About every other day there’s another new way to use your Mac to control your digital toys. Griffin Technology, makers of cooler than cool Mac accessories, won my heart again with Radio Shark and iFill. It’s all about control.
Why? Because the Mac truly is evolving into the hub of your digital iLife. Movies. Music. DVDs. Email. Browser. AddressBook. iCal. iSync. iPod. I think, therefore I am.
I am in favor of Griffin Technology’s toys for the Mac. That’s partly because I love gadgets, partly because I love gadgets that work like they should.
That’s a given so far as the Mac and iPod are concerned. It’s getting that way with Griffin. I’m doing my part to keep them in business.
Back to that ‘control’ thing. It’s all about control.
One thing that’s always bugged me about radio is the fact that I don’t have much control. There’s no TiVo for radio. I control the station, volume, bass, treble, and what else? Not much.
Some early morning drive time radio shows are excellent but I miss them often because of an erratic work and travel schedule. National Public Radio has a wide variety of excellent shows. Sorry. I miss half or more because I can’t listen when they’re aired.
Griffin to the rescue with Radio Shark. It’s like TiVo for radio. Radio Shark adds an AM and FM radio to a Mac (and PC) and lets you record any AM or FM radio broadcast in real time.
The new version of Radio Shark’s software also lets you record a scheduled show, pause ‘live radio’ and come back to that same spot later.
It’s the ultimate Time-Shift Recorder for AM or FM radio.
Radio Shark’s software controls all the radio and recording functions. There are even pre-sets so you can select a popular radio station with a mouse click.
From a hardware perspective, what you see is what you get. Radio Shark looks like a shark’s fin and connects to your Mac (or PC) with a USB connector.
Any radio broadcast (AM or FM, not Satellite like Sirius or XM) can be recorded to your Mac, transferred to your iPod, for true radio on the go. But it goes when you want it to go.
Just think of it as time shifting the radio, and moving all the radio’s programs to your iPod. Radio Shark records both AAC and AIFF so quality is roughly the same as a good radio receiver.
See? This whole ‘digital hub’ thing that Steve Jobs talks about include control. You get to control what goes in and out of your Mac, when you want.
Radio Shark is only $69 and usually available in a nearby Apple Store.
Griffin is one of the better Mac accessory makers. I have one of their little SightLight lights on each of my iSight cameras. And a PowerMate. And iTalk. And iMic. I’d have more but Carol gives me grief and calls me a ‘collector.’
I’ve also collected Griffin’s iFill. Think of it as a music collector. You like those radio stations in iTunes, right? The problem is you can’t play those radio stations in your iPod because you need to be connected to the internet.
Not with iFill. Griffin’s $20 software masterpiece lets you select from a gazillion internet radio stations and record them directly to your iPod while you’re sleeping and your iPod is being charged.
Then, when you wake up, a bunch of radio stations are available for playback on your iPod. Music, music, music, few commercials. True to-go music.
Are you getting the idea about control? iFill’s interface looks similar to the iTunes interface so you’ll get the hang of how it works very quickly.
Plug in your iPod to your Mac (or PC). Open iFill. Select the stations you want to record to your iPod. Click ‘record.’ Take a bath, watch TV, sleep. Wake up. Done.
Take your iPod wherever you go and the music is available from the iPod menu.
Quality will depend on the station you record, usually not quite as good as a CD ripped to iTunes and downloaded to the iPod, but very good, and very free. Click Here to take a look at iFill, and Click Here to look at Radio Shark.
Now, if we could just get the Griffin folks to do something about recording TV, getting it to iTunes, and into the new iPod with video.
Carol Mary Miller
Jack, you’ve got more toys than Santa. I’m glad you’re having so much fun. How about coming up with some Mac utilities that will help me run the household; while you’re toying around on your toys? Besides, you can’t spell. It’s G-r-i-f-f-i-n. No ‘e.’ I fixed. it You can thank me later.
Griffin is tops. I’ve got five or six of their accessories for Mac and iPod. In addition to iMic, Shark, iTrip, and SighLight, I’ve also picked up the AirClick. I don’t know how all these toys will stay compatible as Apple rolls out new Mac and iPod toys every few months.
Don’t worry about Griffin doing a TV time-shift device ala TiVo, Elgato already has one with EyeTV. It just needs to be integrated into a Mac mini or become part of an Airport Express AV.
Tera Jean Patricks
The full picture of the Apple version of the digital hub is becoming more clear. The idea is to exercise control over digital information and entertainment, regardless of the format. Mac, iPod, iLife—we’re getting there.
Back to RadioShark. AM and FM reception is poor, at best. Count on only the stronger stations coming in clearly. There’s a headphone jack which also doubles as an antenna extender but Griffin only mentions that in obscure Link. Do you live where there’s daylight savings time? Handle RadioShark with care as it doesn’t adjust recordings for DST. Nice idea, classy looks, needs version 2.5 on the software.