This thing seriously looks like a radio geek’s dream come true. All it’s missing is shortwave. Grace Digital touts its new Mondo Wi-Fi Music Player and Internet Radio as receiving over 18,000 stations. Starting with analog and HD AM and FM station, that number also includes internet stations, plus the ability to browse and tune in stations via major online platforms like iHeartRadio, NPR, Live365 and CBS Radio. If you want customized stations it offers Pandora. It also lets you access radio programs that you’ve recorded using the DAR.fm service.
One might think that’s all well and good, but you can pretty much do that using your computer, tablet or smart phone, maybe adding in a pocket radio for those few stations you can’t find online. But wait, there’s more!
The Mondo ups the ante by throwing in SiriusXM and 100 local NOAA weather stations. Oh, and it’s also a clock radio with five programmable alarms. Seriously, somewhere Ron Popeil is wishing he’d invented this first. It would look great sitting next to your Veg-O-Matic in the kitchen. And when you’re done cooking you can carry it to the dining room or back porch because it’s portable and connects via wi-fi, too.
While I am seriously tempted by this device, I also wonder if I would just be overwhelmed by the volume of choices. I definitely think I could lose a whole weekend playing with it. Although I know I can seek out most of these stations without the Mondo, there’s something about having them all grouped together in a device made specifically for radio that makes them seem all the more accessible.
I had a similar experience when late last year I purchased a new A/V receiver that has built-in internet radio. Stations are categorized by region and format, and I definitely spent a number of hours tuning around the world and listening to formats I barely knew existed. But after a while the novelty wore off and I went back to listening to the same old stations I typically gravitate to.
Nevertheless I’m still quite interested to get my paws on the Grace Digital Mondo and put it through its paces. I’d be glad to do a review if a certain manufacturer wanted to lend us one for a bit (hint, hint).
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