Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Portable Net Radio Goes on Sale

By Frank Barnako
From Market Watch
By the end of next year, you might be able to listen to any of thousands of Internet radio stations on your iPod or Zune.
Of course, Apple and Microsoft would have to buy into the idea by, perhaps, embedding Net radio technology being developed by two different companies. Both will show their ideas at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Cambridge Consultants will show its design in prototype. The Iona Wi-Fi portable radio could be built and sold for as little as $60, the British-based company said. "The hardware is programmable ... capable of supporting MP3, WMA, AAC, AIFF and WAV data formats," Cambridge said in a news release.
Additionally, Torian Wireless of Melbourne said it has both an existing product and a design for adding Net radio capability to other products. The company is taking orders for the inFusion on its Web site for $229. The device includes an FM tuner, has 16 presets, and can be used as a recorder. Last August, Torian's founder, George Parthimos, said he had hoped to have distribution in stores but now says that will happen next year. Torian also has developed a design specification to embed Net radio into other products, and it, too, will be on display at CES. "The Internet Radio Module allows manufacturers to add Internet radio functionality to products including home stereo systems, amplifiers, and portable boom box units," Parthimos said.

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