Realising that the iPod doesn't come with an FM radio, one company, dmlj, wants to help you rectify the problem. Its solution is the iRadio a small device that promises to give you an FM signal to listen to via your iPod and even better, the option of transmitting your iPod signal to a radio nearby.
What's the catch? Well the device is a bit on the clunky side, and in practice it's just a radio that sucks your iPod's power.
About the size of a large box of matches, the iRadio offers a one-line display, scan buttons, independent volume control and the ability to store up to five radio stations. In fact the only thing that is stopping this device being a separate unit all together is that it doesn't have it own power supply.
The radio is fairly bog-standard and tuning in stations is easy. Reception depending on where you stand in the world, is fairly good and there isn't really much that excites. What can we say? It's a radio.
Trying to be more than it perhaps is, the iRadio takes advantage of its iPod parasite status and doubles up as a remote. This would be useful if it weren't for the rather short and thick cable that connects the two. The cable is supposed to wrap around the back of the unit in a pseudo cable tidy thing, but the cable is even too thick for this. We can't help thinking; Do you really need a wired remote for your music player that's in your pocket?
Finally the iRadio doubles up as a FM transmitter allowing you to listen to music stored on your iPod in your car or on the home stereo. As with previous FM transmitters we've tried, this works well in the countryside, but as soon as you venture toward a major city with its plethora of illegal music stations finding a permanent signal to lock on to becomes incredibly hard.
So this is a three-in-one device that promises lots. The trouble is, is that the three elements don't really mount up to much.
The remote is okay but not really that useful, as you still have to be near the device to use it. The transmitter only really works in the countryside and the flagship of the model, the radio, is just a standard radio that sucks power from your player without giving much in return.
This product was kindly loaned to us by iPodWorld.co.uk