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Griffin RadioSHARK Exceeds Expectations

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the i-want-one-of-those-things dept.

Media (Apple) 191

reifman writes "Picked up a Griffin RadioSHARK (think TiVo for radio) at the Apple store this evening: It exceeds all expectations. The user experience is simple. The iPod synchronization is seamless. The RadioSHARK is a counter-attack on the recording industry and its draconian file sharing lawsuits. I'm glad to see Griffin had the balls to release this product. ."

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1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485637)


Re:1st (0, Offtopic)

kc_cyrus (759211) | about 10 years ago | (#10486111)


My nuts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485641)

They exceed all expectations as well. Suckle them....

Re:My nuts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485668)

Present them!

Nice but... (4, Interesting)

Max von H. (19283) | about 10 years ago | (#10485656)

I wish it featured an external signal input. Thing I get very bad radio reception at my place but I get near-digital quality (and free) radio through my cable TV outlet (there's 2 connectors, one for TV one for radio).

Nice gadget anyway!

Re:Nice but... (5, Interesting)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 10 years ago | (#10485731)

here is a trick. get a radio with the loose cable antenna (you know the stuff that is like a string) and then tie the end around the metal connector on your cable line (it can be connected to a TV) that turns the entire cable shielding on all connected lines into a huge antenna for your radio. works great for me.

Re:Nice but... (2, Interesting)

Max von H. (19283) | about 10 years ago | (#10485789)

I know that trick, but the radioShark doesn't have that kind of antenna, the device's casing doing the job itself. Still, the hack should be relatively easy but it'd be nice to have that function as a feature rather than voiding the warranty to perform an unsure hack.

Re:Nice but... (4, Interesting)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 10 years ago | (#10485853)

try wrapping a copper wire around it and connecting that to the cable line

This works well for AM (2, Interesting)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 10 years ago | (#10485843)

Select A Tenna [] . I have one of these, and it really works well for pulling in weak AM signals. And no physical connection required.

In the alternative, you could hook the radio output of your cable outlet directly into the audio input of your computer and write scripting software to capture it. For tuning, you'd have to hack something like a cable mouse (an IR emitter that you'd have to write software to drive with the appropriate signals to command the cable to change radio channels). A lot of work, but it could be done.

External antenna (5, Informative)

rdarden (87568) | about 10 years ago | (#10485881)

According to this MacCentral page [] , the audio output jack of the RadioShark also doubles as an external antenna input. Not sure of the wiring or input impedance.

Re:Nice but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486150)

Also from radio shack, you can get a short range FM transmitter for about $20. It has an audio input which it transmits as FM radio - you'll have the choice of about 4 frequencies down around 88MHz. Using that, you should be able to put just about any kind of radio into the shark.


DAB Version! Digital, Baby! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485661)

well, hate to be a bit of a whinger, but call me back when they do a DAB version for the uk- AM/FM? Welcome to the 20th Century!

Re:DAB Version! Digital, Baby! (4, Interesting)

Lurks (526137) | about 10 years ago | (#10485781)

Yeah where digital is 'crystal clear sound' right? Except that it's 128kbps layer-ii audio and so full of horrible artifacts. Thanks but I'll stick with FM - DAB is a complete face.

Note: In other countries they do use proper bitrates per channel but in the UK we've got 50 of exactly the same sort of garbage pop radio station vying to get into each multiplex. Quality in programming seems to have taken a back seat.

My kingdom for BBC 6 Music in 256kbps...

Re:DAB Version! Digital, Baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485945)

Surely the radio stations on satellite are higher quality than DAB? Of course, nowhere near as convenient, but if you could hook that up in the same way as the Radioshark's software then it'd be kinda funky...

Re:DAB Version! Digital, Baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485971)

But if you're listening via the satellite, you may just as well use Sky+ for the recording/pausing/etc.

Re:DAB Version! Digital, Baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485790)

Second that.

Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (5, Insightful)

theluckyleper (758120) | about 10 years ago | (#10485663)

Anyone want to take a guess on how long it'll be before the crackdown [] commences?

Actually, I just went to RIAA's website [] for the first time... all of the "latest news" articles on the main page are about lawsuits they've filed. Nice!

Don't they realize that something is wrong with their business when their news is about lawyers, and not musicians?!

Crackdown .... WHY? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485714)

Anyone want to take a guess on how long it'll be before the crackdown commences?

Why would the RIAA give a crap about a device that really has no significant advantages over a $9.99 boombox I can purchase at my local grocery store. Golly gee whiz, a device that allows me to record over the are FM broadcasts so I can play back later as often as I wish. Hell my 8 track recorder could do that (not as cool as an iPod of course, woulda been interesting to see what Apple could have done with that technology, "Ladies and gentlemen, Apple proudly gives you the i8, the only 8 track player on the market that is both portable and uses this wonderful touch sensitive wheel to allow you to select the track you want to listen too!!!").

