This is a nifty little device that is actually quite powerful. Have you ever wished you could easily rewind a radio show? This will allow you to easily do such a thing, without a major hassle and headache. The radio shark itself is a very small little device that is approximately 6 inches tall and less than ½ inch wide. Looking very similar to a shark fin. On the bottom of the shark is a nice no slip pad, which helps ensure that it is not going to start swimming away.
The shark comes with one CD that includes two different software options to choose from. The first is their software that is the basic version of software. The other option is Snaptune One. This option is only available for those running wither Windows XP or Vista; however, it is a much better option in my personal opinion. I have tried both versions of the software, and much prefer the options and flexibility that Snaptune One offers.
With the Shark Two software, you can capture AM and FM frequencies with ease. Simply open the software, tune to the station of your choice, and press record. Once you press record, your Shark will light up red on the side to let you know it is recording. This process is very simple to do, and allows you to easily select the times and days you wish the shark to record, as well as where you want the files saved to. If you keep your IPOD connected constantly, you can select it to export automatically to your IPOD saving you the time of moving it later on.
With the Snaptunes software, I was a bit disappointed at first in the fact that almost immediately after installing from the CD I had to delete it to install an upgrade. I would have thought they could have made this a bit more user friendly, not everyone is comfortable messing around in the control panel of their computer. However, once that is done, the software is fairly easy to use. With the Snaptune One, you are able to select from FM/AM as well as Internet radio stations. To select a station you enter your zip code and Snaptune finds stations within range and allows you to select the station of your choice. This couldn’t get much simpler to pick a station, switching is as simple as clicking a button for the next station you wish to hear, which is listed with the frequency as well as the call letters for easy identification purposes.
Snaptune also has the added benefit of being able to capture individual songs; however, it takes approximately 8 hours according to Snaptune before the first song will appear. In my experience, it took approximately one hour for the first song, but another 9 or so hours before any more appeared. However, once songs start rolling in, they are right they do start moving fairly quickly. The individual song is captured to your PC allowing you to view the artist, song title, and rank the song according to your opinion. This makes is great to learn who the artist is that sings the song with the lyrics you cannot remember, and the band name you never could hope to remember. I truly loved this feature.
Some of the problems I experienced were relatively minor, and mostly software related. With Snaptunes, you are unable to really delete individual songs, for example, that radio station I listen to is a pain to tune in correctly and adjust the antenna for, no matter what radio in my house it is usually not a clear signal for more than 20 minutes before turning a bit fuzzy. Snaptunes did not allow a simple way to delete the fuzzy songs so that I could attempt to capture a new version. Other problems are that it does chew up a bit of hard drive space. Overall, the space is not bad; I was given an estimate of 29 GIG of space for 6 weeks of radio recordings if I recorded the station for 24 hours a day 7 days a week straight. While this is not a major amount of space, it is still a lot of space, and some might forget the space is being chewed up. Not everyone has the computer space that I have available, so this is a potential problem for some.
As I said, there were very few problems with this device and overall I have to say it is wonderful. It does what it claims to do, there are different software choices to choose from, and it is small enough to easily fit onto almost anyone’s desk. Have no fear about missing your favorite morning radio show if you sleep late now, this little Shark will solve that problem. I look forward to testing out some other Griffin products later on, if they are as good as the Shark I do not think I will be disappointed.
For those who are concerned about prices, you have to consider that this is a bit of an expensive toy, but if you are into this type of gadget, it is very reasonably priced. You can purchase it directly from the Griffin website for $49.99, which for the ease and convenience that is offered is a steal nowadays. Now my biggest hassle is knocking my teenage sister away from it who keeps attempting to snag my shark. I would suggest configuring the Shark to record more than one station at a time if you have differing music tastes in the house so that everyone is happy.