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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

Is There Such A Thing As A "usb Radio"?

Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:14 pm

I was thinking today that I could record songs off the radio to a cassette and then rewind, press play and, through the headphone jack to my computer's mic jack, record the songs into wav files and then to convert them to MP3. It is complex, bulky and there is like a loss of sound from the tape.

Then I came up with the idea of some little device, a digital FM radio receiver that plug into a USB port, which would be perfect for me. Then I thought it simply must exist anyway like all computer related things, but I have never seen one in the stores or online. I even checked for products and their reviews -- nothing. The closest was those standard MP3 players with radios and expandable storage, I do not care for those yet and they are expensive anyway.

Then I did a yahoo search and it turns out that D-link, which is known for networking technologies, made a product exactly like what I was thinking. However, the price was for six British pounds and the offering was posted in 2002. I figure it did not sell well in it's test market and that was why I could not find it anywhere.

How difficult is it to get some cheap yet operable digital radio and a random USB plug, write some program that will interface the device to output via the computer's sound card, merge them all together and voila, USB radio?

Here are some basics I would like (if any of you know anyone who could make this)

Product type: Radio receiver
Tuner type: Digital Radio tuning software
PC interface(s) supported: USB
Power: USB
Digital storage: None

In terms of OS capability, I think it should be just like those USB mini storage thingies, it would work in any OS. In addition, I wanted it so be small, no wires, just portable.

I was thinking of emailing Sony or some company and telling them I wouldn't mind paying more than 6 pounds just to get a custom made thingy -- can they do that, I donno, how much would it cost to make just one? It is not a new idea, per se.

Any ideas are appreciated, especially the products' availability.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 9:32 am

RE: Is There Such A Thing As A "usb Radio"?

Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:42 pm

D-Link made one a few years ago. You might find it on e-bay. I have one but it doesn't work with XP and I couldn't find any XP drivers.
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RE: Is There Such A Thing As A "usb Radio"?

Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:56 pm

Seems like a waste of time and money just to record FM. The quality will be horrible. There are other devices on PCI cards that can do what you want, but you still would be recording only FM.
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

RE: Is There Such A Thing As A "usb Radio"?

Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:25 pm

I know abou the D-link device, do they still sell them?

That link tech report was written in 2000, they said this:

>> "Note that there are actually two plugs coming out of the base; a USB and a phono plug that goes into the line in jack of your sound card. This is important, because it means the only USB bandwidth used by the device is for station changes and other PC-radio communication. Some people may not care, but the idea of using USB bandwidth for sound has always troubled me; I'm glad to see that D-Link kept the sound off the USB bus" <<

Is the in-line jack same as the microphone jack? I do not hav an in-line on my laptop but my mom's desktop does.

Most of ebay requires paypal and to have a paypal account, my bank takes 7 a month for the online service capability. I don't buy that much that often, let alone online. Ebay is guilty by association.

I don't mind FM, I've been a radio-cassette person since '91, I have never bought an album. What I have been doing is radio -> cassette -> WAV file -> MP3. The problem is that the cassette plays back 75% to 80% of the original radio sound, that is what I want to get rid of. Skip it and go from Radio to MP3. Digital radio is a Godsend, manual tuning was the pits, especially when you bumped the radio.

These other devices on PCI cards you spoke of, could you gimme an example so I can search for them?

The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.

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