Internet radio is fast becoming an alternative to standard AM, FM, and Shortwave radio. It is actually a lot like satellite radio. You have access to radio stations from around the world and many of them are commercial free. So who better to harness these stations and bring them home than C.Crane, the maker of some of the best radios in the world.
- 99 memory presets
- Remote control
- Alarm clock
- Ethernet port
The CC WiFi Internet Radio can access thousands of radio stations from across the globe. The radio can store up to 99 presets, because there are so many stations it can take a while to find a station. So when you find a good one, it is important to make a preset.
The remote that comes with the radio is basic and small, but it has enough buttons to accomplish the task.
There is an alarm clock and you can set it to either play a buzzer or a radio station.
For connectivity you have a choice, you can use either a wired Ethernet port or you can use an 802.11b or g signal.
The music that the CC WiFi Internet Radio plays does not have to come from the Internet. The radio is capable of connecting to any share on a network and playing the audio files that are shared.
The radio is entirely black. The front consists of a large knob, 6 buttons, a single speaker and a small screen. Starting on the left, the top button is the power button, then there are back and replay buttons. The right side has another 3 buttons, the top one is Play/Pause and stop. Next are the fast forward and rewind buttons.
The back has an Ethernet port, headphone jack, line out port, and a power plug.
The menu system on the CC WiFi Internet Radio is full of features, but not really that easy to navigate, thanks to the small screen.
Setting up the CC WiFi Internet Radio is not very difficult. When you first turn it on you need to decide if you want to use a wired or wireless connection. If you choose to use a wireless connection you need to have a wireless b or g network available. For some reason the radio would not connect to my wireless router while I had WPA encryption enabled. I was only able to get it to work with WPA2, WEP, or with encryption turned off. I tried it on two different wireless routers and I had the same results, WPA did not work. It worked every time without any trouble when using an Ethernet cable.
The nicest thing about Internet Radio is that the signal strength is not dependent on how far away from the radio tower you are. The signal came in strong no matter what station I tuned into and no matter where it was located around the world. However, not all stations broadcast 24 hours a day, so you may need to change which stations you listen to throughout the day.
When you are ready to select a station you have several options, you can search by location (country), genre, or My Stuff. The first two options give you access to all the radio stations, however the last option gives you more. The My Stuff option works directly with the website www.reciva.com. Through the website you are able to setup lists of stations and streams and then access them through the radio menu.
With all the different ways of listening to music and the wide variety of content it would be nice if there was a way to record the audio. However, since there is no record option, recording could be done by an external device like the CC Witness using the line out port.
Playing media from a shared directory ended up being a lot more trouble than it needed. There are several options for finding music, but since all of my computers are Windows machines, I chose to search for “Windows Shares.” This selection scanned my network for all the computers that had shares. From there I choose the computer I wanted, and then the folder that had my music. The folder that I selected was only the top level folder. The radio would not let me go any deeper. After I selected the folder it started a music scan. The folder that I was scanning had about 8000 files in it so I expected it to take a long time. However, the radio would scan for about a minute and then stop. I never could get it to do a complete scan, so I created a folder with only a dozen files. The scan completed much more quickly, and I was able to play the songs. Once the scan is complete you have access to some additional features — you can setup a queue of songs, search your music by album or artist, and play the music. The only thing they need to fix is scanning large folders of music.
The built-in alarm clock is useful if you are going to use this on your night stand as an alarm clock radio. Since I don’t have an Ethernet port near my night stand and I could not get the radio to work with my WPA encryption (I could have switched to WPA2, but then my laptop would not connect) so it would not work as an alarm clock radio for me. A nice feature of the alarm clock is that if you have it set to play a radio station and the station is not available, it will revert back to using the buzzer.
Power usage is extremely low. While playing on a wired connection the radio only took up 6 watts of power. I got it to max out at 7 watts by turning the volume all the way up. When it is turned off it uses up about 5 watts of power, not a huge difference, but since it uses such a small amount of electricity to begin with, the fact that it does not power down all the way does not matter.
Warranty and Support
The warranty on the CC WiFi Internet Radio is a small one year parts and labor. However, I have never had a problem with any of the C.Crane products that I have owned, so it should last a lot longer. Support is also a little on the low side as well. To their benefit, each product web page has its own FAQ which should answer most of your questions. If the FAQ does not answer your question the only way to get help is to call them on the phone or email them. If your product is broken you can send your product back for repair, but if it is out of warranty then it will cost you some money. It would be nice if there was a forum or something where you could interact with the C.Crane support team and other customers, and then search through those questions to find answers. A live chat feature would also be nice if you just had a quick question.
The CC WiFi worked great when I could get a connection. It would be nice if it worked with a WPA network, but WPA2 will work for me. I switched all my routers to use WPA2 and now I don’t have any trouble. I am really happy with this radio and it serves it purpose perfectly. I am giving this our Silver award because it is a great product with very little wrong with it. If they manage to get WPA working then I will gladly give it our Gold award. The CC WiFi radio can be purchased directly from either C.Crane or Amazon.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|