Tag Archives: radio

Radio waves

After much deliberation, I recently purchased my first digital/internet radio. It’s the Weimar model produced by the Auna company in Germany. Appropriately it was sent all the way from Berlin. Just for the record here’s a few comments after a couple of days usage:

First of all really nice looking .. (forgot to take pics) … if very ‘sparse’ but its beauty is also in its simplicity. I thought there was a remote control with it but I must have got it mixed up with one of the hundreds of others I looked at…but that’s not a big issue.

turn the dial with your hand ..
easy to set up, plug and play, and connect it to your home wi-fi setup and you’re away. You browse through the hundreds of channels either by location (country) or music genre or whatever and of course I went straight for the BBC and lo!..all BBC radio channels come through loud ‘n’ clear.

You can then either memorise with pre-sets of which there are 10, which is just about enough for me.
There’s also a ‘favourites’ menu although this has to be done via the internet itself ie. laptop or home computer or whatever – a bit strange programming yer radio via the laptop but there are literally thousands of internet channels out there so it would be pretty much impossible with the tiny monochrome display, and via internet you can group channels into sub-menus and stuff which is neat.

tune in to the melody…
Another ace feature is the music streaming from your home computer, which is possible with Windows Media player (this was in the manual, I didn’t try it with i-tunes). Basically you can listen to all the music you have on yer computer through the radio set (via the home wi-fi set up of course), which for me is actually quite handy as I’m on different floors. This would be even more handier with one of those wee home-servers which you just leave on all the time. Needs more investigation.
There’s also a podcast function for listening to podcasts (oddly) and again there are thousands out there, although that is where the BBC has changed it’s methods recently which means that some you can’t listen to because they’re in ‘mp3’ format as opposed to wma or some such, although I’ve noticed that some of the more popular ones (Archers Omnibus anyone?) are in both formats.

it’s in the air for you and me…
there’s also the DAB function (digital radio) but I was unable to pick anything up on that, maybe because there is nothing out there to pick up? I must say that digital radio is rarely mentioned over here although I’d read stuff to say the there was coverage and stuff in my area. Again, needs more investigation but with the internet radio channels easily available it’s not an issue for now. FM also included but ditto.
The voice of energy..
ah yes the sound! Forgot to mention the sound quality! Actually this is very very good and it can go really loud! Of course you have the benefit of digital quality but there’s a nice bass to it . .heard some electronica stuff on Radio 1 and it even sounded interesting! There are some preset equalizer settings but haven’t investigated yet..
Distant voices sing..
bluetooth also included which I’ve already put to the test by listening to and transcribing a lecture recorded on i-phone. There’s also an aux connection for i-pod or similar (connecting wire not included), and a headphone input plug-hole. There’s also alarm and sleep function..not tried.
Ohm Sweet Ohm..
On the whole I’m really really pleased with the set and having shopped around quite a bit (it must have been years..) it’s really good value for money I reckon. My only gripe would be that it only works on mains, no batteries, so it’s not entirely ‘portable’ but thankfully if you do unplug and plug in again elsewhere the memory is intact. It’s not huge and heavy either so easily moved around. Internet radio stations often take a good 6/7 secs. to load which is a long time in radioland but that’s the internet I s’pose.

Musical accompaniment provided by Kraftwerk and their 1975 album Radio Activity


Classical Clemency

Somewhat disillusioned with the state of modern popular music I seem to have drifted back into listening to classical music this year. I’ve always had a love/not-so-love relationship with classical music: it was never part of my childhood household but was always somewhat inculcated at school, where I was lucky to have some good music teachers who of course mostly tried to teach us about classical music, the use of the instruments and so on. Seems hard to believe now that Mr. B. played a different classical piece every single morning at assembly, breaking his routine only when the school orchestra had something to let us hear. Some of that must have got through into my developmental psyche, surely?

classical music

I was further exposed to classical music during the school holidays through a posh family where my Mum used to help out with household chores (they didn’t even have a telly), but we ourselves were too humble a family to be able to afford music lessons for me or my sister although to my parents’ credit we did have an old piano in the house.

My adolescence coincided to the post-punk/new wave years of the late-70s and early-80s and so classical music was definitely abandoned by the wayside. Oh follies of youth! Not completely however as I do still have some battered old cassettes of recordings by artists such as Satie and Vivaldi, and I think my love of (electronic) instrumental music are a consequence of a sub-conscious appreciation of the classics.

Clemency 1
Clemency Burton-Hill

But back to now, and indeed  and what better way to listen to and at least try and appreciate the genre than in the company of Ms. Clemency Burton-Hill, now presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast programme starting at 6.30 a.m. GMT.  Clemency is not just a pretty face (see pic.): writer, novellist, broadcaster, violin-player, blonde, intelligent, doe-eyed, and with an amazing posh-yet-friendly accent and soft tone, and of course has a massive knowledge of music – classical and other wise…what’s not to like?I

Clemency Burton-Hill’s breakfast show starts at 6.30 am every weekday on Radio 3.

*edit!! since writing this draft Clemency has read out on air an e-mail I sent to her with a request!  

*new edit: I removed the last bit. I’m a married man.