Those whose listening hours are devoted to their digital players may have forgotten about a freely available audio source — the radio. The drawback of radio is that, unlike with music stored on an MP3 player, it plays and then moves on. If you tune in half-way through your favorite song or an intriguing interview, there’s no convenient rewind button to take you to the beginning.
At least, until now.
has launched a service that allows subscribers to download news, talk, business, entertainment, and sports programming to their Windows PCs and, from the PC, to a compatible music player. The service offers programming from over 300 radio stations including content from Bloomberg Radio, NPR, the Discovery Channel, Sporting News Radio, and the BBC.
Content is updated and replaced regularly to keep it fresh. For example, news broadcasts are updated hourly and six-hour blocks of music updated daily. When programming is updated, older content is no longer available to subscribers.
Although subscribers are welcome to download as much of AudioFeast’s audio as they like, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to listen to everything offered by the service. To make choosing audio easier, the AudioFeast client allows you to browse channels — stations that offers today’s pop hits or the day’s content from National Public Radio, for example — and add channels that interest you to your personal library. Once configured, the AudioFeast client automatically downloads the content you’ve chosen to your PC. When you’re ready to move the content to your music player, connect the player to the PC and click the client’s Sync To My Player button.
Audible.com, which allows you to own the material you pay for, AudioFeast is a rental-only operation. When content is updated on your PC or music player, older content is erased. The service offers no option for archiving its audio or burning content to disc and the audio is protected with a digital rights management scheme. Currently, subscribers are allowed to access the service from up to three authorized computers.
The service costs $49.95 a year. Though compatible with over a dozen music players, AudioFeast does not support Apple’s iPod or the Mac OS. For more information and to sign up for a 15-day free trial, visit www.audiofeast.com.