Freecom MusicPal Wi-Fi Internet Radio - Freecom MusicPal

By Jonathan Bray

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

You can also subscribe to a RSS feeds - the BBC News home page, for instance - and have headlines scroll across the screen as you listen. The MusicPal has comprehensive alarm features too, so you can use it as a rather high-tech clock radio if you want. And you can set the clock to synchronise with an Internet time source, so no more excuses about being late and no need to worry about having to reset the time when the clocks go back and forwards in the spring and autumn.

Internet radios are typically quite complex to navigate because there are so many stations, but Freecom's MusicPal provides an elegant solution to the problem. You don't get a succession of numbered buttons as you do with so many other DAB and Internet radios; I find it impossible anyway to remember which station is associated with which button. Instead you simply press the Fav button on the front panel and up pops a list of radio stations you listen to frequently. Creating the list is simply a matter of 'tuning in' to the station you want, then clicking the Navigate wheel and choosing the Add to favourites option.

And this ease of use is reflected in other aspects of the MusicPal's control system. The key to it is simplicity: all that's needed to control the MusicPal is a couple of clickable dials on the front. There's one for the volume and one for navigating up and down lists, plus there's a pair of buttons: one to bring up the favourites list and the other for accessing the menu. It's not as easy as navigating a DAB radio with its simple sequential dial, but before too long you'll be navigating to radio stations across the world, from Bulgaria to Japan.

Mentar

January 11, 2009, 4:10 am

Good review, but there are a few points that are worth mentioning.


MusicPal now has WMA playback so can play BBC radio channels. The update for it will be retrieved the fist time time you connect it to the internet which is a very straight forward process. I bought this a few weeks back for just under 30 pounds and think it's an absolute steal. Hooking it up to your hifi and DLNA server (eg Tversity in Windows or MediaTomb in Linux) will allow you to listen to your entire music collection, and you won't need to have a PC other than your main server running. Furthermore there is a windows and a pocket PC app that will allow you to remote control the device a pc/pocketpc or you can use any web browser capable device. It is not as sophisticated as the SlimServer as it you can only choose to play the favourites can be a way to build a cheap multi room music system for a fraction of the cost of Sonos or even SlimServer based solution. On the bad side, it does however seem to lock up at times, which although rare is rather annoying as you have to cut power to the device and bring it back online.

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