RadioYourWay or RadioNoWay?

Digitally record all the crap that's on the radio.

About the age of thirteen, radio stops mattering.  With the internet in full gear, there is no reason to sit by the radio - hand on the record button and tape in deck - for three hours waiting for that new Goo Goo Dolls song to drop.  Not that there was a reason before, but now it's easier to just download it, legally and/or illegally.  The radio market is split into three categories: (1) the under-13 crowd that doesn't know any better, (2) the over-45 crowd that is still too intimidated by CD's (never mind MP3's) and (3) those pushing broke-down cars with no option but AM/FM radio and corresponding coat hanger antennae.  With that incredibly non-lucrative demographic, PoGo Products has introduced RadioYourWay (retail: $149.95)…think TiVo for the radio.

Just like TiVo, the user can fast forward through the commercials and just keep the music, up to 4 ½ hours of radio recording.  Of course there is also a timer option available meaning that you can take in that business meeting and not miss a minute of your favorite radio show.  If radio mattered, so might this product.  TiVo works because TV is still relevant, sorry PoGo.

RadioYourWay is billed as an "AM/FM Radio Recorder/Voice Recorder/MP3 Player."  That's a lot of slashes.  But unfortunately all the slashes don't add up to any significant memory.  The standard model comes equipped with only 32MB of storage capability, which amounts to a whole lot of squat.  With the revolution known as iPod, it's going to take an incredible piece of hardware to overtake the king.  32 MB versus the iPod minimum 20 GB - just ain't gonna cut it.  PoGo is apparently banking on the twist that allows users to record AM/FM radio and your own voice.  Unfortunately for PoGo, those features aren't going to amount to a huge market.  Like it was previously stated, radio as a whole is worthless to the majority of tech savvy audiences.

The battery life on the RadioYourWay is capped at 13 hours - which is better than the iPod.  The downside being that instead of a rechargeable all inclusive battery, RadioYourWay requires AAA batteries.  Replacing batteries is wack. 

But battery life and memory are just secondary problems with RadioYourWay.  This product can not be discussed without addressing the stagnant radio industry.  There is a growing pay-for-play scandal reminiscent of the payola fiasco that shook corporate radio decades ago and the public outcry is only getting stronger.  Rhode Island rapper Sage Francis recently headlined a national tour dubbed "The Fuck Clear Channel Tour" - drawing further attention to the wrong doings of the radio giant.  Radio lacks variety and the spice of life is of course that same quality.  Satellite radio and programs like iTunes are only quickening the death of radio.  And that is going to be a problem for RadioYourWay - its whole catch is attaching itself to a dying medium.

One positive feature is the voice recorder.  However, the journalists who would primarily use it already have better and cheaper options on the market.  The built-in microphone is lacking the effective power that can be found in any of the mid-level digital voice recorders, as well.  One positive is the easy-to-use nature of this PoGo product.  RadioYourWay is straight forward and there is no problems switching functions or setting the piece up to record.  So if you want to digitally record four hours of John Mayer and Vanessa Carlton singles, while wading through a plethora of hours of equally worthless crap, this just may be your favorite piece of hardware.  Otherwise, save up a few extra bucks and just buy an iPod.

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