New USB radio driver developedBy Chris Williams. Published: 21st Feb 2006, 02:31:32 | Permalink | Printable
Do you README?Musically inclined RISC OS users now have a choice of supported USB radio receivers, thanks to a new driver by Dave Higton. The electronic engineer has created the necessary control software for the AVerMedia USB FM radio, allowing users of the Castle and Simtec USB solutions to tune into their favourite stations from their desktops.
Dave said third party applications, such as !Alarm, as well as people can control the radio. He said: "You can add and edit a list of stations, and tune to the stations by name, and you can mute and unmute the radio. There is a stereo indicator.
"The app will normally run whenever the radio is plugged in to the USB, or when the computer boots if the radio is already plugged in. You can, of course, stop this behaviour if you prefer."
The slim white gadget, measuring around 6cm by 16cm, looks like a mass storage pen drive, and yet is capable of picking up any good quality broadcast on the FM band - and we're talking signal strength here, not programming quality. Although there's an ocean of Internet based radio stations that'll stream audio content to you over the web, having a compact USB radio means you can enjoy music when offline, or alternatively, you can pick up emergency broadcasts in the event of a nuclear war. Use your imagination.
Audio output from the device is sent to a headphone socket on the gadget - it's not possible at the moment to stream the received sound from the USB radio to the host computer. The socket can feed into headphones, a hi-fi amplifier, or a sampler card.
Dave added: "Although !AverMedia is free, I would appreciate a gift of, say, £2 if you use it. This is because I was originally loaned one of these radios as a challenge: 'Here, see if you can write a driver for this'. Now that I have released the drivers, I have to buy a radio so that I can provide support for them. I would like to break roughly even over the project."
He bridged the gap between the two conflicting USB standards by making a version tailored for Simtec users, and another for Castle users. Dave previously developed a DRU-100 radio driver for Castle USB users. His latest driver is available under the open source GPL.
AVerMedia USB FM radio drivers
Review of said USB gadget
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