The Livio Radio launches with Pandora built in


The Livio WiFi Radio, featuring the Pandora music service built-in, is a major boost to the 11,000 free Internet radio stations it also offers. The Livio Radio, through Pandora and the Music Genome Project, gives its users their own personal DJ, one that actually pays attention to what you like, and what you don’t.

The radio can be used at home or at the office, without the need of a computer. This is the first Internet Radio with dedicated Pandora “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” controls on front panel and remote to customize music tastes.

The internet radio station platform is via the Reciva Radio Portal—the same as a previously-tested Grace Digital Radio. In testing the Livio, we found it is similar in size and screen display to the Grace, but has improved user-friendly controls and a more logical menu layout. Livio’s cell phone-like on-screen signal strength meter is also nice to optimize WiFi reception.

The control/volume knob also lights up when menu commands are issued. A remote control is included. The unit has not glitched once. The first generation Grace Digital was prone to glitching—you would sometimes have to unplug and plug it back in to get it working again.

The Livio Radio also allows you to store a ton of favorites on a menu list, vs. a limited five preset buttons on the Grace. The Livio speaker is satisfactory, but when plugged into a larger unit with stereo speakers, it really rocks. It includes a stereo out line; a headphone jack and Ethernet plug. The Livio could use separate Bass and Treble controls, but its speaker does have a good range of its own.

The best part, of course, is the Thumbs up, Thumbs down buttons for your Pandora accounts. You can really craft music channels well with this quick pushbutton access. Also, your Pandora channels will keep playing on the Livio unit for as long as you like—unlike the online version where you must keep clicking “yes I am still listening” after the music stops every so often. The Livio currently retails for $149.