Alurtek USB Internet Radio Jukebox Review

When I was a kid, I had a portable multi-band radio. I can remember plugging an
earphone (this was before earbuds) into it at night and slowing scanning up and
down the frequencies, trying to tune in foreign stations. I would always get
excited when I would tune to a station and hear people talking in a language
that I didn’t understand. Multi-band radios are still being sold these days, but
I have an alternative for you… The USB Internet Radio Jukebox from Aluratek is
a plug and play ‘radio’ that claims to will quickly allow you to enjoy music and
news from all over the world. Let’s give it a try…

Aluratek USB Jukebox

The USB Internet Radio Jukebox looks just like an ordinary USB flash drive.

Aluratek USB Jukebox

It has a plastic cap and a wrap around metal body.

To use it, just plug it into an open USB port on your Windows XP or Vista
desktop or laptop (sorry, this product is not compatible with OS X). It will start out by prompting you to install something (I believe something to do with ActiveX) on the host computer and will then requires a reboot. Ugh.

Aluratek USB Jukebox
Aluratek USB Jukebox

Aluratek USB Jukebox
Aluratek USB Jukebox
Click thumbnail to see full sized screenshot

After you reboot and double click the USB drive letter, it will launch the Aluratek player. The top part of the screen is devoted to status information and playback controls, while the rest of the screen is used to display all the various stations available to you. The bottom of the screen shows Aluratek ads.

You can filter the list of stations by genre and region. According to the packaging information, there are 13,000 different internet radio stations that can be accessed by this product / software. When you click on a station name, it will connect and start playing music… if it can connect. Sometimes, it will connect to a station very quickly, and other times it will fail after a few seconds or several minutes.

If you enjoy listening to a station that you are able connect to, you can mark it as a favorite. What’s nice is that if you plug the USB dongle into another computer, it brings all your history and favorites along with it.

This product is easy to use, just plug it in and start listening… the thing is that you can listen to internet radio for free and not have to lose one of your USB slots. There are all kinds of web based radio players. One that comes to mind is Slacker Radio. You can also listen to internet radio through iTunes, Pandora, Live365, etc. As a result, I’m not really sure why you would buy this product when you can get the same features for free. The only way I think this product would be worth the price would be if it had some advanced features such as allowing you to add more stations, timed recordings, etc. As it is, I think I’d just save my $40 for another gadget purchase…

 

Product Information

Price:39.99
Manufacturer:Aluratek
Requirements:
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Open USB port
Pros:
  • Plug and play
  • Easy to use interface
  • 13,000 stations
Cons:
  • Can't add extra stations
  • Can do everything it can do for free with web based players
Posted in: Computer Gear, Laptops and Gear

4 comments… add one

  • Claire October 3, 2008, 2:42 pm

    Seems a little disappointing that they put ads for other products inside software that comes with a commercial product. I guess including brochures in the packaging just doesn’t cut it anymore…

  • Rob Tillotson October 3, 2008, 4:00 pm

    Rebooting to use a software based plug in device? How silly.

    You could do pretty much this exact same thing by using a U3 drive (almost any flash drive available today) and a portable media player app… except that U3 doesn’t require a reboot to access apps, and you get it free with the flash drive. And you can install all kinds of other apps too; my U3 flash drive has stuff like Firefox, instant messaging, SSH, text editor, registry and partition tools, etc. just in case I’m working on a friend’s PC which doesn’t have everything I need. And it still has 3.5GB free and cost less than this thing.

    I hate to say it, but… fail.

  • Julie October 4, 2008, 6:45 pm

    FYI: My contact from Aluratek responded to the review by sending me the following list:

    Top Reasons to Select Aluratek USB Internet Radio Jukebox over “Free” Online Music

    1. Streaming online content really isn’t “free” if you want a
      pleasurable listening experience. Generally, at the beginning of your
      “free” experience you are subjected to a slew of advertisements. If you
      decide to switch to another station, you are again subjected to numerous
      advertisements. Eliminating the advertisements generally requires you
      to join a VIP member, which can be costly (prices range from 70-150
      dollars annually).

    2. Alurak’s USB Internet Radio Jukebox does not require you to
      register the product, download software or provide an email address. It
      is truly “plug-n-play” as it is coded to load as a CD-ROM. What does
      this mean for the user? Your computer won’t be bogged down with
      addition software and your personal email address will not become a
      target of spam.

    3. The USB product allows users to search genre OR geographically,
      while most free online music providers limit your search strictly to
      genre. This feature enhances the product and allows you to explore new music from other countries! You can also rank and sort your top ten channels by genre or by location.

    4. Aluratek’s USB Internet Radio Jukebox allows users to save their
      favorite stations right to the flash memory on the product. This
      feature adds to the portability of the device and makes it great for
      travel.

  • Chris August 4, 2010, 10:02 am

    I bought Aluratek Jukebox some months ago and have yet to be able to use it. I went through the setup process but each time I try to connect I get a prompt that says “Invalid Dongle”. I don’t know what that means but as I said I have yet to be able to connect the product and start listening to Internet radio. So, for all practical purposes, this product is not worth the money I paid for it.

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