Portable Audio

I’m now living in Glasgow and working in Leeds, rather than the other way around, which provides a strong incentive to find ways of making my life a little less absurd. Hence: a new PowerBook (the 15″ one with DVD-R and controversial light-up keys, since some of you were asking). Hence: a bijou apartment behind a terribly trendy bar/restaurant in a terribly hip area of Leeds (only about 50 yards from where I lived when I first moved here, but it wasn’t quite as hip then). Hence: a new mobile phone with ‘loadsaminutes’ contract.

Next up: tunes. How does one play music at decent quality, without carting shedloads of CDs around the country? Well, durr, that’s what the iPod is for: but headphones are awful, so I need speakers. And I need Radio 4, obviously, bedrock of British civilisation, and all that.

Enter the Tivoli Model PAL, a radio bearing an uncanny resemblance to a small brick. It has an on/off switch, a volume dial, and a tuning dial. And that’s about it. Oh, but it also has some terribly high-tech tuning circuitry, a quite remarkable little amplifier, and the most amazing small speaker I can remember hearing. It sounds terrific.

It also packs a 20-hour NiMH battery, is weather-resistant, and… it has a line input socket. One cable later, my iPod is pumping Franz Ferdinand, Tommy Guerrero, Zero7, The Baker Brothers, and all my other current faves out to the flat at large. It sounds great – who cares about stereo when this much portability sounds this good?

Very highly recommended. At least until old landlord and BBC sound engineer ‘Pat Markin’ tears it apart.

Now: if only the iPod wasn’t tied to a specific Mac. I don’t see why I should carry the master collection on the PowerBook when the iPod in the same bag has the same data. But if I don’t, the iPod isn’t tied to this Mac, and I can’t edit playlists without going back to Glasgow. Digital Rights Management, we love it. Thanks again, music industry. You rock.

1 thought on “Portable Audio”

  1. Wow, what a cool looking radio! I can see it now, the quized faces as people wonder “Where’s the noise coming from?”
    I’m off to add it to my Christmas list…. 😉

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