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RadioShark Is Vaporware No More 278

DLWormwood writes "Well, after acquiring a reputation for being 'vaporware of the year' from Wired News, MacCentral is reporting that Griffin Technology's radioSHARK is finally shipping. Now maybe I can finally get some sleep while Dr. Demento is recorded by my Mac late at night..."
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RadioShark Is Vaporware No More

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  • ...and the headline even said that it's not Vaporware!
  • by TheOtherAgentM ( 700696 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @01:59PM (#10385715)
    Their site is VaporWare. Anyone got a mirror?
  • Act now! (Score:4, Funny)

    by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:02PM (#10385737) Homepage
    Now maybe I can finally get some sleep while Dr. Demento is recorded by my Mac late at night...

    At least for the 7-10 days that they're up, before Tandy sues them back into vapor.

    Free gmail invites [slashdot.org]
  • time shifting? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <aaaaa@@@SPAM...yahoo...com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:02PM (#10385739) Journal
    is time shifting the new buzzword for recording?
  • hmmmm.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:02PM (#10385743)
    radioShark eh? does it eat pirates?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The pastey nerd stereotypw will never die.

    (scurries off to go watch Firefly on suped-up Tivo)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:03PM (#10385757)
    ...will they say the RadioSHARK has jumped the Fonzi?
  • by no haters ( 714135 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:03PM (#10385758)
    I don't know about other people, but for me, the radio is something that helps to pass the time when I'm doing something else. I listen to the radio when I'm driving my car, when I'm cleaning my house, when I'm having dinner, occassionally. Granted, I wish I could catch "Prairie Home Companion" more often, but oftentimes many broadcasts that are one-time appearances like that are available online after the fact anyway. Do people see a strong demand for an item like this? At $70? Only available as hookup to your PC?
    • by saundo ( 312306 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:11PM (#10385855)
      There's likely to be a great deal of demand for it. Sporting events broadcast by radio, your favorite DJ's zaniness, or in my case, not being able to listen to Fox Sports Radio because I'm still at work but wanting to catch Steve Czaban's show sometime later.

      The "when I'm doing something else" part doesn't change, it just makes it more convenient for me to listen to something interesting when I want to.
      • by gsfprez ( 27403 ) * on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:36PM (#10386142)
        I want to listen to Jim Rome.

        I want to listen to John and Ken in Los Angeles.

        I can do that with this, because otherwise, i cannot listen to the radio while at work.

        there are tons of people - esp. TiVo owners - that often move their hand toward the radio knob in their car wanting to jump back and hear what was said... but then realize that they can't.

        Now, if the radio shark makes the "ga-bluck, ga-bluck" TiVo button sound - i'll pay even more for it.
        • I'm not arguing with your point that this device is indeed useful, but as for your question of how else could you listen to John and Ken, you can record radio off of internet streams very easily, and if you know how to use schedulers or shell script you can time shift just as easily.

          Now Howard Stern, with his no-internet-streaming BS, is another matter.

          • A couple of easy steps if you have a linux server.

            1. Download and install brag. It's available [freshmeat.net] with RPMs for easy installation.

            2. Add this cron entry: brag -s news-server -g alt.binaries.howard-stern -a '*CF*'

            3. For convenience's sake, add this as a cleanup cron entry: mv /root/.brag/news-server/alt.binaries.howard_stern/ finished/*.mp3 /home/user/stern (customize that last path for your own installation)

            4. Oh, and this other cleanup cron entry- rm -rf /root/.brag/news-server/alt.binaries.howard
    • I agree. About all I want to listen to on the radio is Car Talk, and I can download all of those. There's really nothing compelling on the radio any more. Hell, if I want somebody else picking music for me, I use launch.com, which for $36/year, gives me unlimited, CD quality (better than radio), ad-free, DJ-free music in a ton of different formats, or as my own personal station. I think that radio's time has really come and gone.
    • Some people actually listen to sporting events, local news, commentary, etc... Actually... that's all I use my radio for anymore, if I'm going to listen to music I'll play my own thank you.
    • Every Howard Stern fan with a computer will want this. Seriously. If Griffin is smart, they'll start taking out ads on his show. They'll sell millions of them.

