Monday, December 24, 2007

Amazing Audio Assistant: Free content in convenient format, no fees required

A lot of the Christmas shopping buzz this year has been about digital this and i-that. Unfortunately, a lot of these digital gizmos cost at least $100. Consider iphone and PSP and Wii and digital cameras, pdas, smart phones, and various mp3 players. Not much in this category for the under $50 crowd. But wait, what is that cool silhouette in the corner?

This is a very cool palm-size, hand-held gizmo that I found for under$30. It delivers a non-stop music stream or current news, for weeks on just 2 AA batteries, with no subscription fees. It has a built-in clock and an alarm and operates in multiple languages. It comes with cool ear buds plus a speaker that is actually built into the device, no external pieces or cables required. And the whole thing is totally wireless.



In fact, it IS a wireless, the Grundig Mini 300 AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio available from Radio Shack. And very cool it is too. I bought one recently because I am trying to give up television (I was exposed to one too many commercials telling me I could drop dead at any minute--that's just not a good thing for a person to hear, over and over).

I tune this to my local NPR station most of the time (and yes, I should send them some money, but it's quite different from a subscription payable every month, or per download). I can get the evening news, without the death threats, and I am hooked on something called the Electro Lounge on WJCT (described as "relaxing, laid-back sounds of downtempo, nu jazz, reggae and dub").

I will post more of my adventures in radio later...but the point is, there's a whole world of content out there that is free, fun, educational, and not digital.

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