Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Wi-Fi Internet Radio - Logik IR100


DAB radios are now mainstream and prices of basic units have dropped below £20. However more recently there has been the emergence of internet radios on the high street. The Logik IR100 Wi-Fi internet radio is exclusive to DSG group (Dixons, Currys, PC World) and was very kindly bought for me by my girlfriend as a birthday present.

The radio uses a broadband connection and I found it very straight forward to scan for my wireless network and enter the WPA key before the Logik automatically connected to reciva.com.

You are then able to pick your stations either by genre or location. Choosing the UK downloaded a list of 507 stations although I believe there are currently about 5500+ from all over the world so you can get your fix of Slovenian folk music of Ukrainian Punk as well as BBC radio. One of the best features is that you can access the BBC on demand service allowing you to listen to recordings from the past week and some older. The IR100 also allows you to play music from your PC across a wireless network which is quite useful for getting my desktop MP3 collection down to the living room although I’m yet to try this feature out.

Amazing sound quality isn’t really what this single speaker radio is about and bit rates of stations can obviously vary but the sound is still very good and can be turned up loud without distortion. A headphone socket on the back can output to a stereo sound system if desired.

In the short time I’ve had the radio I haven’t come across any bugs although I did use the automated firmware update function almost as soon as I switched it on which worked very smoothly. The only minor downside for me so far is the fact you can’t run the radio on batteries, but this does make sense with the power consumption of the processor and wireless transceiver.

At just under £100 the IR100 is a great introduction to wireless internet radio which I’m sure is going to become much more popular in the next few years.

Addendum - 25 September 2007


As pointed out in the comments below the IR100 has dropped quite considerably in price since I wrote this review making it an even better buy. Also, if you've not already seen them, there are further articles about the radio here.

28 comments:

Scott Paterson said...

Rob, just bought an IR100 and am fairly impressed with it. Interested to know if you have used it to play MP3's from your PC ? If so how many MP3's do you have ?

I have 15,000 and the IR100 seems incapable of scanning them all, it gives up after about 20 minutes and resets itself.
Would be interested to hear your experiences ?

--
Scott Paterson
http://ukmac.net

Rob Smith said...

Hi Scott, I haven't really tried much in the way of playing from a media server and when I did it was only to try and get Last FM playing on the Logik. What media server are you using? I used WMP 11 but other people seem to rate TVersity (http://www.tversity.com/).

If you don't have any luck I would recommend asking on the Reciva.com forums!

Anonymous said...

Tversity works well. I've got just over 2,000 albums (honestly) ripped on my server, Tversity handles them well to the IR100. I've had to be carefull on filing the albums and have a seperate directory for each letter eg A, B , then by artist, then by album. Time consuming yes, anal, maybe, works yes!

::adam

rashbre said...

The radios are £50 at Curry's now. Greta - I just got one. Excellent value and fun. Listening right now. The way of radio.

Denys Owen said...

Re the Internet radio, dont you have to have a router in addition and isnt that another £50 or so? Denys Owen

Anonymous said...

Ive only just come across this, and I'm a complete numbskull, so be gentle.

What is the difference/advantage of Wi Fi Internet Radio and DAB Digital Radio?

Artey

Rob Smith said...

Hi Artey

WiFi internet radios connect wirelessly to a home broadband internet router, this allows them to receive stations from anywhere in the world via your internet connection. Many use the database on http://www.reciva.com.

DAB radios pick up digital radio signals from your local tv/radio transmitter. In the UK you can check which DAB stations you are likely to receive in your area here http://www.bbc.co.uk/digitalradio/.

Hope this makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I just bought this Unit for Currys for £39.9something. Set it up in 5 minutes, and was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. I don't want to access my (ripped) music collection - my MP3 player connects into some speakers for that - but I live in a house with dodgy DAB reception and this semmed like a cheap alternative to carting my laptop round. I'm listening to some 'Listen Again' stuff on BBC Radio 4 at the moment - really easy to do. The downside is that my wife's nicked it for the kitchen, but at that price I can buy one for the bedroom as well.

Philip

Chris Spencer said...

I am generally happy with my Logik IR100 just some little gripes. e.g. the reciva database not always up to date and some stations need updating to receive them. Therefore I usually add them as my streams and this overcomes the issue.As for streaming from your PC --- Windows share from XP SP1 Media Center box the music seemed to skip fast when sharing mp3's. Then I tried Tversity 0.9.10.7 for UPNP streaming however on 30 minute mp3's at 320Kbit it seemed to stop streaming after 5 miutes or so. I tried lowering the bitrate to 160Kbit stereo MP3s for the actual files I was streaming but still had the same problem. Just seems long 30min + mp3's at the moment. I will have to look into it some more. I am running Vista and UPNP sharing from WMP11 was a no go. The IR100 didn't even see the PC with WMP11 on vista, even with the firewall disabled. Anyway Tversity seems better and I need to experiment more to get it to work. I am using the AutoDetect play back device at the moment. Love to here from anyone who got TVersity working better than I or anyone recommending a better UPNP streaming piece of software for the IR100

Anonymous said...

Oh dear; am I the only one that can’t get this thing to work? I tried everything, even taking all security setting of my Belkin N1, because it doesn’t recognise my security passwords or different settings. It did connect to my wireless network but then, after updating the firmware, I had trouble with “DNS Server Timeout” and “Gateway Failure”. It also took ages to do a Station Update From Reciva. Besides that the first one I bought started getting an annoying buzzing sound in the speaker after about an hour’s use. The second did the same and had a poor electrical lead so the radio kept cutting out, needing to go through the whole setup again. The buttons are flimsy and cheap and I’ll never know whether the sound is any good because after spending about 6 hours trying it will go back to Curry’s for a refund.

bobo17 said...