Oh, and is it really necessary to include two links to the exact same url?

boombox != computer (1)

theluckyleper (758120) | about 10 years ago | (#10485794)

Yes, you can record the radio on your $10 boombox, just as you can record it on your computer, but the similarities end there. Once you've got the song on your computer you can then share it with thousands of other people on the internet in a matter of hours. Can you do that with your casette tape?

Re:boombox != computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485966)

Yes, you can record the radio on your $10 boombox, just as you can record it on your computer, but the similarities end there. Once you've got the song on your computer you can then share it with thousands of other people on the internet in a matter of hours. Can you do that with your casette tape?

Your missing the point. The technology to record over the air FM analog broadcasts and redistribute them on your computer has existed for ages now. This device might make it simpler for ipod users, but anyone with an fm card for their pc can do the exact same thing. Heck, almost any pc sold today can record from the mic any radio playing a station. The point is that the RIAA only really cares about EXACT DIGITAL RECORDINGS. They gave up the analog OTA fight a loooooong time ago.

You forget... (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 10 years ago | (#10486067)

... that there's been a lot of talk about "plugging the analog hole" in recent years. RIAA and its associated cronies have been talking about how they'd like every bit of the playback chain - from the sound card to the speakers - to be DRM digital.

Now, you and I understand that at *some* point the signal has to be turned into analog so that it can drive the coils in the speakers, but the average Joe is not going to take apart their speakers and hook up leads to the wires so that he can record into his sound card to an un-DRM-encumbered format with them.

Re:boombox != computer (1)

Grax (529699) | about 10 years ago | (#10486045)

Yes. well it takes a bit longer.
But when I was a kid every other kid I knew had a cassette copy of Bill Cosby's comedy and the Jerky Boys. I never once saw an original.

"thousands of other people" requires a pretty hefty internet connection, btw.

Besides, the ability to break the law is not the same as breaking the law. Millions of people have cars which are capable of being used as weapons or plenty of other interesting crimes.

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (1, Insightful)

TAGmclaren (820485) | about 10 years ago | (#10485719)

Don't they realize that something is wrong with their business when their news is about lawyers, and not musicians?!
Maybe it's just an outsiders point of view, but isn't that applicable to all of America? We're talking about the country where McDonalds got sued because its coffee was too hot!

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485761)

A few facts about the McDonalds coffee lawsuit [] .
The main thrust was that McDonalds held their coffee about 20F above most other restaraunts and numerous complaints had already been filed. It wasn't the frivolous lawsuit that many believe it to be. It actually had merit.

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485836)

There is no merit. When I make a pot of coffee at home to take to work in my pitcher, I always make it extra hot so that it doesn't get too cold half way during the way to work. I know I'm not the only one who likes it this way.

Just because some stupid woman couldn't properly handle something that she should have known was hot does not make McDonalds the one who should have to pay for her inability to be careful.

This lawsuit is one of the examples of the reason why we need lawsuit reform.

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486014)

The difference being that you know how hot your coffee is, while the lady who sued McDonalds didn't. In addition, as stated, this wasn't the first, second or twentieth time someone had complained. Yes, we all know 'fire hot', and yes there was a caution on the cup, but the fact remains that McDonalds sold an item that was more dangerous than need be.
Now, I'm all for personal responsibility, but the lady who sued suffered real physical damage from an item that was meant to be consumed in a moving vehicle (purchased from the drive-thru), was easily spilled (a liquid), and about which numerous complaints had already been filed. All businesses have a responsibilty to provide as safe a product as possible ('cept maybe the tobacco industry), and if one doesn't then it is liable. Why should an individual have to be responsible but a corporation not?

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486089)

People complain about everything. Get a job in retail sometime and you will realize just how bitchy and blameful people are in regards to their own personal responsibility. That does not mean that you should change things just becuase a very minute fraction of a percentage of people want to whine about something.

Who are you to tell me how hot McDonald's coffee should be? The fact of the matter is that McDonalds knew that people liked their coffee that hot and I know I like it that hot too. The few people who complained about it were far outnumbered by the people who bought and ejoyed the McDonalds coffee.

I'm for bussiness providing safe products, but in the case of coffee.. ITS A FUCKING CUP OF COFFEE! How stupid do you have to be not to treat that cup like pure gold when its in your hands? McDonalds sold the coffee with the idea that you were going to exercise some common sense with it. McDonalds did not pour the coffee in her lap, the lady did.