      Imus fans are too old and bitter to hook anything up to their computers.
    • Think of it as a Tivo for your radio. I'd be surprised if a product with this sort of functionality hadn't already been invented before, the ability to set a device to begin recording at a certain time has been around since VHS and Betamax was invented. It also strikes me as a bit of a novelty not having to have an internet connection to get content.

      Up to now I've been content to use the BBC's website to hear their radio on demand, but now I can have the joys of NPR, Free Speech Radio, Air America etc. wh

    • Too bad they don't have a version of it that does shortwave (aka Worldband) radio also. Then you could record shows from, say, Australia at 3AM your time or if you were a HAM you could set it to record a period when someone you are waiting for to transmit.
    • My personal list:
      Air America
      Baseball Games that are not televised
      I'm sure I'd think of others
    • I got so tired of waiting for the radioSHARK that I ended up cobbling together the equivalent; I bought a Griffin iMic and hooked it up to a D-LINK USB FM Radio (DSBR-100), now discontinued. It requires both of the USB ports of my powerbook.

      I use it to record Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and A Prairie Home Companion each week, which then gets burned as mp3 files to a CD-RW that play in my car's mp3 player. It's great to listen to the NPR weekend programming as part of my daily commute. It's all don
    • Do people see a strong demand for an item like this?

      I'm blessed to live in Austin, where there is much great radio. I don't get a chance to listen to it as much as I want to. So, yeah, I'd get one of these things. I'd set the thing up to record Blue Monday [kut.org], Left of the Dial [kut.org], Eklektikos [kut.org], and all the rest of the great radio shows that I miss every week.

      If you have any stations with really great DJs, you'd want to record their shows just for posterity.

      I dunno about the $70, though. I think $45 is a bette

  • Rhymes with Steve-O (Score:5, Informative)

    by jea6 ( 117959 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:03PM (#10385759)
    From their vaporized web site:
    • What is Time-Shift Recording?
      Simply put, time-shift recording allows you to pause a live broadcast and return to it moments -- or even hours -- later and continue exactly where you left off. (it's a lot like a popular TV accessory whose name we can't say...but rhymes with Steve-O.)
  • by Bin_jammin ( 684517 ) <Binjammin@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:03PM (#10385760)
    Seems like too little too late for me and radio. After the corporate buy-outs (Clear Channel, I'm looking at you) the blandification of radio pretty much turned me off from turing radio on. If I could find a station I wanted to listen to, it would probably not entice me to buy another radio to listen to it. If this product had been around 5 years ago, it would have been the latest and greatest. As it is, it's just the lastest. The tech behind it is cool, and it seems like a great product. Commercial free radio would be great, but these days it seems like the songs are the breaks in between the commercials, and not the other way around. Alas radio, you've died at the hands of top 40, and the funeral march will be performed by top selling artists. You sure do look nice in that beige suit though.
    • If I could find a station I wanted to listen to, it would probably not entice me to buy another radio to listen to it.

      A way to timeshift broadcast radio doesn't have a lot of appeal for me either, but I also enjoy Dr. Demento and none of my local stations carry the show. What I need is a way to timeshift streaming audio. Anyone know of something?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well, since your username is introverted, perhaps you really don't know.
        But there has long been an open source project called StreamRipper that does this, and not only does it, but does it better than the various --and there are already quite a few-- commercial products that do the same.
        If you have the bandwidth, and hard drive space you can easily run a dozen or more consoles simultaneously all ripping 128Kbps and higher MP3 in near real time around the clock and with ID3 tags. Interestingly though
    • by RPI Geek ( 640282 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:27PM (#10386035) Journal
      Try finding a small independent radio station, or a college radio station. They tend to have good programming and the Top40 music is occasional rather than the rule. One of my favorite radio stations is 102.7FM WEQX [weqx.com] (Manchester VT, but I can hear them in the Albany NY area just fine) simply because they don't pump out the same crap over and over.

      91.5 WRPI [wrpi.org] plays a lot of eclectic and oftentimes strange music, and they aren't corporate slaves.

      88.3 WVCR [wvcr.com] "The Saint" plays mostly hit music during peak hours, but other than that, you can hear just about anything: classical, folk, rock and rap sometimes within a few hours, especially if you're up for some sleepless night.

