The GoodThe Apple iPod Radio Remote adds FM functionality to dock-connecting iPods and takes the bulk off the design by using the iPod's display for tuner info. The accessory also utilizes the iPod's Click Wheel to offer handy radio dial-like functionality.
The BadThe Apple iPod Radio Remote plus headphones equals cord clutter. Because the remote plugs into the dock connection, it won't work with many iPod cases. Unfortunately, it's also compatible with only the 5G iPod and the iPod Nano.
The Bottom LineIf you own a 5G iPod or an iPod Nano and can't live without FM radio, we highly recommend the Apple iPod Radio Remote.
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Apple iPod Radio Remote
FM radio has been a long time coming for the Apple iPod. Griffin offered the first solution late last year with its iFM, which the company later tried to improve upon--the fatal mistake in our eyes was the removal of the built-in voice recorder. At Macworld this year, Apple finally paid heed to consumers' cries (see below) and released the $49 iPod Radio Remote, a cord-heavy device with a tiny square of remote controls.
Of all the extra features an MP3 player could have, CNET readers overwhelmingly chose an FM tuner.
The physical design of the iPod Radio Remote is typical Apple: simple. However, we hesitate to call it clean due to the excessive cord length it creates. Even with the purposefully short included earbuds, which you may want to switch in for your favorite (undoubtedly lengthier) pair, the cord is 65 inches long. That's our only design gripe, though, aside from the fact that because the remote plugs into the bottom of the iPod, it won't work with many cases. The clip-on remote measures a mere 1.3 by 1 inches and includes volume, track-shuttle, and play/pause buttons as well as its own hold switch. The track-shuttle keys also serve to scrub through radio presets, which are automatically scanned the first time you use the radio. The best part of the design is that the remote uses the iPod's screen for radio function navigation as opposed to having its own LCD.