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Intempo Rebel DJ and ad-zapping FM radio

Most definitely with a cause

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Review Ever wanted to tell Chris Moyles to shut his piehole? Or longed for Christian O'Connell to get permanent laryngitis? Intempo’s Rebel radio records all your favourite FM stations and cuts out all the DJ drivel and adverts.

In a compact glossy package - it measures 195 x 80 x 70mm and weighs in at 1kg - the Rebel is a standard FM radio, but with the added twist of recording the most-played tracks on a given station. It then makes them available for transfer to an SD card, Memory Stick or MP3 player, as 192Kb/s MP3 files - all for free.

Intempo Rebel FM radio

Intempo Rebel: a bright future ahead - if the music industry doesn't get wind of it

First things first: if the FM reception on this product was dodgy then the whole concept would fall down. Happily, things are OK from the off, with a good long FM wire antenna in the box, and good reception - albeit not the most sensitive we've heard. However, the sound quality is good, with surprisingly natural, clear audio.

Controlling the Intempo is very straightforward thanks to a single push-button array that covers every option.

The next step is to turn the volume down and let the Rebel work its magic. Intempo suggests you initially leave the product on for at least 12 hours to allow it to fill its 40-track memory with good quality recordings. We found that it was best to leave it for longer than that, because if a station jingle or bit of DJ drivel does make it onto the recording and subsequently a less disrupted version of that music track becomes available, the Rebel automatically records the new version and discards the old one. Once full, the product will also start to delete files on a first in, first out basis.

And it works. Give the Rebel 24 hours, and you'll end up with a nice bunch of good, clear nonsense-free recordings.

To work its magic, the Rebel uses Popcatcher technology. Popcatcher was developed by the Swedish audio company of the same name, and it made the technology available to other manufacturers last year. It uses a Blackfin Analog Devices 16/32-bit processor, which is used to filter the broadcast stream for unwanted promotional messages and verbiage, and to separate out the 'clean' songs into separate tracks.

Once the unit has filled its boots, there are several different ways to listen to the recordings. Turn the volume back up and the unit will automatically play the songs it has recorded. Again, sound quality is satisfactory, and you can scroll through the songs using the tuning buttons on the top of the unit. Only drawback here is the lack of any track information - apart from the number of the track that's playing.

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Next page: Verdict

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