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Hands-on with the Intempo iDAB: iHate it

Intempo's new iDAB accessory for iPods brings digital radio to the world's most popular radio-less music player. It costs £60 and, frankly, we don't have much love for it

The iPod's lack of radio functionality is a frequent source of complaint, so Intempo has created the iDAB -- an accessory that clips into the the docking port of the iPod, giving you digital radio wherever you have your iPod classic, touch, nano or iPhone.

In theory, this sounds great. The problem -- well, there's a list of problems, actually -- is that this thing doesn't work at all like you'd expect. You would imagine it would use the iPod's display, its headphone socket, its navigational buttons. You wish. The iDAB basically just uses the iPod as one giant battery. You even have to have the iPod playing music to itself just to keep the iDAB functioning.

Secondly, it uses its own pitifully small and clunky LCD display, featuring an unpleasant navigation system. It has its own headphone socket to use when you want to listen to DAB, and its awkwardly placed buttons make using the thing one headache short of a nightmare.

Finally, it regularly fell off the iPod, and the side-mounted headphone socket means you really have to keep the iPod/DAB system upside down in your pocket, and stay forever cautious of pulling on the headphone cable too heavily.

You can, however, dock it without an iPod into any iPod-ready speaker system, turning a conventional set of 'Pod speakers into a DAB hi-fi.

Safe to say we're not overly fond of the iDAB, and at around £60 we think we'd rather just not have digital radio. However, it does work, albeit in a convoluted and frustrating sort of way, so if you're absolutely desperate for a handily sized way of having digital radio in your shirt pocket, you might not hate it as much as we do. It's available now. -Nate Lanxon