Should a pretzel company be responsible for people who are too stupid to properly chew their pretzels and choke?

Should Coca-Cola be responsible becuase someone tried to inhale the contents of a can of coke instead of properly drinking it?

Should Ford be responsible because you recklessly drove your car into a wall (Not because of a car malfunction, which would be a legitimate claim)?

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486172)

I've worked in retail, also in the service industry as both cook and server, so I know how bitchy people can be. Coca-cola isn't meant to be inhaled, but the coffee was meant to be drunk. However, one couldn't do that, because at 180F it would cause blistering. If a product cannot be safely used in the manner intended, then the company is liable. If a consumer uses a product in a manner not intended, then the consumer is liable. Not a whole lot of ambiguity there.

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (5, Insightful)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | about 10 years ago | (#10485766)

I would think that this device would hold up in court for the same reason that the VCR did when it was challenged in the supreme court. deivices that record broadcasts for reasons of time shifting were upheld as legal.

However that doesn't mean that the recording industry won't try to ban this product . . .

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (1)

theluckyleper (758120) | about 10 years ago | (#10485803)

But your home VCR isn't connected to millions of other VCRs, as your computer is connected to millions of other computers. I suspect the RIAA won't be too happy if radio recordings are shared around the net!

However, I certainly hope you're right!

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (2, Funny)

SlamMan (221834) | about 10 years ago | (#10486077)

You mean I've been doing the video beauwulf cluster thing all wrong then?

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (0, Redundant)

whowho (706277) | about 10 years ago | (#10485823)

Well almost all of the news and the rest of the front page is dedicated to how they are cracking down on illegal file sharing, including the drivel on how the high CD prices are justified.

It does put into perspective what the RIAA is all about.

Re:Crackdown, T-Minus ? days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485840)

The use of this device is perfectly legal... so there simply can't be an "RIAA Crackdown".

However, the RIAA may want to try to profit from such a device. Heck, I'd like to profit from it too. So there may be an attempt to lobby congress to put the RIAA in control of the device's production and use.

I wouldn't be surprised if forthcoming industry-defined copyright laws resulted in the RIAA charging you for the production and use of such a device.

Uhh.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485675)

Looks cool but..

What's a "radio"?

Steamradio (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 10 years ago | (#10485867)

What's a "radio"?

Ancient [] , steam driven device to pick up sound from the air :) Utter hype when I was born!


Re:Uhh.. (5, Funny)

generic-man (33649) | about 10 years ago | (#10486287)

A "radio" is a device capable of wirelessly receiving audio broadcasts synchronously across dozens of channels. Assuming a modest 64 kilobits per second on one "radio" station, well-served markets such as New York City enjoy a total streaming throughput of well over two mibobites per second. This service is made available to the consumer free of charge thanks to the United States Free Communications Commission (FCC).

Tomorrow, we'll investigate how you can get over 80 channels of television-quality video in real-time streaming for about $50 a month.

Should that title not be (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | about 10 years ago | (#10485677)

Griffin RadioSHARK Exceeds reifman's Expectations

He never actually mentioned what his expectation were in the first place though so its hard to tell what was actually exceeded.

Peosonally I think more than one person needs to be impressed before you can write headlines like this, some guy scribbling on his blog is not a sufficient indicator for me.

SightLight (4, Interesting)

Brian Kendig (1959) | about 10 years ago | (#10485742)

His glowing review almost convinced me, until I got to the end where he similarly praises the Griffin SightLight.

The SightLight is one of the most poorly-conceived products on the market. It's a light for the iSight webcam; it's a ring of white LEDs which mounts around the iSight lens to illuminate you so that people can see you when you're using the webcam in an otherwise dark room. Sounds clever, right?

Except that using the SightLight is like trying to talk to an automobile headlight two feet in front of your face. And you'd think that in return for being blinded, you could at least be seen better by the person on the other end of the conversation - but no, that's not true; for as retina-piercingly bright as the SightLight is, it does a terrible job of actually lighting you up. A face lit by the SightLight will look ghostly pale and near-dark to the person on the other end, and the user has to be very close to the light to be seen at all.

And all this for $39.95!

I returned mine the very next day, and I now approach Griffin products with skepticism.

Re:SightLight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485765)

$40 for that?

Turn on the room's light maybe?! Cheaper, simpler, and it works.

Some people ...

Re:SightLight (1)

Brian Kendig (1959) | about 10 years ago | (#10485886)

Doesn't work. The image from the iSight is notoriously dark, especially when using it with iChat which has no way to adjust the webcam's brightness. There needs to be a lot of ambient light for iChat/iSight to give a good picture.