      The bottom line is that there are a handful of radio stations that are actually doing very well without ClearChannel's meddling. Try finding one of these because they're actually enjoyable to listen to, and you might find that it's better than listening to your music collection over and over. Or try finding a local NPR station. Or listen to any given AM station, they can be pretty damn funny sometimes, especially when they're trying to be serious.
      • 91.5 WRPI plays a lot of eclectic and oftentimes strange music, and they aren't corporate slaves.

        Wow, that takes me back and makes me smile.

        Long ago and far away I used to play strange music on WRPI.


        BS Physics '82

  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:03PM (#10385764) Journal
    I can't wait to get a RadioShark, record Coast to Coast A.M. every night, and then listen to the cavalcade of freaks and weirdos on my iPod while driving, walking, exercising and so on.

    For internet broadcasts, I'll still be using iRecordMusic to bring shows like This American Life and The Savvy Traveler into my iPod via iTunes on my Mac.

    Good thing that 120GB external hard drives are on sale at Office Max this week!
  • Misread (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:04PM (#10385771)
    Did anyone else read this as Radio Shack...?
    • I did. Vaporware? I've had a Radio Shack down the street for years now.
  • by ARRRLovin ( 807926 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:05PM (#10385777)
    .....is said to feature a "fricken laserbeam". When asked to comment on the new feature, Paul Griffin (CEO of Griffin Technologies) said, "Every 'former vaporware of the year' ( he said using finger quotes) device deserves a warm meal." He then raised his ring laden pinky to his lower lip and let out a dasterdly chuckle.
  • by reiggin ( 646111 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:07PM (#10385810)
    How is this an "Apple Story?" It's clearly PC or Mac, not just a Mac device. What's the reason for putting this in the Apple section of Slashdot?
    • Re: My Bad (Score:3, Informative)

      by DLWormwood ( 154934 )
      How is this an "Apple Story?"

      Mostly historical reasons, this product had most of it's buzz a year or so ago in the Mac blogspace. Also, the company has mostly focused it's marketing and products to Macs in particular. I've added a comment with some more info about the device below, since the radioSHARK page got /.'ed quickly.

      The only other category that this would have fit under was the general "Index," but my submission seemed too much like an ad to me to warrant the front page. (Yes, I've been hanging

    • by Zebbers ( 134389 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:29PM (#10386059)
      Look at the picture. It's much too curvey to work with a regular pc. With those lines, it must be applelicious.
    • From the FAQ Section:
      "What file format does radioSHARK use to save recordings?

      The radioSHARK will record both AAC and AIFF files on the Mac. You can select which one you would like in the radioSHARK application."

      I tried to look for a definitive answer but i believe it is a MAC ONLY product at this time, hardware wise you might be able to plug it into a PC but software wise i think they only have a Mac version at the moment. PLEASE correct me if I am wrong, I would like to know if I can use this on my PC
      • Durrr... (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) *
        I'll bet it's usb-audio + usb-hid device. It better damn well work on a PC or Mac. Reason being I wouldn't put it past Griffin to develop or pay for the development of a whole usb protocol and drivers that is hardened for precise timing required for realtime audio... the pre-existing standard and chipsets are the way to go... just have to write the application software that makes it easy to use. They'd use "buttons-n-dials" from usb-hid standard to control the tuner.

        Side note: Why do Mac people insist on c
  • by DLWormwood ( 154934 ) <[wormwood] [at] [me.com]> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:08PM (#10385827) Homepage
    ...though it is a bit expensive ($70) come to think of it. I still plan on getting one, however. My iMac doesn't have an audio-in, and this device appears to send the recorded data over USB. I don't have cable, so I never got a TiVo, but now I can experience something similar. Staying up late for the Funny Five wrecks my return to work on Monday mornings.

    I might start listening to more NPR too, since I've had bad luck listening to their Internet broadcasts. I better curb my enthusiasm, I'm starting to sound like a Griffon shill...

    Wow, I'm batting 3 for 3 on getting accepted submissions, anybody have a longer streak?

