TerraTec Noxon 2 net radio and iPod dock
Tune into a wealth of internet radio content
Internet radio is really what this product is all about and it's with this function that the unit really comes to life. Setting it up, there's a list of the most common makes of wireless basestation to choose from. Simply select yours from the list, enter your wireless password, and the Noxon goes online and searches for all available stations.
Terratec's Noxon 2: round the back
A full search takes just a couple of minutes, and then the Noxon has all that internet radio has to offer - the manufacturer reckons there's currently about 10,000 stations. Broadcasters are listed by genre and then by country. Selection and search is really fast - faster than it is on many computers. The sound over the net is of course dependent on the station's broadcast bit-rate, the speed of your internet connection and - most of all - the quality of the wireless link.
A function we really like is the dedicated Podcast search wizard. Again, this is listed by genre and then country and, like the station search, content is found and starts to flow almost instantaneously.
Yes, there are too many Podcasts out there now. Some of them take pointlessness and self-obsession to a totally new level, but there is some good content around, particular in terms of comedy, and the machine puts them all at your fingertips.
The Noxon's networking capabilities do not end there. The ability to link up to any existing media servers or computer on a home network is present, so the unit can play back any stored files. If a computer or media server is already network-enabled it should just pop up on the screen's menu. If not, the rather curiously named TwonkyMedia software can be loaded on to PC or Mac in a couple of minutes and you are ready to rock. It works by UPnP and is compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DNLA) standard too.
The real challenge for any internet radio device is to deliver the sheer amount of content available in a usable form. The Noxon 2 does this well and there's even a function to highlight new stations as they come on line. Despite some of its eccentricities - it's not the best-looking product on the market, and the screen read-out is a little blocky - the biggest compliment we can pay the Noxon is that we all wanted to take it home.