Re:SightLight (1)

SlamMan (221834) | about 10 years ago | (#10485978)

You mean exactly like how ring lights work for photography?

Re:SightLight (1)

DarkVader (121278) | about 10 years ago | (#10485980)

Griffin makes a variety of products, some are great, some are mediocre, some are terrible.

The iMic is great. For $40 you get sound input on a Mac that doesn't have a mic port. The iTrip is marginal. The FM signal is so weak that if your radio isn't excellent, the sound quality is much worse than a cassette adapter.

The iFire is just silly. If you want to hook up speakers to a Mac that doesn't have the amplifier for the Apple Pro Speakers, get other speakers. The pro speakers are not very good speakers anyway, and they're overpriced.

Now, I've never played with the sightlight - but I don't have an iSight, either. The little that I've played with iSights makes me think that they're pretty good cameras...

Re:SightLight (5, Informative)

lax-goalie (730970) | about 10 years ago | (#10486100)

I've done a lot of lighting for both video and stage, and you're missing the point. The SightLight isn't supposed to be the primary light source for the iSight. If you use it that way, (depening on ambient light) you'll get an image with a lot of contrast and noise.

The way to use the SightLight is as a secondary fill source. Especially with overhead lighting, a lot if people get horrible shadows under their eyes and cheeks, well-defined forehead wrinkles, and the like. That's why a lot of people look like Hermann Munster on a web cam.

Using the SightLight mitigates a lot of this, particularly the eye shadows. For 40 bucks, it does a good job at the job it's supposed to do. (It's certainly cheaper than a real lighting kit!)

BTW, there's a switch on the SightLight to reduce brightness, making the "headlight in your face" effect a little easier to take.

The SightLight is a nifty gadget that does its job pretty darn well. It sucks as a primary light, but using it as such is simply pilot error...

Re:Should that title not be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486291)

My expectations would be exceeded if a product from griffin worked at all. I've had awful experiences with both their iMic and thier USB "audio" hub, and I've been blatantly lied to by their technical support. So I'm 0/2 on working usb audio devices from Griffin. YMMV.

Neat, but old hat... (5, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | about 10 years ago | (#10485684)

"I'm glad to see Griffin had the balls to release this product."

I don't see how releasing this required any balls. FM broadcasts are horrible when compared to the AAC streams from XM.

The RIAA have written off FM copyright lawsuits because any kid with a boombox can swipe a low quality song.

I've been doing this for two years using a TV/FM tuner that costs about the same as the Radioshark - and the bonus is I can record cable TV so now I can have low quality video too!

Re:Neat, but old hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485709)

Yea, ive been using a TV/FM tuner for years as well. Costs a big bad $40 lol

But this ones shaped like a shark fin!!!

lol, it never ceases to surprise me what the slashdot editors find newsworthy. Maybe they should do a story about my old cable modem, it was shaped like a shark fin too.

Re:Neat, but old hat... (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | about 10 years ago | (#10485723)

It may give better reception - but that'll be hard to do in my basement datacenter... ;-)

Re:Neat, but old hat... (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | about 10 years ago | (#10485992)

FM broadcasts are horrible when compared to the AAC streams from XM

This may be true, but they are also the next best thing to legal. They don't have any DRM and they are easily listenable in portable MP3 players and on phones with music capability.

This product could totally kill the RIAA by flooding the net with legally (or almost) recorded music that the average listener will be happy with.

The thing that worries me is that DAB will have a DRM broadcast flag in it and that the RIAA will (economically) insist on all AM/FM radio stations switching over to Digital to stop radio recording.

Who cares (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485698)

iPods are overpriced shit, stop suckling on Steve Jobs teet and buy yourself something better (read: every other mp3 player out there)

hello mods (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485707)

-1, censoring the truth

An iPod accessory really should work seamlessly (2, Insightful)

neuro.slug (628600) | about 10 years ago | (#10485700)

I mean, c'mon, you're pairing something with the sexiest, sleekest portable music player on the market. Any clunkiness or loose ends would stand out like an albino at the Apollo.

Then again, the RadioSHARK probably would have only met--not exceeded--my expectations, as given Griffin Tech's batting record with Cool New Things(tm) like the PowerMate [ te/ [] ], I wouldn't expect anything less than a well-executed product.

Re:An iPod accessory really should work seamlessly (1)

Winterblink (575267) | about 10 years ago | (#10486002)

Actually, this product isn't being marketed as an accessory to the iPod, but simply as a product to timeshift radio broadcasts. There IS a line on their product page [] that talks about transferring to an iPod or other such device, but the RadioShark itself is in no way listed as a direct accessory to the iPod.