    • I might start listening to more NPR too, since I've had bad luck listening to their Internet broadcasts

      Have you checked Shoutcast lately? Remember the old days when, in order to get NPR via streaming MP3 you had to look up a station at current.org that streams in MP3? Well, after the McDonald's hieress died and donated what, a trizillion dollars to NPR, they can be found on Shoutcast with like 56 of 157628 listeners! Your troubled NPR streaming days are over. (Just checked, and they are currently at 0/966
  • by MacGod ( 320762 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:09PM (#10385828)
    It's cool to see this finally released. Sadly, they upped the price. Originally it was supposed to be $50US, but Griffin's site now lists it as $70. Does inflation apply to products before they actually exist?
    • Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Please see this archive of the earliest RadioShark page, with the price listed:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20040110095549/www.gr if fintechnology.com/products/radioshark/
  • by mrhandstand ( 233183 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:09PM (#10385841) Journal
    The radio airwaves will never be safe again. The RadioSHARK adds an AM/FM radio to any Mac or PC -- but that's just the beginning.

    The RadioSHARK can record any AM or FM radio broadcast in real time. You can also program it to record a scheduled show, or to 'pause' live radio so you can return right where you left off moments or even hours before (See 'What is Time-Shift Recording?' sidebar above).

    RadioSHARK includes a full-featured application that controls all radio and recording functions. Favorite station presets can be set with the click of a mouse, and new stations can be scanned and tuned with ease. The application is also where you program Time-Shift Recording, either to take a break without missing any of a show or to record your favorite broadcast to listen to later.

    The RadioSHARK connects to and is powered by USB. The fin-shaped device acts as an antenna and can be positioned for best reception and recording. Any recorded broadcast can be transferred to an iPod or any other AIFF-compatible digital music player to replay on the go.

    RadioSHARK gives you control of how and when you listen to your favorite radio shows. Dive in today and take a bite out of the airwaves!
  • Finally! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gamlidek ( 459505 )
    Now if only my car radio could have a cool tivo-like feature. I've often been listening to something on NPR or whatever and found myself lost in a thought for am oment only to snap back to reality missing some detail... oh man-o-man. How cool would that be? Although, it would be weird driving and constantly 'boop'ing back to listen to things you missed and I imagine that would only add to the number of bad drivers... or maybe add it to the stearing wheel...
    • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by killjoe ( 766577 )
      For me it would be cool for me to record the songname and the artists. I listen to a lot of collage radio and I hear a great song but I have to leave the car before I know what it is.
      • http://www.yes.net has information from a lot of major markets. If you know the general time and station you can often find the song/artist there.

        Might not apply to college radio though, unless it was a big college station.
  • Yuck (Score:3, Informative)

    by bentfork ( 92199 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:10PM (#10385849)
    "Any recorded broadcast can be transferred to an iPod or any other AIFF-compatible digital music player to replay on the go."
    AIFF? thats so 1994

    I would rather have one of these opensource firmware mp3 player w/ radio reception / transmission [neurosaudio.com]

    • I have one. Great player. However the radio was a huge disappointment. I get the local NPR affiliate but not my favorite local music station. General poor reception from the FM.
  • vaporcomments passing thru vaporsite.

    Get us a smoke and pass along...

  • by Redshado ( 790009 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:18PM (#10385940)
    For $70 dollars I can buy a Hauppage Win-TV FM, $10 dollars more I can add Hauppage's radio time-shifting software. So, for a net cost of $10 dollars more I can have all the benefits of the RadioShark and a TiVo, or even better, run it under Linux and MythTV/MythRadio and have it all for the same cost.
    • I'd say the interesting part is that this thing is available for a Mac unlike your solution.
    • Cause this one does AM too. My wife like AM radio. (Don't know why but she does and I love her, so that's important.)

    • You don't get AM, which is what I would imagine a lot of this would be used for (think talk radio).

      My biggest complaint is it doesn't do MP3 (only AIFF). I have a portable CD player that does MP3's on CD, which is where I would be transferring this too. I guess I could transcode, but since AM radio already has such poor quality, I'm not sure I would want to do that.

