Intempo Rebel DJ and ad-zapping FM radio
Most definitely with a cause
If you aren't satisfied with the stations available on FM, there is a line-in jack that allows the unit to be connected to a separate internet radio or DAB tuner, to widen the recording options. There's also a headphone jack on the rear of the unit.
You can download onto SD card, memory stick or straight to an MP3 player
It's early days for this particular concept, but surely the next logical step is to build Popcatcher into a unit that has FM, DAB and internet radio abilities, although this will jack up the price considerably.
As it stands, the price tag would seem a little high if you couldn’t move the recorded material off the player, but move it you can, and nice and easily too. Apple affectionados are provided with a CD that loads a stack of dummy files onto an iPod into which the transferred songs jump once the USB connection is established. Other MP3 pplayers just connect straight to the machine with no dedicated file space, so users have to identify and name the tracks manually, if that function is available on their player.
Songs can also be copied onto SD cards and Memory Sticks - and others if you have suitable adaptors. Any recording device that is connected to the player takes around 15 seconds to shake hands, then the download is nice and quick.
Control is straightforward, with a single push-button array dealing with everything
Forty songs sounds pretty small when compared to the storage capacity of your average MP3 player. But to appreciate the Rebel for what it is, you have to see it not as a storage product, but a capture device. Used over time to supplement the other ways that digital music can be acquired - at a price or for free - then the unit really comes into its own, providing a good quality and free way to collect music.
But you should hurry before the music industry gets wind of this thing.
It does feel a little early to be buying into the concept - a little more functionality or tuner options would not go amiss here. But truth be told this is a fun and useful little friend, which really does gain more of your respect the more you use it.