RadioShark?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485705)

We're gonna need a bigger iPod.

Expectations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485708)

The expectations must be pretty low (or odd) in that it does what it says it will. The reviewer gushes emphatically but notes " there's no online schedule aggregator for radio as there is for television. So, you have to know when shows are on if you want to schedule them for recording."

Are the expectations exceeded because it is an iPod?

Cool idea, but... (5, Informative)

dborod (26190) | about 10 years ago | (#10485712)

I ordered mine in July of 2003 and got it last week.

The application (at least on OS X) leaves a lot to be desired. It does not behave like a typical OS X application in many ways, have no way to edit a preset- if you want to go back and put in the radio station's call sign or a genre descriptor you have to re-add the station as a preset and then delete the first instance of the preset, there are no menu options (and thus no keyboard shortcuts) for many of the really important GUI elements.

The time shift feature is a good idea, but is poorly implemented. You can set a number of seconds to move forwards or backwards (defaults to 10 seconds) by pressing the left and right arrow or you can drag the slider around forwards and backwards in the time shift buffer but these 2 methods are either too granular or too coarse to help you pinpoint a precise location.

It would be so cool if Griffin Technologies opened up the API... since the GUI and user interface are just so lame.

Re:Cool idea, but... (1)

dborod (26190) | about 10 years ago | (#10485734)

since the GUI and user interface are just so lame

Well, yes, this is a dumb thing to say. I meant to say that the user interface and the user experience were lame.

XM (2, Insightful)

LT4Ryan (178006) | about 10 years ago | (#10485720)

This would be great if it could interface with XM or Sirius satellite radio, plain and simple.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

damiam (409504) | about 10 years ago | (#10485722)

Spoken word programs can be recorded in the more compact AIFF format.

When was AIFF ever more compact than AAC? Isn't it, in fact, the least compact format possible?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10485775)

That was my reaction too. AIFF was great on the Amiga in 1987, but we have computers fast enough to compress audio now!

I wonder why they only support AIFF and ACC. Neither of my MP3 players (Archos and iRiver) support these formats. Would supporting MP3 have been that difficult?

Re:Huh? (1)

tuffy (10202) | about 10 years ago | (#10485965)

I wonder why they only support AIFF and ACC. Neither of my MP3 players (Archos and iRiver) support these formats. Would supporting MP3 have been that difficult?

If you've got a PCM AIFF file, encoding it to MP3 (or Vorbis, or FLAC, or whatever) is trivial. It just takes a little CPU time. It would be nice if the device could do it automatically, though.

Re:Huh? (1)

jnikkel (59800) | about 10 years ago | (#10486244)

Oh, hardly. One could always pad each bit with a library of congress or so.

Nice but... (4, Interesting)

igrp (732252) | about 10 years ago | (#10485748)

This certainly sounds like a cool device and, I guess, at $69.95 it would make a nice, geeky Christmas gift.

The only problem I see with this though, is that your average geek will simply not need one of these. I have a CD changer in my car. I have my iPod hooked up to my car stereo. I'm literally surrounded by computers at work. I have a stereo at home, that my iPod and one of my computers is hooked up to.

With regard to my "music needs", I guess I'm pretty much covered. I guess this is really useful if you're into talk radio. But to me, the radio is something I use when I'm on the road and want to listen to a ballgame or when I'm working on something outside and don't really feel like listening to my iPod but want some background music. The radio just isn't something I pay a lot of attention to.

The reason TiVo is such a huge hit is that it fundamentally changes the way we watch TV. When I'm watching TV I usually do pay attention to what's on - it's not just some random background noise. I find it hard to see how this could work for radio. Except, of course, skipping commercials. That would indeed be nice (but not all that useful, since most commercial stations already do 30-minutes-without-commercial stuff).

The problem is this: I, and I can only speak for myself here, don't really care what's on the radio. To me, it's random stuff. Turn it on, listen to some music while doing something else, turn it off when you're done. TV's different: I care what's on. That's why I'm watching in the first place.

Here's Why (4, Interesting)

SteveM (11242) | about 10 years ago | (#10485864)

First, not everything on the radio is music. There are a number of NPR shows that are on while I'm at work that would enjoy listening to.

And as is usually menitoned whenever someone reviews this thing, some people enjoy listening to Howard Stern, but can't for various reasons. Now they can, at least for a year or so.

And there is plenty more talk of varying quality radio out there.

And where I live there is a space music show called Echoes. Runs between 10 pm and midnight. More often then not I'm doing something else. Now I can record it, load my iPod, and listen at work.


