Earlier in the week, Apple announced that they would start selling an iPod radio accessory, to let you listen to radio on the go. We've got hold of one, and have written up our thoughts below. We think this is one of the first online reviews of the iPod Radio, so enjoy.
The main feature? Radio! A much missed feature, iPod users can now listen to the Radio hassle free, and without bulky accessories. It features RDS, the clever system that tells you the name of the radio station you're listening to. Reception appeared reasonable whilst we were using it; there were noticeable improvements in terms of sound quality if you bobbed your head from one position to the next. When you pop the remote in at the bottom, a menu item called 'radio' appears. It appears well integrated, and is smooth to use. The headphones / remote wire appear to act as the antenna.
The second core feature to this product, and perhaps of more use to some, is the remote. The Radio plugs into the port on the bottom of the iPod, and the headphones plug into the Remote (see pictures). It comes with another set of iPod headphones, with a slightly shorter lead. As an iPod user on the go, it's easy to throw it in a pocket / bag and get annoyed at having to pull it out to change tracks. Problem solved; play, pause, forwards, backwards, volume up, volume down and hold are all on a neat remote. Of course, it wouldn't be Apple without a shiny metallic back with logo.
(Updated) When we first played with the iPod Radio unit, we couldn't work out why you would only be able to get stations ending in an even number. Clearly, this was the USA setting, with the option to change it to other regions burried on a seperate menu elsewhere. Apologies for any confusion caused. Equally burried away is the feature to save presets, allowing you to scan through favourite stations quickly.
Marks out of ten?
Probably a high seven / eight. The iPod Radio, whilst a little hard to get used to, does do the job intended well. The remote is very useful, and makes a helpful addition for any iPod user. However, at Â£35.00, we can hardly say this represents good value for money.
Recommended to Apple lovers, heavy radio listeners. Not recommended to anyone on a tight budget. The iPod Radio works only with Video iPods and Nanos, and requires a firmware update.
Screenshot: Photos of the iPod Radio
* - we've contacted Apple PR, and will post their response when they get back to us.