Thanks for the great review; you guys are always on the ball. I am quite interested however, in how the radio remote effects the battery life on both the 5G and nano. It even says on the Apple store website:

"...using the FM radio will affect iPod playback time."

Did you do any tests to measure the battery life in normal usage?

Thanks in advance

Posted by webHead on January 14, 2006 at 8:17 PM (PDT) Comment 1

Jeremy, I echo the thanks for a great review. So, in the final analysis, if you have a black video iPod, and are edging toward the Griffin iFM because of the color (I know, I know, vanity), what's your suggestion? Or is the Apple version better? (Far better product would trump good looks in this case, price being equal)

It's interesting to see the size disparity, I have to say.

And finally, do you suggest waiting to see what other vendors come out with? (The last sentence of the review made me think...)

Curious to hear what the rest of y'all might suggest, if in a similar situation.

Posted by Ava66 on January 14, 2006 at 8:34 PM (PDT) Comment 2

Great review! However, you did fail to mention that the iPod firmware update that is required to use this has been causing many issues with video playback on the 60 GB iPods.

Posted by crispyj on January 14, 2006 at 9:30 PM (PDT) Comment 3

Good review, I don't think there's anything to correct unline's review...

With Regards to RDS when you use the "Europe" setting it has never shown any RDS data on my 5G iPod. I used the USA setting (the default) for a short time and it was able to find the RDS for the same station then.

One thing I'd like to know if anyone else is experiencing is the problem where the iPod will switch itself back on if you turn off via the iPod and use the iPod's hold switch (turning it so that the orange/red bar shows).

On mine it appears to "forget" the Radio Remote is connected, then find it again so it switches on. The only remedy is to unplug the remote or to "hold" the iPod and use the remote to turn it off.

Posted by Daveoc64 on January 15, 2006 at 4:57 AM (PDT) Comment 4

is there a way to delete presets?

Posted by John Tylko, III on January 15, 2006 at 7:57 AM (PDT) Comment 5

"is there a way to delete presets?
By John Tylko, III on 01.15.06 at 06:57 AM"

"You tag a station as a preset by holding down the iPod’s center button, and remove it from the list in the same way."

Posted by trevor1189 on January 15, 2006 at 9:27 AM (PDT) Comment 6

Great review!

I do have two questions though..

1. What is the battery life with the use of the radio function? I assume that it wont effect anything much if it's just for the remote function.

2. Take a close look at picture 3 and picture 5, why is there no apple logo on the back of the remote on picture 5?

Posted by flyhen on January 15, 2006 at 10:47 AM (PDT) Comment 7

Some comments Jeremy,
The docking connector on my remote is very hard to attach (feels like metal on metal) but works when connected. Is that typical?

Secondly, any opinion on whether the FM tuner circuitry is in the remote or already built into the ipod?

Personally my biggest disappointment is that the radio doesn't work when attached via amplified speakers. For example, when I dock my ipod in my logitech mm50 speakers and plug the remote into the docking connector on the mm50 the remote works but NOT the radio. I surmise they may be using some previously unconnected pins on the docking connector to signify the FM tuner is connected and the mm50 doesn't "pass" this pin through internally.


Posted by Timcor on January 15, 2006 at 10:49 AM (PDT) Comment 8

I agree with timcor,I have the bose soundock and would love to have seen this radio feature accessable whilst docked in the above. I also note that one or two of the contributors already have the radio remote and would love to know where they purchased these as the apple web site quotes a 3 week wait before shipping. I can't wait to get my hands on one!!!

Posted by petej on January 15, 2006 at 11:14 AM (PDT) Comment 9


I was refreshing the website at the end of the keynote speech on Tuesday. In effect I ordered as soon as it would let me do so.

There is also different availability in different countries.

Posted by Daveoc64 on January 15, 2006 at 3:49 PM (PDT) Comment 10

Flyhen, on my monitor I can see the Apple logo on both pictures 3 and 5. Picture 5 is taken at a different angle, so the logo is fainter. Try adjusting your contrast, etc?

Posted by Magic Rabbits on January 15, 2006 at 5:22 PM (PDT) Comment 11

in picture 8 the menu rev frw buttons on the ipod appear to lite up in a red hue. was wonderin if this was due the flash of camera??? and it seem very small was wonderin about the useability

thanks phil

Posted by BIGP on January 15, 2006 at 9:31 PM (PDT) Comment 12

As with many others, I was wondering about the effect on the iPod 5g's already sparse battery life.

Also, is there any hope for a black version (Apple really should make all of their 5G and nano accessories in black).?