Re:Nice but... (4, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | about 10 years ago | (#10485955)

It's not really about music. I think it's more about talk radio. Think about it, what geek in their right mind would want to record a music from a radio station? It's pretty much pointless. You have no idea what music your going to get or in what order (plus 50% - 75% of the music is crap, 15% to 20% is the idiot DJ and/or commercials). Talk radio is different. There are several talk radio shows I would like to record. For instance there's a local sports show that I would love to be able to record TiVo style because it's on from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm weeknights but two or three nights a week I'm out with friends and miss all or part of it. I can think of quite a few talk programs I'd like to record if I could.

Re:Nice but... (2, Interesting)

brarrr (99867) | about 10 years ago | (#10486059)

I used to have the same opinion of radio... It was more or less something to pass the time in the car when my ipod or CDs weren't doing it for me. However, I moved to seattle, where a large independent radio station exists ( (and they webcast). Their morning show starts at 6am, but as a grad student, I miss it all by a few hours. Thankfully, they (kexp) do their own online timeshifting and i can catch good music, free. Pretty much nothing that is on clear channel or whoever the other ones are. This product doesn't do anything for me since kexp offers up their own recordings, but radios are far from dead for me now... check out the station, it changes people when they do.

Does it support MP3 or Vorbis? (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about 10 years ago | (#10485754)

Can it record to MP3 or Vorbis?

Actually, I'd like to be able to supply my own encoder and parameters (ie. LAME MP3).

Re:Does it support MP3 or Vorbis? (4, Informative)

RedCard (302122) | about 10 years ago | (#10486016)

Can it record to MP3 or Vorbis?


Answer: No.

It can, however, record to unprotected AAC (compressed) or AIFF (lossless - I'm pretty sure). AIFF has been used for years, predominantly on the mac, and many utilities are available to easily convert AIFF into whatever format your heart desires.

Re:Does it support MP3 or Vorbis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486258)

AIFF=Audio Interchange Audio Format.

It is lossless, and uncompressed. Just like .wav, but different, because it can also be used as a sort of meta-container format (you can imbed MIDI into it), and also allows for comments and looping and other stuff.

Used mostly on Macs, Unixes, and stuff, and it's been around since the dinosaurs.

Sound Quality? (1)

KZigurs (638781) | about 10 years ago | (#10485783)

Ok, as I understand it uses USB to transfer audio data to computer. Convient, but what about the sound quality?

Unfourtunately it's not yet available in my area, but if anyone can comment of this, I would be glad to hear about it.

After all, it's a radio. I don't care if the user interface is lame or good, I dont give a shit about timeshiftrecordingmadness, i'll just be happy to buy it if it does it's main task good!

Unfourtonately, lately, this rarely seems to be the case with almost every manifacturer. Price and marketspeak comes first.

Great! (2, Funny)

mypalmike (454265) | about 10 years ago | (#10485785)

Now I can listen to Rush Limbaugh yell at me all day long!

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486339)

Rush streams his broadcast already.

Mt short review (5, Informative)

marksven (137944) | about 10 years ago | (#10485793)

I've been using mine for a few days now, I and love it. Here's my raves:
- 64kps AAC sounds great for npr shows, and the files aren't too big.
- After recording, it automatically puts the file into an iTunes playlist, so you just need to dock your iPod each time to get the updated recordings.
- You can set the time-shift buffer to any length you want. So at any time you can go back to listen to any broadcast in the last day on a station.
- The hardware is solid high quality.
- It records even when the application isn't open. It appears to have a daemon process running at all times, still recording to the buffer.
- You can preset stations with names, and then switch between them using a dropdown.
- The interface is really slick.

Here's what could be improved:
- The filenames for repeat recordings should have the date in them to make it easier to pick from multiple recordings of the same show on the iPod. ID3 tags would be nice, too.
- There should be an option to record shows only on the weekdays. To record a weekday-only show, you need to set up five identical recordings, one for each day.
- The blue/red light on the unit glows like three night lights. Having it in my bedroom lights up the whole room. Where's the dimmer?
- It would be a cool feature to be able to schedule recordings remotely without using VNC.

Now if someone would only come up with a good time-shifting TV tuner of this quality for the Mac.

Re:Mt short review (1)

Peterkro (820540) | about 10 years ago | (#10485837)

Duct tape!

Re:Mt short review (3, Informative)

sam1am (753369) | about 10 years ago | (#10485905)

Now if someone would only come up with a good time-shifting TV tuner of this quality for the Mac.
Have you checked out El Gato's EyeTV [] line? I find it to be quite good [not perfect, but very good...] And Gaff Tape is better than Duct for those LEDs.

Re:Mt short review (1)

Peterkro (820540) | about 10 years ago | (#10485937)

Gaffer and Duct are the same thing where I live.