I have a WIFI radio but it continually gets into a 10 second play, 10 second buffer cycle. This happens both wireless and Ethernet connection the router I have is DLINK model model # WBR-2310 with Encryption Type WPA. When the radio works it works great, can listen for hours, change channels etc. As soon as I turn radio off and then on again more than likely the 10 second buffer cycle begins
Any suggestion help would be greatly appreciate (i.e. help me save $$ in hydro bills as when the radio works i don't turn it off :)

bobo17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobo17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobo17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

bobo17: What stations have you tried? Probably the easiest thing to try first is take the radio to a friend's house and test it on their wireless. If it does the same there you probably need a new radio, if not it might be a bandwidth problem. Turn off any other computers connected to your router to make sure they aren't downloading something and sucking up bandwidth.

bobo17 said...

Hi Rob
thanks for the interest
I have tried several stations WABC, CFRA WPITT etc. This problem occurs on ALL stations. I am using a high speed connection (indicates 54 Mbs) and have no other computers attached when this happens (so i don't think this is a congestion problem). I believe the radio works fine. It has been working solid as a rock for the last day and a half, switching channels and playing no problem. In the past the problem occurs when I turn the radio off and then on again. 9 times out of 10 after this the stations load and buffer in the 10 second cycle i mentioned. Also the buffering problem occurs on both my laptop computers as well, so not just on the radio.
I have attached a diary of the problems I have had (via the email i received from you; not sure if you received my reply??)

You are right in recommending I try another friends network / internet access. I will try to do this sometime next week. I was hoping someone might have experienced the same thing.

thanks
bob

Rob said...

I've not had the problem myself on all stations but I definitely find whole loads of stations that struggle to keep up.

I didn't receive your email, try sending it to rob at bugeyed dot me dot uk.

If you try it at a friends and it still does that same you can safely say there is a problem with the radio or you are just being very unlucky with your station choices.

Do you mean your broadband internet connection is 54Mbs or your wireless?

bobo17 said...

My wireless Network Connection Status indicates 54 Mbps and good signal strength.

Rob said...

Hi Bob. I think after reading your email you've done everything you can apart from try a different router/internet connection. If that still doesn't work I'd return it to where you bought it since it sounds like it could be faulty. Good luck!

Chris Gordon-Smith said...

I've just bought a Logik IR100 and set it up. What an excellent machine, and it also looks very nice. The setup is straightforward. I've configured WEP encryption and also setup the IR100 as a trusted MAC address on my wireless router. The user manual explains clearly what you need to do. You need to be a bit technically minded, but if you've setup a wireless router in your house then you know enough to setup the IR100.

Browsing for stations is OK. I have now preset Radio 4 and a station in Australia (just to show that I can). It would be nice to have a few more presets.

Great Value!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone give me a definitive answer. Do yhou need the PC swiched on to receive radio stations

Rob Smith said...

No, it connects via a wireless router without a PC.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rob. When I asked in PC World the first assistant didn't know, the second said no and the third said yes. Not much assistance!

Jase said...

When I first got the IR100 it could only play a station for a couple of minutes before rebuffering the station. A bit of rooting around revealed that my Thomson Speedtouch 780 router is particularly sensitive to poor line quality and by disabling the linksense functionality in the router command line interface I might be able to improve matters. I tried it and now the radio reception is fantastic

Jase said...

Logik IR100 errors when scanning your PC for MP3 files are sometimes caused by issues it has with non-media files or quite possibly corrupt MP3s. I couldn't scan all of my collection, the scan would fail repeatedly and I would have to reselect my pc, the folder and try again for the same thing to happen.
It was resolved by looking in the root of the share for the .tmp file that the radio writes as a precursor to the XML file it builds for the complete list of music files. Once I had located the file I opened it with Word, scrolled to the bottom to see the last album scanned, then went to the directory on the PC and deleted all the non-MP3 files (jpgs, m3us etc) then I restarted the scan on the radio and it worked fine, but you may need to repeat this procedure to get rid of multiple problematic files.

The file will have a name like: ".reciva_media_cache_000075e5_en_GB_v589-a-516-a-076.tmp" so you will find it very easily if you just search for "reciva" on your hard drives. file won't open with word, use Notepad or another text editor.

After doing this you should be able to use your IR100 as a media player.

As a sidenote, I use a pc, my wife uses a Mac and I seem to remember that I couldn't see files that started with a full stop on her Mac. I don't know anything about them but if you are trying to stream from your Mac then you will need to be able to see the file to carry out the procedure above and will need to ask someone else for help there.

Adrian said...

My home network is wired and my router / modem is thus not wireless. Do I need to plug in some sort of transmitter to one of the router ports to enable the internet radio to connect?

jenny said...

I've read up about internet radios BUT -I'm not tecno minded or practical. I really want a simple, compact and portable way of accessing radio - BBC 4 and Woldservice when travelling abroad - Europe and worlwide. I don''t always stay in hotels where there is a room internet connection or free WiFi; and I've given up on shortwave radios. Is there any thing out there to help?

jenny

Rob said...

Hi Jenny. I think it depends on what countries you are in and how much you are willing to spend. It may be worth looking at portable satellite radios but I don't have any experience of them myself. I believe Sirius carry some BBC stations.