VTech Makes Traditional Radio Irrelevant

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: General, Podcasting

VTech has introduced a new $200 WiFi radio that promises to make traditional radio irrelevant.

The horribly named VTech IS9181 is a Wi-Fi music streaming device, designed to make accessing the near-infinte variety of Internet radio as easy as traditional radio.

The IS9181 connects to any wireless network (802.11 b & g) and lets you access more than 11,000 free Internet radio stations worldwide. It also lets you access audio files (MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, Real) stored on you Wi-Fi-enabled computer (PC or Mac). The IS9181 also offers localized weather (based on zip code).

The End Of Traditional Radio In The Home?

The IS9181, and devices like it, are going to rapidly make traditional radios obsolete.

The device works like a radio, but it gives you access to thousands of stations that you can’t get on a traditional radio, while still giving you local weather.

How long can traditional radio, and even satellite radio, last with competition like this?

IS9181 Key Features:

  • 802.11 digital Wi-Fi
  • Internet radio streaming from 11,000 stations; ability to search for any stations that stream online
  • Internet radio station search from VTech’s site or on the device itself
  • Ability to preset favorites on the product or online
  • PC or Mac-stored MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, Real music file playing
  • Ability to connect an MP3 player or any audio device with a 3.5mm headset jack using the provided cord
  • Ability to connect the IS9181 (via RCA connections) to other audio systems for streaming access
  • Internal 2.1 speakers
  • Convenient remote to browse, select and control music from across the room
  • AC Power Adapter
  • Battery-operated option (requires six AA batteries, not included)
  • MSRP: $199.95
  • One-year limited warranty

The IS9181 Wi-Fi Internet Radio can be purchased online at www.vtechphones.com.

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7 Responses to “VTech Makes Traditional Radio Irrelevant”

  1. Traditional radio isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It’s all a matter of the advertizing market. Radio reaches a LOCAL market while Internet systems like streaming radio and podcasts reach an INTERNATIONAL market. The International market does little good for Joe’s Diner.

  2. thegaspar says:

    OK, so this seems like a great idea, but missing one important feature that would stop me from running out to purchase and it seems like stupid one to not include….

    My cell phone has a progam called ptunes, which allows be to subscribe to podcasts. I cant believe this box does not include that feature…

  3. msbpodcast says:

    The problem I have with the device is not the spread of the market distribution(1) no, its the lack of a sexy moniker, even if they had to resort to neologism. that dooms it for me.

    In effect, it may have a wider menu of content because its connected to the internet, but its not indispensable. Furthermore, I don’t want to rain on their parade, but, its just a megaphone, connected to the internet. That 1:N use wastes the much richer N:M utility of the internet.

    So when are we going to see a switch to digital radio just like the one we saw for digital TV? Dos it matter?

    Will it make any difference to the lack of responsiveness of the medium? No with devices like the

    1) I really don’t want to hear any ads, never mind ones for “Kamal’s Fallafel” in Urdu, but I’m not all that bothered by ads. (MSB’s podcasts are sponsored by MS T-Shirts [ http://www.MSTShirts.com ] that can handle distribution of product from Atlanta to Ulan Bator, but the SPC podcasts. like “Culture Wars”, [ http://culturewars.libsyn.com ] are sponsored by “Prince of Pizza,” one block away from the college, and I’d hate to think of what would actually arrive in Ulan Bator if anybody actually ordered one. 🙂

    Nor do I have any any beef about its being restricted to streams since I already get all of my podcasts on my laptops/desktops at home and I could hook up the laptops up to the IS89181 via the connector.

    What “thegaspar” is referring to, ptunes and the ability to subscribe to podcasts, is dependent on local storage and this device clearly only has a minimum amount of SRAM on board to keep settings around from one listening to the next.

  4. […] saying you should go out and buy one of these today but it sure is tempting. I found this story on Podcasting News and I’m going to let James tell the story because he does it very well. My main reason to […]

  5. Jim says:

    I recently purchased the IS9181 (must agree that the name needs work). The best thing I canse say is that this radio “simply works” with minimal setup. I realize that many of you are able to stream music to your laptops, but this isn’t the standard usage model for this device. It’s simply a radio and does quite a decent job in a small space with decent sound. I especially like the fact that it can operate on batteries which has been useful when we are outdoors. My only complaint so far has to do with some akward menuing, but overall the unit works well.

    • darlene says:

      I just purchased one myself…. love it… but it won’t connect to a few of the stations i was looking forward to listening to…. it says… audio streaming not available at this time…. try again later…. have you had this issue? V-tech doesn’t seem to be much help.. they want to replace it with another but what if this is a common issue and they don’t know it yet….

  6. Larry says:

    Ok i’m looking at this radio and i’m really wanting it but i’m very concerned that this thing does not have a head phone jack, come on how can you build such a nice radio and not put a Head phone Jack on it . I’d like to lay in bed and listen to it and not disturb my wife some late nights. Can I plug my mp3 player recorder into it and record my favorite talk shows for later listening ?. As much as I want this one I believe i’ll Pass. Dang !

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