Remote Control for the RealPlayer on your PC
Two companies in Silicon Valley have come up with novel means
for tuning in and listening to Internet radio broadcasts in
One of these startup's, Sonicbox, Inc., of Mountain View,
CA employs an innovative way of bringing the audio to your
ears via their iM Remote Tuner.
Another, yet different approach is becoming available in late
June from Kerbango, who has unveiled a standalone Internet
radio that looks like an updated version of a stylish
Forties' retro radio.
The imBand Remote Tuner
The Sonicbox comes as a kit:
a base-unit that connects to your PC via a USB port
The Sonicbox Specs
Uses your PC as a vehicle to
transmit streaming audio received
from the Internet via modem, DSL,
An always-on connection to the
net is prefered, to eliminate audio
Base Station - connected to your
PC via audio and USB cable set.
Receiver - connected to your
iMRemote Tuner (shown above).
Add headphones and you can
listen to Web audio "anywhere".
8.24" x 3.5" x 1.5" (W x H x D)
Availability: Mid 2000
Price: about $75 for all pieces?!
- great for out-of-the-area
stations specially from abroad
- needs your PC and your FM
radio as a "receiver"
and transmits the Web audio over 900MHz frequency to a credit
card sized receiver connected to your stereo system; and a remote,
wireless tuner control unit that resembles an ultra-hip handheld
The portable remote tuner device transmits commands back to
the PC-resident base-unit, which allows the listeners to select
and dial in hundreds (800 so far compiled on Sonicbox' web site)
of Internet radio stations.
The end result is that your existing home FM receivers are converted
into recipients of Internet broadcasts, so that you can listen
to a wide range of radio programming from down the street, across
the nation, or around the world.
In addition to tuning in live radio broadcast streamed over
the Internet, the remote tuner can access digital (MP3) music
files that have been downloaded to your PC and play these, as
well, over home FM receivers. Other intriguing features found
with the Sonicbox package are the ability of users to purchase
CD's with the push of a button on the remote tuner, along with
directly requesting further information on products marketed
as part of the Internet radio broadcast.
However, a standard telephone modem connection will, in many
situations, not support the audio stream required for Web radio
broadcasts. So a high-speed Internet connection such as a T1,
DSL, or cable modem hookup is more adequate if not essential.
Sonicbox is presently running a trial deployment of the imBand
Remote Tuner package. For more information, visit the SonicBox
site at www.sonicbox.com.
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