Saturday, December 03, 2005

A new type of radio that brings podcasting to non-geeks

Worldwide, broadcast radio is being forced to dumb-down due to commercial pressures. Top 40 music radio predominates. Indie music is very difficult to hear. Information-rich content is getting rarer.

Here in South Africa, the only real information channel -- SAfm -- is turning into a talk-radio station.

So what's the answer?

Podcasting, of course. To those with computers, podcasting has been a viable reality for a good year or more. The concept is simple. Download your specific-interest radio show to your own computer, and listen to it whenever you want, on whatever device you choose. You can listen on your computer. Or you can transfer it to your MP3 player.

But this option is something only geeks have been able to embrace.

Until now, that is. Penguin Radio and Solutions Radio have created a standalone internet appliance that receives podcasts. It looks like a radio, and behaves like a radio. And it doesn't need a computer. So old fashioned people can enjoy podcasts as if they were traditional radio shows.

The device is called WEB RADIO. You plug it into an existing network point (so you DO have to be a BIT geekish, I suppose). And then you subscribe to content from, viewing the information on the device's screen.

WEB RADIO retails at US$239, and you can find out more about it at

And the best thing about WEB RADIO? It doesn't matter if you're ten minutes late for your show, cos you decide when you'll press play. Groovy huh?


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