Because C.Crane Company does not make POGO Products RadioYourWay LX I would like to thank them for sending me this Digital AM/FM Radio Recorder to review. Without their support this review would not be possible. If you like this review and are interested in purchasing this Digital AM/FM Radio Recorder then please visit their web site for purchasing options.
MP3 players have recently become all the rage. Every company is trying to compete with Apple and their very successful iPod line of MP3 players. MP3 players have always lacked a very important feature. The ability to listen to the radio and record the radio on your MP3 player. POGO Products have released a new product that offers all that plus more.
- Automatically record radio broadcasts via a daily or weekly timer-function; totally unattended
- MP3 Recording- Easily transfer and archive your recordings to a PC or MAC with an available USB port
- Record from any audio source (CD, Cassette, or TV etc.) in MP3 format without the use of a PC!
- Playback MP3, WMA or RVF files
- Use RadioYourWay LX as a portable storage device for data files!
Most people love to buy music. We all have closets full of CD’s and computers full of MP3’s, but no matter how many CD’s and MP3’s we own, we will probably never have all the songs that we would like. That is why radio has always been popular. When we didn’t have the song ourselves then we turned on the radio to hear it. Most MP3 players neglect the radio because they make money by selling MP3’s. The RadioYourWay puts the radio back in our hands and we can once again listen to MP3’s and the radio on the go, without needing two separate devices.
The RadioYourWay not only lets you listen to the radio and MP3’s, but you can also easily record from the radio or from CD’s, tapes and any other source. The RadioYourWay has a built in radio recorder and you can schedule up to 10 timer recordings. To record from a tape or CD all you need to do is run a cable from the CD players headphone jack to the line in jack on the RadioYourWay. This way you don’t have to fight with a computer or crazy software. You can even select the quality of the recording by choosing the MP3 encoding frequency. You have a choice between 32, 64, 96, 128, 192 or 256 Kbps.
The RadioYourWay comes with 128 MB of built-in storage. This is a bit small and will hold about 20 – 30 MP3’s depending on their size. This is not really that much, fortunately the RadioYourWay allows you unlimited expandability. You do this by using the SD slot. Right now the largest SD card is 1 GB, but you can swap out SD cards and have unlimited space.
The RadioYourWay also sports a small internal speaker. This allows you to share your music with those around you.
The screen on the RadioYourWay is a simple 160 x 90 DPI LCD.
The design is very similar to the original Apple iPod. The front is rectangular with a screen on top and a central wheel that is used for the majority of the functionality. The RadioYourWay has several other buttons located around the wheel that are for things like switching from MP3 to the radio, recording the radio and seting a recording timer.
The left side of the RadioYourWay has a line in, headphone, and SD card slot. The Line in is so you can record from a CD or tape player, it also is used for a microphone, in case you need to record some voice. You can even put in a FM antenna in this plug. The other two are self explanatory.
The right side of the RadioYourWay has a volume, hold switch, and reset button. The hold button locks the keys so you don’t accidentally press a button. The reset button is for restarting the MP3 player if it freezes up. The RadioYourWay was very stable and never froze on me so I never had to use the reset button.
The bottom of the RadioYourWay contains only one mini USB port and several other little connectors. The mini USB port is used to transfer files from your computer and charge the MP3 player. The other connectors are used when you dock it in a cradle. The cradle is optional and so most people will not have it.
The RadioYourWay is very light. It only weighs about 3 ounces and most of that is the battery. You can tell because the bottom of the device is heavier than the top.
The battery for the RadioYourWay is built-in, and not easily replaceable. You can buy replacements, but in order to replace it you must unscrew the back of the device and unplug the battery from the device.
When you press the menu button you are given access to a ton of settings. You can set things like the time and date, this is necessary for setting up recordings. You can also set brightness of the screen, auto off, sleep timer, recording bit rate and more like that. There are so many options that you can easily get lost in the menus. Luckily you can easily press the menu button again to exit.
The RadioYourWay records both from the line in, radio, and from a built in microphone. Unfortunately, the RadioYourWay only records in mono. It would probably be better if you ripped your cds on a computer and then transfered them to the RadioYourWay. While the RadioYourWay is recording it cannot do anything else.
Setting a recording is a piece of cake. You cannot set a recording while you are playing a file. The best thing to do is either stop your current song or switch to the radio. To schedule a recording you hold down the timer button. You are presented with a lot of different options. You can choose the time, date, bitrate and many other things. Once you have those chosen you can save the schedule and start another schedule. You are allowed up to 10 schedules at a time. If you want an instant recording you can just press the REC button and it will start recording and it won’t stop unless you press stop or it runs out of memory or battery. While the device is recording a small red LED in the top right will light up.
While the RadioYourWay does take an SD card it does not support Ultra II SD memory cards. This is not normally a problem because you really don’t need the card to be fast. I never noticed any problems with a standard SD card. The RadioYourWay also only supports SD cards up to 1 Gig. Again this is not a problem because you can buy more than one and switch them out.
Pogo claims that the battery in the RadioYourWay will last up to 15 hours. To test this I set the device to play a single MP3 on repeat. I had headphones plugged in, so take that into account. The battery on my RadioYourWay lasted slightly more than the 15 hours. It lasted 15 hours and 12 minutes. This could be because the headphones don’t take as much power as the internal speaker or it could just be a fluke.
Copying files to and from the device is simple. If you don’t have an SD card reader then you use the mini USB port on the bottom. The RadioYourWay comes with 128 MB of built in memory.
Warranty and Support
POGO products warranties the RadioYourWay for 1 year. This is the same as the iPod. I still think that for a device that has no moving parts this is a weak warranty. The only parts that would wear out are the buttons and the screen. They could warranty the device for a lifetime and then warranty the screen and buttons for 1 to 5 years.
While you can buy an Apple iPod with 2 GB of memory for $199. It lacks all the other features of the RadioYourWay. In addition, the iPod offers no possibility for expanding the amount of memory. With the RadioYourWay LX you have unlimited expandability. All you have to do is buy more memory cards.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|