      • My biggest complaint is it doesn't do MP3 (only AIFF). I have a portable CD player that does MP3's on CD, which is where I would be transferring this too. I guess I could transcode, but since AM radio already has such poor quality, I'm not sure I would want to do that.

        AIFF is a container format, not a compression scheme. The "poor quality" of AM radio is probably why Griffin didn't bother to include a MP3 compressor in the device. Even at full 44.1/16 CD-level sampling, audio data can easily move across U

  • Geee! If slashdotters get to read the article, where is the world going to????
  • I was annoyed by the fact that the stupid DJ chatter overlapped the beginning and/or the end of the songs I really liked.

    Do they do this on purpose to foil attempts at recording/reproduction?

  • Linux drivers (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) * on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:26PM (#10386015) Homepage Journal
    Are there Linux drivers? If not, is the company willing to provide a spec for the USB commands to control it, so that a Linux driver can be written?
    • Re:Linux drivers (Score:4, Informative)

      by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) * on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:19PM (#10386591) Homepage Journal
      Within minutes of posting this request, an employee of the company let me know that there will be an SDK for software developers, probably available within the next week. He also said that the device is easy to control using HID and Audio class drivers, so that a specific Linux driver is probably not necessary. Just an application. I'll order a RadioSHARK and try to write one.
  • by Dareth ( 47614 ) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @02:26PM (#10386018)
    This would be the perfect thing for the beach.

    The only thing that would make it better, NO NOT FRICKEN LASERS, would be if it could have waterproof speakers and play the Jaws theme music while it swims around.

  • Correct me if I am wrong, but there are tuner cards since I don't know when that are perfectly capable receiving radio (like my Miro PC TV Pro).
    Of course, none of them is shark-fin shaped, but does it really matter?

  • AfroPop Wodrldwide [afropop.org] and Jim Svejda [wmnr.org]

  • I,

    Used to enjoy Dr. Demento but alas I'm not as patient any more and find myself very rarely surfing radio stations.

    If you go to the Dr. Demento website they specifically state that their "network" will not allow them to just list the stations that carry the show.

    Anybody know what station Dr. Demento is played on in the San Jose, CA market? Would others in other markets like to chime also?

    How stupid of a marketer do you have to be to not tell your customer where they can get the product. It leaves me
  • My WinFast TV2000 XP tuner card has been able to do that for years now. It also cost 20 dollars less AND is also a TV card!

    But it doesn't look like a shark, and to Mac-heads, appearance is more important than utility.

  • This would have been cool, but since ClearChannel and Infinity bought up all of the stations, I swear, turning in any given radio station is like listening to a time-shifted version of any other radio station on the dial.

    Wake me up next time there's diversity on the dial, and I'll get one of these.
  • The Doctor Demento comment got me all nostalgic as Mr. Demento's no longer broadcast in my area.

    So my 1st thought was "Maybe there's a netcaster for his show", but when I checked out the manufacturer's site, there's no mention of Net broadcast capabilities.

    Does anyone know if it supports such things?

    For that matter, I couldn't see whether it supports coax hookups or not. $70.00 is pretty expensive for an antenna-only device, particularly when a large portion of their target audience can probably ge
  • Of course I can always plug in my short wave radio to my computer and listen through the speakers.
  • It ain't vaporware until people actually receive shipments. I don't think anybody has yet.

    Mine has been on order for about 14 months. They told me they'd ship mine in a couple of days, a couple of days ago - and when I told them that my address has changed, they said they'd ship in 5 to 10 days.
  • The MacCentral article says...

    Recordings are automatically synchronized to iTunes so you can transfer files to the iPod.

    It doesn't mention if the product can actually play the live radio broadcasts through iTunes, only the recordings. For someone using the AirTunes [apple.com] function of AirPort Express to play music on their stereo systems, it would be important to be able to listen to everything through AirTunes, and not just what has been time-shifted.

  • So when is somebody going to make an AM/FM receiver for iPods?
  • What is the audio quality of a song delivered by FM radio signal relative to a music CD or, say, 128-bit mp3?

    Can radio "time-shifting" become the new, er, "file sharing" in an age when music is under pressure to be, well, "paid for"? ;-)

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson