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The UX of Portable Radios

I recently lost a little $15 radio I had.  It wasn’t fancy, but it was small and got the three stations I listen to.  Since losing it, I tried to replace it and have struggled to find something decent.

My first try was the iPod Radio adapter.  It’s way too expensive at $50, but I got sucked into the whole “iPod is cool” thing and just had to plunk down the money.  Good news:  It gets good reception and I can switch the iPod if I can’t find something on the radio I like.  Bad News: First is the UI.  There is no way to save a station.  You literally have to wind the center wheel until you get to the station.  What a piece of crap?!  Can’t save a station on a $50 radio??  Come on…no seriously, COME ON.  Additional minor problem is the cord.  It’s super long, so I had to twist tie it down.  Why didn’t they just make the adapter?  Why do they need a cord too?

Second try was a small cheap sony, similar to the radio I lost. At $16, I had little to lose.  Good News:  Very easy to set a station, hooray.  Bad news:  It only got 1 of the 3 stations without terrible static.  Seriously??  It’s a radio, it’s not a space ship.  It does one thing; get radio reception.  I was shocked that it couldn’t pick up the stations clearly when the little one I lost did it just fine.  I am biking to work, so the path is set.  I am not traveling through some dead zone.  Also on the negative side, the device is quite big; twice as big as the original one.  Why does such a simple device need to be that large and still not get reception?  Beats me.

So far, I don’t have a third try.  It’s a bummer because this seems like such a simple thing.  It’s amazing to me how so many things can be broken.  Most products disappoint me.  I hope the people who use the software I make have a better experience than my portable radio one.

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3 Comments

  1. Do you remember any details about the original radio you had?
    A model number perhaps? Maybe you can find the same one on eBay or something.

    Do you remember who made it?
    Perhaps it’s a quality issue. If you remember who made your original one, maybe buying one with the same brand would help.

  2. Hmm. It was silver. Small, half the size of the sony. Maybe Sanyo? Samsung? I cant remember. If only I could FIND it to look up the model. 🙂

  3. Maybe you could search Google Images or flickr with ‘small silver radio’ or something. You might just get lucky and spot the one you had 🙂

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