May 3, 2009 Taiwanese-based Agios Technology Company has spent two years developing the Podio - a portable digital Hi-Fi player made specially for bikes, but not exclusively. The cylindrical, pocket-sized music machine has been designed to produce a clear, natural sound, which is intended to be listened to without the need for earbuds.

The Podio, which stands for "portable audio", has a proprietary microamp and a full-range Foster speaker adapted from speakers normally fitted into notebooks and palmtop devices. It has 2GB memory capacity, USB 2.0 transfer capability and is compatible with MP3 and WMA players.

The Podio has speakers at the front and control buttons at the back and its exterior is a highly polished metal shell, which is available in red, gold or black. The high-capacity battery offers between nine and 20 hours listening time (depending on volume) in speaker mode and up to 60 hours if using earphones.

It takes six hours to charge using a USB port and delivers 94 db via a 1.5 watt amp, with total harmonic distortion of just 0.15 percent. The Podio also features a sleep shutoff mode, which reduces the volume of the music by half after 30 minutes and then switches off completely after an hour.

The Podio can be worn around the neck, carried in your pocket or attached to your bike handlebars. The anodized metal case ensures that the machine is water-resistant, so it's safe to take it to the pool or use in the bathroom. It's also built for any outdoor activity and is an ideal companion when camping or hiking.

It can be used in temperatures of between 14 F and 122 F, (-10 C and 50 C), measures 3.4” x 1.5” x 1.5” (88 × 37 × 37 mm) and weighs about 5 ounces (139 grams) – so it is light and compact enough to take just about anywhere.

See Podio for more details.

Jude Garvey