, mate!!!

Under the bed-clothes with a short-wave radio listening to the cqs from around the globe. I wasn't nearly as keen as some of my friends who had qsl cards printed and sent them off around the world and in turn received cards from scores of exotic locations.

Well, in a way internet radio lets you do this too. And the Noxon iRadio has turned out to be one of the best gadgets I have ever had the fortune to have used with a computer. Well, I say computer, but actually all the iRadio requires is an internet connection. In my case, a wifi connection. It really doesn't need a computer at all!

Now, I have no idea if the iRadio is the best ever device in this genre. There may well be better devices. There are certainly more specialised devices such as the SqueezeBox which is more of a HiFi device and which may well fit into my future plans.

But it is actually quite hard to find this type of device in the USA. They do exist, but are around double the price at least. Certainly nothing in this price range!!!

Maybe the encroachment of satellite radio here mitigates against it, but you can't help wondering if a device which enables you to connect to virtually anything that interests you for free compared to a satellite subscription, might meet some resistance in the US retail market.

Anyway, my iRadio enables me to listen to maybe around 6000 radio stations around the world, many of them in quality stereo.

I just need to give a plug for BBC 5Live International, SomaFM and Lounge-Radio in particular. And just to say it is also great for listening to podcasts, especially Mark Kermode's film reviews.

But the radio connection is just one aspect of the iRadio's talents. Next WiFi articles will explain how to stream your music collection over your domestic wifi network and how to us the iRadio with a music server.

*See my hifi / media index here.