Audio, Radio, internet radio and podcasting trickery
July 13, 2005 While the world seems focused on television and Personal Video recorders, the technological leaps associated with podcasting and timeshifting audio/radio from different sources are often overlooked. One of the leaders in the field is Griffin Technology Inc., which has released some significant functionality for Mac, PC, and iPod. Among the company’s offerings are RocketFM (a wireless solution for broadcasting PC audio applications to any FM radio), radio SHARK (which adds an AM/FM radio to any PC and can record any AM or FM radio broadcast i.e. TIVO for radio), AirClickUSB Remote (a non-line-of-sight wireless remote control for PCs that allows users to control their computers from 20 metres away), BlueTrip (a wireless transmitter/receiver for broadcasting CD-quality audio from an iPod to a home stereo), SmartDeck Intelligent Cassette Adapter for iPod (which allows users to control their iPod using the built in controls of their car or home cassette player) and a beta software program entitled iFill. IFill is exciting because it streams mp3 files from thousands of free radio stations directly to your iPod while it is charging. You can choose several stations at once and select from many different genres. And since iFill goes directly to your iPod, it won't clutter up your hard drive with extra files.
RocketFM uses any available FM frequency to transmit music or audio through your home or office stereo system. Applications such as iTunes, GarageBand, video soundtracks and even streaming audio can be conveniently broadcast with RocketFM. RocketFM includes software for Mac and PC that presents a familiar and easy-to-use interface for tuning to any desired station. RocketFM costs US $39.99.
The radio SHARK
The US$69.99 radio SHARK adds an AM/FM radio to any Personal Computer and can record any AM or FM radio broadcast in real time. Like a TIVO or PVR for your television, the Radio Shark can also be programmed to record a scheduled show, or to ‘pause’ live radio so you can return to where you left off moments or even hours before. Favorite station presets can be set with the click of a mouse, and new stations can be scanned and tuned with ease. The application is also where you program Time-Shift Recording, either to take a break without missing any of a show or to record your favorite broadcast to listen to later. The radio SHARK connects to and is powered by USB. The fin-shaped device acts as an antenna and can be positioned for best reception and recording. Any recorded broadcast from radio SHARK can be transferred to any MP3 player.
The AirClickUSB Remote uses RF technology that allows users to control their computers from up to 60 ft. away. Users do not have to be in line of sight, making AirClick ideal for controlling applications remotely. RF signals pass through walls, so users do not even have to be the same room. The AirClickUSB remote is compatible with all Macs and PCs with a USB port, running OS X or XP. Each AirClickUSB package ships with a remote, a USB receiver, a software CD and a USB extension cable for maximum flexibility in receiver placement.
The AirClickUSB ships with the ability to control a number of popular applications, including: iTunes (Mac/PC), Windows Media Player (PC), PowerPoint (Mac/PC), Keynote (Mac), QuickTime (Mac/PC) and DVD Player (Mac). Future software updates will include additional applications. The Griffin AirClickUSB is US$39.99
BlueTrip delivers the pristine CD-quality sound that iPod users desire in a high-quality home stereo environment. Using Bluetooth technology, BlueTrip can transmit up to 30 feet away from a home stereo, without the traditional barriers of line of sight, walls, ceilings or windows that limit other remotes. With BlueTrip, users are free to roam and jam.
An iPod equipped with BlueTrip effectively becomes the ultimate remote, with every control immediately at hand, and any song available on a whim. The BlueTrip transmitter draws its power directly from the iPod, so no batteries or extra cables are required.
The BlueTrip receiver's stylish design makes it a welcome addition to any entertainment center. With RCA plugs as well as optical and mini-jack output, it can integrate into any stereo configuration.
"When I'm at home with my high-end sound system I want the best acoustic integrity possible from my iPod," said Paul Griffin, president of Griffin Technology, "Digital wireless Bluetooth audio is the answer. BlueTrip delivers the ideal home wireless solution, and it lets me keep my iPod close at hand."
SmartDeck Intelligent Cassette Adapter for iPod
SmartDeck allows users to control their iPod using the built in controls of their cassette player. Using patent pending sensing technology, the SmartDeck determines which commands the cassette player sends to the iPod.
SmartDeck is more than just a cassette adapter for iPod; it achieves truly seamless integration between iPod and cassette deck. Users can utilize the cassette deck's forward and rewind buttons to advance to the next or prior songs in the iPod playlist. In addition, pause and stop buttons do what pause and stop buttons are expected to do. When the user hits the cassette deck's Eject button or switches from Cassette to Radio, Griffin's SmartPlay technology automatically pauses the iPod.
Also, the SmartDeck will have the ability to control the iPod volume settings for optimal sound quality with your deck.
SmartDeck Features and Benefits:
• Control iPod navigation through the car stereo• Intelligent level control for optimal cassette player input levels• Features highest-quality cassete tape head for crystal clear quality• Sets optimal volume on the iPod for best audio quality• Seamless integration between iPod and car stereo
"SmartDeck is a major improvement over passive car cassette adapters," said Paul Griffin, President of Griffin Technology. "Customers tell us that they want an iPod cassette adapter. So we designed the coolest iPod cassette adapter with the coolest features we could pack into it. We made it intelligent."
Go directly to the iFill Beta page and download the software here.