Posted by ipodnewb on January 15, 2006 at 10:00 PM (PDT) Comment 13

ipodnewb, I don't think there are any immediate plans to make ANY accessories in black (hence my earlier query about Griffin iFM (black and white versions) vs. the Apple Radio (white only).

Posted by Ava66 on January 15, 2006 at 10:22 PM (PDT) Comment 14

There is a battery hit, but we haven't quantified the specifics yet. Our test iPod nano ran for fewer than 10 hours when connected to the Radio Remote (versus 15 hours out of box); we're still checking on full-sized iPods, but would expect the impact to be smaller.

We don't think that a competing FM receiver with the same features (or better) than this one will be out from a third-party for at least another 5 months. From what we can gather, the next big steps in wired remotes will be display technology and radio recording. Black Apple accessories may be coming sooner, but it's hard to know for sure.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on January 16, 2006 at 12:19 AM (PDT) Comment 15

Is it only me or is this FM radio only MONO??
How can Apple ignore FM STEREO which is only 40 years old and produce one channel mono FM radio?

Posted by jeffrose on January 16, 2006 at 5:55 AM (PDT) Comment 16

I think this new remote is absolutely worth every penny. Finally I do not have to get my whole iPod out of my pocket to control my Music. The radio add-on is just an extra to me but a nice one. Jeffrose, how do you know the fm radio is only mono? I cannot think of a reason from apple to do this other than the fact that the fm signal reception via the remote control wire might be bad. In that case, mono would be reasonable as a good mono signal is always better then a bad stereo one. I can still remember that the first Nokia phones with radio option also lacked stereo output precisely due to this fact. Maybe another reason might be the chipsize different for mono and stereo difference as the whole unit has to be contained within the remote itself, as i presume...

Posted by Ward Grootjans on January 16, 2006 at 7:30 AM (PDT) Comment 17

Thanks for the additional info, Jeremy. So, between this and the iFM, you'd suggest the Radio Remote as the better product?

Posted by Ava66 on January 16, 2006 at 11:07 AM (PDT) Comment 18

Great review Jeremy. Do you have any indications whether Apple intends to make this compatible with the 4G and/or earlier models?

Posted by billyo516 on January 16, 2006 at 1:54 PM (PDT) Comment 19

As a battery life update - the 60GB iPod ran for 14 hours and 19 minutes with Radio Remote attached, which is to say roughly a 5-5.5 hour hit on its original run time.

Ava66: For 3G/4G/mini owners, iFM is a better pick for obvious reasons. For 5G/nano owners, Radio Remote offers a lot of advantages over iFM on interface, but the radio tuners aren't identical, and some may prefer one or the other.

Billyo: We've heard nothing on this point yet. If you have a 4G, we'd recommend iFM (silver/white version).

Also - for what it's worth, we've heard (not from Apple) that the RDS issues noted above may be at chip level, and not correctable by software. We viewed RDS as a neat little bonus feature rather than a really important one, but if it's a critical feature for you, bear in mind that the current crop of remotes may never fully take advantage of RDS.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on January 16, 2006 at 10:21 PM (PDT) Comment 20

Can you answer my question as to whether this device was designed to play in old fashioned MONO rather than stereo??
Mine sure seems NOT to play in stereo which makes listening to music stations worthless!!
Let me know - maybe my unit is defective.


Posted by jeffrose on January 17, 2006 at 3:33 AM (PDT) Comment 21

So even if you don't use the Radio function there is quite a big hit to Battery life? Do you know if Apple has any tips to reduce the hit to battery life? I can't imagine that a remote should use so much power if it's only functioning as a remote?

Posted by sxcc on January 17, 2006 at 8:53 AM (PDT) Comment 22

If anyone has the remote, and the Apple Universal Dock, can you let us know if the radio will work while plugged into Apple's dock.

Posted by Gordy. on January 18, 2006 at 8:47 AM (PDT) Comment 23

Does anyone know how the signal strength compares to the Kensington car charger/transmitter? I used to have one until someone decided that they wanted on badly enough to break my car window to get one. The unit sounded great though, especially after using (or rather trying to use) the iTrip from Griffin...


Posted by justonepost on January 18, 2006 at 1:42 PM (PDT) Comment 24

Gordy: Just checked and nope, the radio nor remote functions do not pass thru the Universal dock. But I did plug it into a 4G iPod photo and the remote does function with it - just no radio features.

Posted by Leo the 3rd on January 18, 2006 at 4:55 PM (PDT) Comment 25
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