Digital Radio Developments

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Overview of some digital radio developments and recording and management tools

Radio Your Way

“It's bizarre that five years into the digital video-recorder era, you still can't buy a digital VCR for radio. Why has the electronics industry developed so many machines that let us time-shift Dr. Phil and "Saturday Night Live," but so few that do so for Dr. Joy Browne and "Science Friday"?Actually, there is one such device. Radio YourWay ( looks at first glance like a pocket-size (2.2 by 3.9 by 0.7 inches) AM-FM transistor radio, which, in part, it is. But it also contains a built-in timer, so that you can set up a schedule for recording radio broadcasts. Programming it is exactly as easy - or as difficult - as programming a VCR, except that it uses a military-style 24-hour clock instead of AM and PM designations. At the specified time, the radio turns itself on. It tunes in the station, records for the requested interval and then turns off.Once you've captured a show, you can play it back at a more convenient time (or in an area with no reception), pause it while you take a shower or a meeting, fast-forward through the ads, or even archive it to a Windows PC using a U.S.B. cable." ( )


"AudioFeast: Radio listeners looking for on-demand access to talk and music programs might want to consider a new Internet service that records radio shows. Like a kind of TiVo for Internet radio, AudioFeast can be set to save hundreds of shows, from "Washington Journal" to "Stamp Talk," and manage their transfer onto certain audio players. AudioFeast carries news, weather, business and entertainment programs from dozens of media partners, including National Public Radio, the Arts and Entertainment Network, and The Wall Street Journal. Operating until recently as Serenade Systems, AudioFeast also offers 100 music channels in 16 genres, including blues, jazz and electronica. AudioFeast costs $49.95 a year; a free 15-day trial is available at" (quote from


"Created by 35-year-old Canadian programmer Scott MacLean, TimeTrax allows subscribers of XM Radio's satellite radio service to record music off the radio, appending track title and artist information to each song. Fans of indie rock could, for example, cue their satellite radio receivers to an indie rock station, click on Record in the TimeTrax software, go to sleep, and wake up the next day with eight hours' worth of music by the likes of The Fiery Furnaces and Spoon. What's more, users can schedule the software to record a certain channel at a certain time, much the same way people can program a VCR or a TiVo to record a TV show while they're on vacation or at work. Right now the service only works with XM Radio on a device called the PCR, which the company sold so users could listen to satellite radio in their homes instead of just in their cars. Since TimeTrax came out, XM Radio discontinued the device, creating a lucrative market on eBay where the $49 retail units are selling for more than $350. MacLean says that the program has been downloaded about 7,000 times in the two weeks that it has been available. TimeTrax is on the forefront of what will likely be the music and technology industry's next world war: the recording of broadcast digital audio. "We're at the beginning of the next P2P," says Jim Griffin, CEO of Cherry Lane Digital, a music and technology consultancy. "Peer-to-peer is small by comparison." What has Griffin and others interested is the concept that when radios all broadcast digital music signals, programs such as TimeTrax will allow users to search for and capture songs similar to how they do it today with programs such as Kazaa. Instead of grabbing a song from someone's hard drive, users will pluck it from the air via a digital radio signal. It's a new situation, which in part is what makes TimeTrax such an interesting case." (quote from

Audio Xtract

"connects you to a database of Internet radio stations that can be sorted by genre or bandwidth. Once you've found one that appeals to you, just click on Record. The software enables the computer to record the material in the form of individual MP3 files and stores them in a folder. The files are named according to their content, making it easy to delete those - like commercials - you don't want. Because the contents are recorded as MP3 files, they can be played on computers and portable media players and burned onto CD's. Audio Xtract is $50 at" (quote from

Shoutcast aims to enable the setting up of streaming radio broadcasts on the internet, see