It's often said that radio is the poor man's telly. Why else, in a world full of 42-inch plasmas and Shakira videos, would anyone actually choose to listen to the inane ramblings of a fat, vinyl-juggling day-release idiot who calls himself a "disc jockey"?
Crave had all but given up on radio, until Terratec handed us this funky box of tricks: the Noxon 2 Audio. It's an Internet radio that provides access to around 2,500 stations. That's a lot.
It looks like a Mac Mini with an oversized screen jammed on the front, although Terratec claims it pioneered this look long before Apple released the Mini. It allows you to browse stations by country, genre or popularity via the accompanying remote control, and if you find something you like, you can press the smiley face on the remote to save it to your favourites list, or the sad face to banish it.
There's more variety than you can shake a stick at. Crave is particularly fond of R 'n' B from Kyrgyzstan, but it's just a great pleasure to listen to such a wide range of commercial music, or surf randomly through the myriad talk shows, weather, news and religious stations. We're hella catholic (with a small 'c').
The Noxon 2 Audio connects to the Internet via an Ethernet cable, or via its integrated Wi-Fi adaptor. There's no integrated speakers (Terratec plans to release an add-on speaker system later in the year), so you'll need to pipe your tunes through your existing hi-fi or listen via the headphone socket. There's even a USB port for docking an MP3 player, USB memory stick, or an external hard disk full of tunes.
Is the Noxon 2 Audio the best thing ever? Yes. Go and buy it now. It's available via the Terratec Web site for £149. -RR
Update: a full review of the Terratec Noxon 2 Audio is now live.