Adorable Gramofon $30 music streamer syncs with Spotify

Gramofon is a wallet-friendly music streamer from Wi-Fi network Fon, which you buy on Kickstarter.

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Gramofon is a media streamer seeking backing on Kickstarter. Fon

Put the needle on the record with Gramofon, a wallet-friendly music streamer now available on Kickstarter.

The adorably-named Gramofon competes with audio and media streamers from the likes of Sonos and Roku. To get listening, connect the Gramofon to the Web with an ethernet cable or wirelessly over Wi-Fi, then connect to your phone and start choosing tunes in an iOS or Android app. Simple.

Originally designed with parts including the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer, the finished Gramofon contains a Qualcomm chip in a black or white casing measuring 80 by 80 by 42mm. It syncs with your Spotify playlists and comes with a free month of ad-free Premium subscription.

Gramofon also works with radio service WahWah, and there are plans afoot to add the likes of Deezer, Grooveshark, Amazon, Soundcloud, Google Play and Rhapsody.

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A Gramofon costs from $30. Fon

Fon is hoping to raise $250,000 over the next month. To bag yourself a Gramofon you need to pledge $30 (£18) or more. Pledges range from a thank you on the Fon Website for $1 to entry to launch parties in London, San Francisco, New York and Madrid for $5,000 (£3,000).

The first Gramofons are expected to be sent out in July.

Buying the Gramofon makes you a member of the Fon network. Fon is an international Wi-Fi company that partners with local telecoms companies to get you online when you're out and about. Fon Wi-Fi hotspots are available for free to customers of BT in the UK, for example, T-Mobile in Germany, MTC in Russia, Oi in Brazil and Softbank in Japan. Fon doesn't have any partners in the US or Australia, but you can buy a router yourself.

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Early sketches for the Gramofon. Fon

You could say Fon crowdsources its Wi-Fi: members "share" their broadband connections with other Fonners nearby.

Still, is crowdfunding a legitimate avenue for raising money from an established company? Recently another established company told me its new project was "exclusively available on Kickstarter". Is this a shrewd use of new technology to gauge demand for a product, or will established companies crowd startups and innovators out of crowdfunding?

What do you think? Crowdsource your thoughts in the comments.

 

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