The other day, the postie greeted me bleary-eyed on the doorstep with a package which turned out to be the new iTrip I’d ordered a couple of days earlier, to accompany my iPod. Although I’d read good reviews about the iTrip, I was expecting it to be at best a ‘Not Bad’ piece of technology -but I was in for a treat!
For those folk not in the know, the iTrip is a small cylinder, about half as big again as an AA battery, which plugs into the headphone socket of your iPod [I’m assuming there isn’t anyone left on the planet who disnae know what one of those is!] and acts as a miniature FM broadcasting station. The result of all this is that if you tune your radio to the frequency on which the iTrip is broadcasting, whatever is playing on your iPod comes out through the radio. No need for wires or adaptors.
I first tried out the iTrip on the crappy radio-alarm next to the bed and it worked straight away on the iTrip’s default frequency [The iTrip comes with a range of FM frequencies which you can ‘tune’ it to by accessing them just like a playlist on the iPod. The idea being that you set your iTrip to broadcast on a frequency not being used by your local Radio Groovy FM commercial station]. Initially however, I wasnae that impressed with the range, as the signal started breaking up when I moved the iTrip more than about a foot away from the radio.
Thankfully, this turned out to be more down to the crappiness and lack of aerial on my poxy bedside radio-alarm, than due to the iTrip itself, because when I later tried out my new toy with the stereo in the car, I found I could get a good strong signal up to about 6 feet away from the radio. And when I tried it with the stereo in the living room, I could get a similar kind of range. I also found it necessary to change the iTrip’s default frequency from 87,9FM to the other end of the waveband, because, down the ‘shallow end’, I was getting interference from another radio station. ‘Radio Bilge’ is now proudly broadcasting on 107,9FM to anyone within a 5 foot radius of my iPod.
Speaking of which; farcical as it sounds, it’s actually illegal to use an iTrip in the UK, without a broadcasting licence from the government, because you’re considered to be operating a ‘Pirate Radio Station’ -even though the iTrip’s broadcasting range would mean the potential audience would be limited to those people you could comfortably fit on your lap. Now, how pathetic is that?
Anyway, if anyone feels like furthering the breakdown of civilisation as we know it and the inevitable descent into Anarchy, by scoring an iTrip for themselves, I got mine from These Nice Folks