Automatica audio download system
$99 at automaticaweb.com
Lots of us plug our smartphones into the car’s USB port, so we can listen to our favorite music downloads or podcasts during the commute. But the people at Automatica think they’ve got a better way--a phoneless device that downloads your tunes whenever you’re in wireless Internet range.
Automatica is an odd little device--a nearly featureless black box. You plug it into a PC or Mac to set it up and to provide it with power--there’s no battery inside. You install the necessary software on your computer, and set the Automatica to connect to your home or office Wi-Fi network. Then you program Automatica to download stuff from your favorite Internet cloud services, like Google Drive or Microsoft SkyDrive.
From now on, when you plug the Automatica device into a computer or your car, it’ll connect to Wi-Fi and start downloading podcasts and tunes into its built-in memory. It’s got two gigabytes of available storage and a MicroSD slot for adding more. Once it’s loaded up, just unplug Automatica, take it out to the car, plug it into the USB port and start listening.
If you park your car a block from home, it’s hard to see much benefit in Automatica. But it could make sense for people who park within range of their home Wi-Fi or some other open Internet hotspot. In that case, Automatica will download fresh content while you’re at work or in bed. If that’s how you roll, Automatica might be worth a listen.
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