FM Radio for Your Pocket PC: PocketRADIO
CF Card from iBIZ Technology By Tong
Want to listen to the radio on your Pocket PC?
Well, you are in luck! IBIZ Technology has come out with Pocket Radio
Card that's an FM radio in CompactFlash card type I format. According
to the CEO of iBIZ, the pocketRADIO is the first in a planned series
of entertainment products centered on the PDA market. It supports
all Pocket PCs with ARM or XScale processors and a CF type I or II
(CompactFlash) card slot. We tested it on an iPAQ 3835.
Plug and Play
comes as a type I CF card with a headphone jack on the top
of the card and a set of earphones. The installation is very
simple: run the install program with your Pocket PC in the
ActiveSync cradle. pocketRADIO icon will show up on your
Pocket PC when the installation is complete. Click on it
and you’ve just turned on the
The interface of pocketRADIO looks more
like a car radio rather than the traditional radio tuner.
There are two ways you can search the stations, one is
by using the Auto search function and the other by manually
click on the two directional buttons. There is a channel
display above the directional buttons, so that you can
see the station’s ID number.
The Auto select function allows you to ignore
the weaker signals and stop at only the stations with good signal qualities.
In my hands-on experience, the Auto function may have missed a couple
of decent stations. So don’t expect this to be as sophisticated
as your high quality home or car stereo. For those of you who are used
to inputting numbers, you won’t find a place to punch the numbers.
The good news is you only have to do this once, because pocketRADIO
gives you plenty buttons with which to set your favorite stations.
All Your Favorite Tunes
There are 3 bands of pre-programmed station shortcuts
with 6 buttons in each band. This means you can get up to 18 favorite
stations with no more than two clicks. To set a program, simply hold
on a button for a few seconds while you are listening to that station.
The user interface is very simple and friendly.
Next to the pre-set buttons, there is a volume
control slider as well as a Mute button below. In the right hand
corner, you will find a Z button which functions as a power saving
switch. Click on it, your iPAQ will be turned off without turning
off your radio to save battery power on your iPAQ. You can run other
applications simultaneously with pocketRADIO. The sound from other
programs will come through the iPAQ speaker while you are listening
The frequency of pocketRADIO ranges from 88Mhz
to 108Mhz. The quality of the radio signal is decent in my area (Silicon
Valley, CA) for stronger stations, but does have noticeable sound
distortion and static for those stations with weaker broadcast. Outdoor
reception quality is better than the indoor reception.
If you don’t like the stereo earplug
headphones, you can try other headphones. I tried Sony MDR-V300
and MDR-24 headphones. They both work with pocketRADIO and the
V300 sounds much better with more bass, since they're better headphones.