Re:Mt short review (1)

iJak (596848) | about 10 years ago | (#10485918)

You should look at EyeTV. The new Firewire EyeTV200 is great!

I don't see the big deal (1)

JeffTL (667728) | about 10 years ago | (#10485811)

Legal issues? Don't make me laugh. You can do the recording part with line-out/line-in, this just makes it more convenient (with scheduling) and adds pause/rewind

what about using internet radio stations? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 10 years ago | (#10485813)

I don't know how all this works.

But, if you want to record broadcasted music into a mp3 file, wouldn't it make more sense to rig your computer to record music being broadcast over the internet?

In fact, aren't there services that will broadcast songs at your request? I suppose you could record whatever songs you wanted with a service like that.

Too bad radio sux (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 years ago | (#10485826)

At least in my area, there is little on the radio id want to record anymore.. it it all pop/top 40 noise..

Even the so-called 'aternative' stations just keep repeating the same stuff... after 3 days you have heard it all..

Needs optical line in (1)

myrashka (452794) | about 10 years ago | (#10485830)

This way, I can record CD quality music (from SIRIUS none the less) off my dish network receiver.

RIAA website (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 years ago | (#10485838)

If I didn't already know they ( supposedly ) represented artists, by looking at their web page id swear they are just another attorneys office..

Man.. Good way to scare away business..

Mossberg disagrees (3, Interesting)

ThousandStars (556222) | about 10 years ago | (#10485856)

Walter Mossberg [] , a fairly influential tech writer for the Wall Street Journal, wrote a piece that said it wasn't ready for prime time. [] His final words are "For now, though, it's more of a curiosity, or a tool for radio enthusiasts with a good sense of station schedules and time to invest."

I'm curious (assuming the original writer is reading this) about how that writer would respond to Mossberg's criticism.

Re:Mossberg disagrees (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | about 10 years ago | (#10486285)

It seems too me that the main gripe about the thing is the software. The actual radio and hardware interface works well.

Instead of griping about it on /., would it be so hard to send a courteous email to Griffin [] offering useful suggestions for updating the software, as well as asking them to open up the API so that others can improve the user functionality?

Ah please... (2, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | about 10 years ago | (#10485914)

The RadioSHARK is a counter-attack on the recording industry and its draconian file sharing lawsuits.

No it's not. Its a radio receiver not a p2p app. Settle down. It is less of a threat to the evil RIAA than Audio Hijack Pro [] .

Of Little Actual Utility (1, Insightful)

occamboy (583175) | about 10 years ago | (#10485960)

It seems to me that it's pretty easy to do a better job of this already, without an actual radio.

Most good radio programming is streamed on the Internet. A lot of shows, particularly those on public radio, are even archived. And music services like Rhapsody allow one to pull up almost any tune imaginable.

A lot of this stuff is (pathetically) protected, so it can't be copied directly to a portable device: however, we all know that it's utterly trivial to use an audio-capture app (e.g., GoldWave for Windows) that will allow any protected stream to be captured. This takes a little time, but no more time than capturing a stream from radio. And no distortion from radio interference.

two major points... (4, Insightful)

rollthelosindice (635783) | about 10 years ago | (#10485981)

I believe that the RIAA is not that concerned about this product because of the quality of a radio broadcast. They don't mind people copying less than CD quality audio (or close to it with mp3). The source is low enough quality for them to allow it. However, Howard Stern might be upset about this (at least for the next 15 months before he moves to Sirius). People can now auto-record his show, and throw up a torrent file. It's talk radio so the quality won't be an issue. Shouldn't be long before the Stern downloads begin.

Too bad it's from Griffin. They're abysmal (2, Informative)

Quarters (18322) | about 10 years ago | (#10485990)

Bought a PowerMate for Windows soon after it was released. Mostly on their claims of game compatibility (think Tempest under MAME), and as a nice jog/shuttle dial for Adobe Premiere/After Effects.

The Windows drivers suck, to put it mildly. They don't use DirectInput, so there is no games support, regardless of what the marketing brochures and manual say, and the USB integration is so piss poor that every time you plug the PowerMate in it installs another copy of the drivers, regardless of how many previous copies might already be on the system. At first I though it was just mildly stupid and wanted a new driver for each USB port. Nope, it will reinstall/add drivers ad infinitum if you just keep plugging it into the same USB port.

Griffin acknowledged the problem to me in email about 2 years ago. Not after a long story from their engineer about how driver writing is "hard" and I should just be happy it works at all and shut up. They said 6 months out there would be better drivers. The version number hasn't changed from 1.5.2 in over 24 months.

