This is a wonderful product that encourages listening to the radio. (February 22nd, 2005)
Product Manufacturer: Griffin Technology
Price: $69.99 MSRP
- Great design, easy set up, and great features.
- Minor interface oddities in the software.
Formerly the pinnacle of technology and home entertainment, the radio almost faded into oblivion after the arrival of the television. Internet radio almost gave it the final blow, but Griffin wants to bring radio back. The radioSHARK, a radically designed radio tuner, brings the airwaves right to your computer. Everything about the radioSHARK radiates class and sophistication. The packaging, the design and its quality are top notch.
The radioSHARK ships with a driver on CD and a printed manual. To ride the airwaves you just install the software and plug the radioSHARK into a USB port, and then you'll ride in style with the aptly named, shark fin shaped device. The physical quality is simply amazing with a solid metal base to keep the unit stable, the same white plastic we recognize from many Apple products and translucent stripes. When the radioSHARK is connected, the stripes sport blue lights and red lights when recording. The USB cable is long enough to position the SHARK for optimal reception (about 3 feet). FM stations are clear but AM reception is less perfect, though I doubt the radioSHARK is to blame. Simply repositioning the radioSHARK fixes most bad signals.
The software delivers on features and ease of use. I am not fond of the interface, because it doesn't conform to any known interface. It looks like a car radio and QuickTime were crossbred. The radio controls include manual tuning or automatic seek, a 10-band equalizer, and the capability to store your favorite stations for easy access.
The time shift function is the real killer feature, with which you can pause live radio, resume the show later to skip commercials, or use to search for interesting sections. You also have the power to record either in time shift mode or through the powerful schedule menu where you can plan your favorite shows throughout the week. Finished recordings can be automatically imported into iTunes in AIFF or AAC formats for easy transfer to your iPod or CD collection. A few minor improvements, such as the ability to better label exported files could be made and shouldn't take too much effort from the software developers.
All in all this is a wonderful product that encouraged me listen to the radio more often. The radioSHARK is highly recommended and is well worth the price.
Requirements: Mac OS X 10.2.8+ or Windows XP, USB port
Posted by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor