Today I’ve received a Sonata radio which I have mixed feelings about. On the plus side, its great in that stations from the Internet are available without having to go onto the PC to find them, it has a nice speech interface, including an introductory message recorded by Cheryl Baker of Bucks fizz fame, and if I’m being fair, the accessible design isn’t as hideous as most products designed for blind people. Not only does it give access to Internet radio, but also to podcasts and publications available on the Internet. If I subscribed to the Talking Newspaper service, I could access my publications from the sonata.
Radio stations are added to the player via a web site, I haven’t looked at it yet so I can’t comment on its accessibility or usability.
As always though I feel it is too large and too limited on functionality for its price tag. It is a desktop type radio, so lies flat, taking up a lot of room on a surface. It has a very small speaker for its size which doesn’t have a great sound. However, it does have stereo output via a headphone jack, so I can imagine that I may well use it with some stereo speakers plugged in. It does have a remote control so I can tuck it away somewhere perhaps! It has an SD card slot but doesn’t seem to have any built in functionality to use the radio for recording.
All in all, I’m happy with it and feel it has a lot of potential.