It's a piece of junk and I suspect, based on other reviews I've read, that other Griffin products are of the same poor quality.

Tuner quality and sensitivity? (1)

sdo1 (213835) | about 10 years ago | (#10486023)

None of the reviews I've seen have really addressed the quality of the tuner section. It's abilities are rather pointless if the tuner doesn't have very good quality. I currently use a Cambridge Audio 640T [] if I need to record anything of importance off of FM. The sound quality is top notch (as far as FM goes), and the tuner is very sensitive.

Now I wouldn't expect the RadioSHARK to have the sound quality of a high-end dedicated tuner, but where does it stand? Is it great for convenience only or does it actually deliver the goods as far as sound quality goes.

Then again, I don't expect that any technology that relies on compressed audio (mp3) to have sound quality as a primary design goal.


Re:Tuner quality and sensitivity? (1)

Chairboy (88841) | about 10 years ago | (#10486113)

I would like to award you extra points for using 'quality' and 'FM' in the same sentence. Your contribution to humor has been duly noted.

FM is a tremendously degraded medium for audio. Saying you have a 'high-end dedicated tuner' is akin to bragging about how you filled your Geo Metro with super unleaded.

Re:Tuner quality and sensitivity? (1)

sdo1 (213835) | about 10 years ago | (#10486147)

No kidding. That's why I added "as far as FM goes". Yea, it's not good. Everyone knows that. But I want it to be as good as it can be. There's no point if the audio section of this product, including the tuner, further degrades the sound quality from what is possible from FM (bad as it may be from the start).


Re:Tuner quality and sensitivity? (1)

SlamMan (221834) | about 10 years ago | (#10486158)

Oh yeah, because we all know that MP3s always have less quality that an FM Transmition

Re:Tuner quality and sensitivity? (1)

sdo1 (213835) | about 10 years ago | (#10486265)

Well, no. MP3 can certainly sound better than FM. That's not at all what I'm saying. FM plus MP3 is lower quality than FM. FM plus a crappy tuner plus MP3 is lower quality still.

There's not a damn thing I can do about the FM source. It is what it is. MP3 is lossy, but it can be OK if treated carefully. So the other link in that chain that I can do something about if I want to record FM is the tuner. That's all I'm saying. Just because FM source sucks and MP3 sucks doesn't mean that I should ignore the FM tuner if I want the highest quality possible. The problems in the chain are cumulative.


"Had the balls"??? (0, Offtopic)

Thinkit4 (745166) | about 10 years ago | (#10486050)

I'm an elective eunuch, and frankly I'm just as bold as before. Just don't need to waste time with the hand.

a couple thoughts (4, Informative)

boschmorden (610937) | about 10 years ago | (#10486052)

I don't know if I could justify $69+s/h for a hardware device with no way to boost signal reception. If you already have a radio that has stereo out, you can cross connect it to your PC and use this software: Total Recorder [] . This enables you to schedule and encode the broadcast directly to any number of formats (mp3, aiff, wav, etc). It's only $12. This is from a Windows perspective, but I'm sure there is some Mac software out there that can do this.....but then again, if you listen to certain regularly syndicated radio show, you can snag eps of it from, I do this for Howard Stern.

But the BBC is already streaming H2G2... (2, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 10 years ago | (#10486179) there's no need for this gadget.

Paid for advertising? (0, Troll)

merky1 (83978) | about 10 years ago | (#10486212)

It might be just me, but this almost seems like a blatant add. What is the news content in this? We all ready had the press release, why do we need another kool-aid dose for this limited use toy?


Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486363)

We all ready had the press release, why do we need another kool-aid dose for this limited use toy?

Not to mention miglia had an AM/FM PCI card [] for practically forever.

Because it takes "balls" to release a product already cleared by the courts with the dogpile on the VCR manufacturers.

Just look at streamripper (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10486275)

...just in case there are Mac developers who'll port this useful piece of software.

This is not even remotely a new idea (2, Insightful)

nihilistcanada (698105) | about 10 years ago | (#10486314)

Unless you only have a Mac. I just threw out my old Dlink DSR R-100 a few months ago. Only FM but it worked. USB and recording too. But of course it was shaped like a regular attenna, not a fish's fin. Welcome back to 2002. 0488VF/102-8380307-0047352?v=glance []

A question for radioShark users (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | about 10 years ago | (#10486332)

OS compatability mentioned nowhere on the Griffin website. They just say Windows and Macintosh.

Does this thing have Mac OS 9 software?

I can't upgrade my current PowerMac to OS X due to memory constraints, and I certainly can't afford even a used Mac capable of running OS X decently.

Thanks in advance!
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