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back to article Roberts WM-201 Wi-Fi internet radio

For a manufacturer of radios like Roberts to produce a Wi-Fi-enabled device shows just how far internet radio has come. About 6000 stations are now available, and radios are becoming increasingly adept at presenting this vast selection in an easy-to-access way. As soon as the product comes out of the box you get the feeling that …

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Anonymous Coward

Just one slight problem

I have found, and I'm probably not the only one, that with BTHomeHubs springing up like crazy around my home I can never get anything on my wireless network to connect to anything else, reagrdless of how a tweek it.

So before you go out and buy one check how many wirless networks you can see and their signal strengths.

If you live in a block of flats, or a street of terraced houses, don't be too surprised if you can't get a good connection with your base station.

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Coat

Several Questions

1) Does it do full "Aunties 7 Day listen again" - or just the live streaming of whats currently playing?

further more :-

2)is it available on Tuesday?

3)is it capable of playing crysis at full frame rates?

4)Does it blend?

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Boffin

Reciva based radio

This radio is based on the Reciva system, of which there is a useful list of other Reciva based radios here:

http://corporate.reciva.com/products_and_technology/radio_products.asp

re: one slight problem

Fiddling with your Wifi channel can make a big difference for that. I believe most UK ISP routers use channel 6, so moving to channel 1 or 11 might help. Some wifi applications tell you what channels are being used as part of the router scan which is helpful.

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Alien

Can you switch the wireless off?

Can you switch the wireless off?

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Go

Thanks

Thanks for putting frosting over the non-control-and-screen bits on that last image. I don't think I'd have been able to find the control-and-screen area without such help!

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Boffin

Re: listen again

>>1) Does it do full "Aunties 7 Day listen again" - or just the live streaming of whats currently playing?

Judging by the Roberts web site, yes. I would hope so, given that my 50 quid Logik IR100, which uses the same Reciva chipset, does support 7 day listen again. Let us hope the BBC don't switch their 'radio' web output to Flashplayer, as I don't think these radios can cope with Flash :-((

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Anonymous Coward

Better solutions

Revo Blik Radio Station tuner has:

DAB

DAB+ (what you'll need very soon if thinking about a DAB radio)

FM

WiFi Internet radio

for a fair bit less than £200

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#include <stdtitle.h>

"The WM-201’s talents don't end with internet radio as it can also access and play any digital music files stored on a shared network or computer - including MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF and Real Audio files."

So, kinda like the old Netgear MP101 but at about four times the price (based on what I paid for mine on Fleabay ages ago). Roberts make some very nice kit, but sound quality alone doesn't justify the price tag. I rather like the look, too - wouldn't be too out of place sat on top of my amplifier.

Think I'll wait a bit.

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

When computer-weenies design "radios"

Where's the darn headphone jack? It should be on the front panel.

One knob? On a radio? Have these people ever seen a real radio? Google Image your way to 'R-5000' (for example) to see what a real radio should look like.

Many of these products can only access Internet Radio via pay-per-month indexing services such as Live365. So if they've built one that can access anything directly, then it's a big step ahead.

But I still haven't seen a proper Internet Radio that I'd be happy with. I'm looking for a box that will make Internet radio as fun and interesting as Shortwave radio used to be.

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add custom stations

does it let you add your own internet stations that might not be listed in their lists?

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Alert

Alternatively...

Buy an Intempo, they all run the same software & hardware for network access and save yourself approx £100.....

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Linux

OGG Playback ?

What about support for playing back OGG, that FREE non-patented audio format from xiph.org that Nokia likes so much.

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Money

A good wireless router costs $30. A sufficiently good radio, for what I want, at least, probably costs $20. That makes $50, which is what, like ₤20? Is there no hope of getting a low end version of one of these wifi radios?

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Listen Again

"1) Does it do full "Aunties 7 Day listen again" - or just the live streaming of whats currently playing?"

Yes, it does the BBC's Listen Again.

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How does it compare to the Logik IR100?

By the looks of things, it's a nicer-made bit of kit. But the lousy Wifi range implies it has the same USB wifi adaptor mounted in the same stupid place - flat against the main PCB.

I wonder if the firmware is any better?

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Anonymous Coward

Reciva?

Most Internet radios sold in the UK use the same engine - a linux based device made by Reciva. http://corporate.reciva.com/

The screen on this Roberts looks very like the one on my Logik IR100 which, on ebay cost me under £40. The main differences between the different Reciva models is the case, quality of audio amplifier and speakers, number of pre-sets and whether there is a hard-wired ethernet as well as wi-fi facility. But there are various enthusiasts' pages which show you how to add hard-wired ethernet and you can also feed to an external amplifier.

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Bought one last week...

Very happy with it. I bought it to be a bedside clock radio. Don't think you can do that with an MP-101...

Negative point:

Bit clunky when navigating through all my MP3s on a Windows share.

Plus points:

External WiFi aerial

Wired Ethernet port

Stereo Speakers unlike many of the cheaper alternatives.

Runs Linux ;-)

Plus there's already a project underway to replace the firmware with an open source alternative: http://sharpfin.zevv.nl/index.php/Main_Page

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Nice idea, but...

Rather expensive. But the biggest worry I have with these devices is that they must be dependent somewhere on some service which tells it where the internet radio streams are to be found. If whoever runs that goes to the wall, what then? Sooner or later, any service like that will be obsolete.

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Joke

Good

""1) Does it do full "Aunties 7 Day listen again" - or just the live streaming of whats currently playing?"

Yes, it does the BBC's Listen Again."

This means I shall be able to find out about Bovey Tracey's (Other Uk Locations are available) Latest "trash the house" parties at a more convienent time of Friday 10pm instead of 7pm. It'll make me feel like I am using a covert radio scanner to listen out for the latest police crimescene braodcasts - ala any american superhero crime fighting movie.

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Quality

I've bought Roberts' equipment for years - analogue radios & digital radios. There are always cheaper alternatives, but I buy Roberts' because it has always been damn good quality. And please note, I don't work for them - I'm just a satisfied customer......

Just wish they'd brought this out before I bought a SqueezeBox ;-)

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answering a few queries above

Based on experience with my Reciva based Logik IR100:-

It will play back internet radio stations using OGG, must admit I haven't tried audio files.

Yes, if the Reciva web site goes titsup I think you're left with a media streamer.

Mine has worked using Tversity and Twonky UPnP SW, although the latest FW is causing issues. Stiil working with WMP11 :-/

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Happy

The joys of shortwave ...

"I'm looking for a box that will make Internet radio as fun and interesting as Shortwave radio used to be."

At the risk of a) showing my age and b) sounding like an AOL reject, I'm gonna say 'ME TOO!' ;-)

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@JeffyPooh

Since Roberts are well known for their radios I'd hazard a guess they know more than just a little about the design. The single dial comes down to simplicity which is much better suited to mass market appeal.

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JB
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Cheaper solutions

I like the idea of these internet radio boxes, but they're just too expensive. I found a much cheaper solution, a short-range FM transmitter for about 50 quid. I've got mine connected to the PC, can listen to anything, on any FM radio in the house (and about 200 feet around the house!) If these internet radio boxes were cheaper, I'd probably get one tomorrow

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NAS compatible?

I have my music files on a Buffalo Link Station NAS - does anyone know if the WM201 can access and play these when no computer is switched on?

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