Two New Radios from C. Crane
The C. Crane Company has a reputation for high quality radios. Two recent products, the CC Witness and the WiFi Internet Radio, continue that tradition.
The CC Witness
The CC Witness is a digital MP3 recorder/player that is especially attractive to broadcasters because it – unlike iPods – has a built-in AM/FM radio. It can be used for monitoring the station at remote broadcasts, for recording interviews of sponsors or listeners, for news gathering/interview needs, or for playback of previously recorded material.
The CC Witness
With C. Crane’s reputation for great radios, the tuners do not disappoint. The audio is crisp and clean. For FM, the earphones also serve as the antenna, although there is also a separate antenna so you can listen on the built-in speakers. The AM Radio is, of course, a bit more difficult. To help reduce interference from the LCD screen, an option turns it off during AM operation. A special low-noise AC adapter also helps.
Record, Play Upload
Recording can be done at rates from 32 kbps to 256 kbps, separately settable for AM, FM, line in, and microphone. An optional stereo microphone is available. The difference is definitely audible at the low end, especially on AM stations. The trade-off? At 32 kbps you can get 140 hours of storage from the internal 2 GB of memory; that drops to 17.5 hours at 256 kbps. Of course, the unit accepts an external SD memory card up to 16 GB.
The twin speakers are small, however the audio is decent – more than good enough for monitoring a station on a remote, for example. However, using the provided earphones, the audio is very good. The CC Witness can be connected to your computer’s USB port, to share files or for charging. A cradle is provided. Another neat feature is the timer, along with built-in calendar, to permit recordings to be set up ahead of time. There is room for 20 timer pre-sets.
Overall, I have enjoyed using the CC Witness and between time-shifting radio programs, recording conversations and interviews, and carrying some music with me, I find it is a very nice tool for radio folks.
OK, perhaps a radio that does not get AM or FM may not seem “right” to a broadcaster. However, the reality is that there are many Internet streams out there – one of which might be your own. C. Crane has made a table radio that easily brings these resources to your home or office.
The CC WiFi Radio works off of either ethernet or 802.11b or g signal, so you can place it where you need it. The audio can come from the Internet streams or any computer on the LAN, after you set it up for sharing. While there is only one speaker in the unit, it does have stereo outputs to drive an external set of speakers.
The CC WiFi Radio from C.Crane
This C. Crane unit gives you access to more than 16,000 Internet stations and audio feeds from around the world. Using the radio itself (with or without the remote control) or a web interface, you can browse the list of stations or search, select, and store your favorites for easier selection among the 99 possible pre-sets.
Here is an idea: if you have trouble getting enough RF signal at your studios or you want to send different feeds around the facility, you can easily set up several local streams to feed different CC WiFi Radios. And if you want to impress a client at a meeting, play their spots or your promotional material right from the LAN!
All in all, these are two more excellent products from C. Crane. (Additional info is available at www.ccrane.com)