An electronic programme guide (EPG) and text-scroll pausing (so-called textSCAN) are among the new features found in the second-generation version of PURE digital's Bug DAB radio, the £100 Bug TOO, due on sale any day now.
These are in addition to a number of useful selling points carried over from the original Bug (which can be had for around £75), including recording to SD card or MiniDisc player; pause/rewind of live radio (something that PURE calls ReVu); and playback of MP3 files. As before, the design is by Wayne Hemingway.
With Bug TOO, the MP3 side has been boosted by the addition of the full navigation of MP3 folders and the ability to set the radio to wake you to a favourite MP3 files or, indeed, recordings made from radio. In all, PURE reckons that Bug TOO offers 20 configurable alarms.
You'd be right to assume that Bug TOO has the same distinctive design as the original - with its display in a pod mounted on a flexible stalk for easy viewing. However, it's said to have more ergonomic controls and is finished in silver, rather than the Mk I's black or white.
The EPG feature lets users browse programmes on a single station or all programmes at a particular time. They'll see a short description of each programme and can choose to have the radio switch to a channel and even record it to SD memory card.
Recording time on SD is reckoned to be about one minute per megabyte, so a dirt cheap 128MB card should be able to capture over two hours of programming. Live radio pause/rewind uses an internal memory not an SD card, though, and is said to extend back for about five minutes for stations broadcast at 128kbps.
Recordings made on the SD card can, of course, be transferred to a PC via a card reader but the radio itself can also connect to a computer via USB for direct transfers.
Text-scroll pausing might seem a bit of a non-feature if you're not familiar with DAB but there is often useful information shown on the text display. This might be about a song or be station-specific, such as a competition phone number or a web address, and pausing gives you time to note down the details.
* Electronic programme guide for information and for scheduling recordings and station selection
* Pause and rewind live radio (ReVu) using built-in memory
* Record DAB radio to SD card or to a MiniDisc player
* MP3 playback (SD Card NOT supplied) with full MP3 folder navigation
* Alarm, sleep and timer-record now includes MP3 alarm
* Display mounted on flexible stalk
* USB PC connectivity
* Telescopic aerial/connector for external aerial
* Two-year guarantee
Whether you love or loathe the design of the Bug, it's very distinctive and a big talking point - we'd be keen to hear your take on the original and on Bug TOO in the HEXUS.community.
UPDATE - June 26, 16:25
HEXUS.community member TeleFragX has just pointed out in the discussion thread about this article that owners of the original Bug can get all of the new usability features of Bug TOO by downloading and installing V2.0 firmware for their radios! This is a tiny download - just 697KB in size. Thanks TFX - if we may call you that?
Here's the download page.
And, here's what the notes about this download say:
Improved alarm and timer functions - now increasing to 20 events.
Improved alarm function, with the addition of "wake up to MP3 track or recorded radio", in addition to tone and DAB alarms.
Improved timed record events by allowing the continuation of recording regardless of standby state.
Scrolling DAB text can be now be paused and manually scrolled via textSCAN (TM).
Improved overall SD compatibility.
Improved overall USB compatibility.
Full directory navigation added to improve SD card file management.
Added track "Shuffle" and "Repeat" options for SD playback.
Improvements to menu access such as alarm and timer events while in standby.
HEXUS.community - discussion thread about this article
The Bug - home page
PURE - home page (tel: 01923 277 488)
PURE - V2.0 firmware updater for original Bug
PURE - notes about the V2.0 updater
PURE - FAQ about the V2 firmware
Hemingway Design - home page