And the Radio Service Itself?
Since the Myine Ira is simply an Internet radio receiver and it does not provide any of the content itself, your mileage will vary considerably based on the station that you choose. After picking a station, the Ira will take a few seconds to connect and build up its playback buffer. For the station shown above, the buffer built up very quickly and it stayed strong.
When I tried connecting to BBC World Service News, however, the connection process took much longer (about 6 or 7 seconds) and the buffer never got past three bars. This made for a weaker experience.
Hitting the Info button on the remote cycles through some of the tidbits associated with each station. I left mine on the buffer screen, since I want the signal strength to be seen at-a-glance, but you can also check the genre, bit rate, sampling rate, and so on.
The Myine Ira Wi-Fi Internet Radio carries an MSRP of $149.99. I can understand why something like this would be very convenient for someone who is interested in these radio stations and doesn’t want to use a computer to gain access to them, but $150 isn’t exactly a small price to pay for something as specialized as this.
For me, the most frustrating aspect of the Ira was the lack of built-in speakers. In this way, the Ira is “just” a receiver. For me, it seems to be much easier to take an Internet-connected handheld and run an application that grabs Internet radio. You might even be able to run Internet radio through a cheap netbook and gain so much more functionality than “just” the free music.
If the Ira were cheaper and had integrated speakers, I may have felt otherwise. As it stands, I can’t recommend it to anyone other than those who desire the Ira’s very specific functionality.
- Free access to over 11,000 stations
- Support for on-demand podcast content
- Connects to hidden SSID networks
- Simple but attractive design
- No built-in speakers
- Interface is clunky
- No hardware buttons on Ira itself
- Expensive for “just” an Internet Radio receiver
Overall Rating: 6.5 / 10.0
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