Sunday, 30 September 2012

A World in Your Ear (1)

Internet radio; gotta love it!

I'm of the generation that fiddled with the shortwave dial in its callow youth, tuning in to faraway stations that faded in and out and changed frequencies frequently.  Despite the whining background noise, there was a feeling of connectivity, the wonder of listening in to something beyond the mundane offerings of local AM radio.

Well, that's well and truly history now.  Internet radio has been around for years, but the magic is somehow watered down when its pumped through a tinny laptop speaker, a pair of ear-buds on a tablet, or even a couple of plug-in speakers.

So I finally relented, well crumbled is more like it, at the sight of a reasonably priced combination Internet, DAB and FM radio.  It looks like a radio, and it sounds like a radio, sitting proudly on the bench-top, ushering in each new day with music, news and drama from whichever point on the planet currently takes my fancy.

And the truly weird thing is that even some local stations sound better via the Internet.  A lot of Auckland stations, for example, offer poor reception South of the Pukekohe hill, but now... no problem.

But the romance is still in those offshore stations.  On my favourites list:
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra.  The genres on offer here are comedy, drama and factual.  Here The Goon Show still plays, Dad's Army continues to defend the coasts of Britain and James Bond's Casino Royale features in a 21-part serialisation.  It doesn't get much better.
To be continued.


  1. Gavin, you didn't tell us what brand and model it is. Your only clue was the photo. Fortunately we are able to click on the image and find "cord Panorama". Then Google tells us where to find out more. It appears you had to swallow hard and get it from those guys two hours behind you, in Bayswater VIC 3153.

    At nobody has written a review of it yet. Perhaps you can be the first.

    The only shortwave station I still listen to is WWV.

    1. This radio is "DAB+", not compatible with Auckland DAB?
      But DAB would fade before fringe area mentioned anyway?

  2. LOL. Yes, Cord Panorama, purchased from JB Hi-Fi in Botany, out in Auckland's utter East. I haven't lived with it long enough to write a review... but first impressions - brilliant. Sound quality is very comparable to the Crosley or Tivoli Model One.

  3. In a shocking move Canada dropped DAB radio!
    Other "early adopter" countries wish they could drop it!

  4. This is the only internet radio I've been able to find in New Zealand. I've been umming and ahhing over buying one, as I can't find any reviews online.

    Have you had the chance to give it a good test yet?

  5. Very satisfied. Also now on the market in NZ is the Logitech UE Smart Radio - available at Harvey Norman.