The USB-computer link is how you set-up or change the four choices of stations (or podcasts) out of the tens of thousands available from around the globe. Despite the mass of stations on tap, the makers claim that “in practice nearly everyone sticks to their favourite two or three.” And in that lies the key to Q2’s simplicity.
Stations are configured from software on a Mac or PC - no Linux support, as yet
Its accompanying software, which runs on Windows or Mac computers, enables you to browse by categories such as country of origin and genre, or text search. A feature it lacks so far is to bookmark interesting stations or podcasts so you can easily rotate your presets from a favourites list, rather than a huge index of everything.
The computer app is also where you specify what wireless network to connect to, plus any security password. After this the Q2 will store the WLAN settings.
There’s nothing stopping you from switching to other networks but you’d need a computer to set-up the radio if you’ve not used it there before – the radio itself remembers logins for up to five networks. So even if you take the Q2 to a hotspot, you probably won’t be able to use the radio without a computer handy, though a netbook would do it.
Given that almost every analogue or digital station also streams a MWA or MP3 version over the net, a radio like this is a good alternative to DAB, as long as you’re in range of a network. The radio worked all around my house and to the end of the garden but reception of course depends on the router, its position and any signal interference.
Next page: Roll over Beethoven
...the price is also at the top of the review on the first page.
BBC stations yes or no?
Can I ask that you make very clear one REALLY important piece of information in Internet radio reviews.
Can you listen to BBC live radio on this (not world service but BBC R1 R2 R3 R4 etc.) I know the Reg is international but I am sure that for a sizeable portion of the readers the lack of this would make such a device a non starter.
These are some of the most listened to stations in the UK and the fact that, for example the Nokia HD-1 can not receive R4 in Internet radio mode is shocking.
Put simply can i get BBC R2, R4 or not with the Q2 as I am not sure exactly where live radio stops and listen on demand starts with the BBC.
From the FAQ on Q2's site:
'Can I add my own Radio station urls to the Radio?'
'No. Only the Radio stations listed can be added to the Internet Radio.'
....aaaand suddenly it's not so interesting any more.
I have a few ot these.
I do have to touch the radio while I move my hand, but they work flawlessly.
"The Q2 takes about 15 seconds for sound to arrive after switching on, or from deep sleep, while the delay between switching stations is between 3-8 seconds."
Excellent that you checked the Achilles' heel of most Internet Radio appliances. Some of them take many minutes to turn on, and the better part of one minute to change stations.