But it's only a half-hearted working, and not for technophobes -- having to set folder permissions in a Windows environment is not what we call painless operation. To listen to music, you must add tracks to a 'queue' -- you can't simply tell a single song to play. There's no gapless playback either, so expect 2 seconds between tracks in the queue.
Our problems finished here, however. After mastering the slightly convoluted local streaming functions, we went back to Internet radio, and great fun it was too. Browsing broadcasts from country after country was very simple, as was finding on-demand content from the likes of the BBC. You do have to scroll all the way through the alphabetised list of countries to find the UK though, rather than going backwards from 'A' listings.
Using podcasts was simpler still. After pasting in a podcast's RSS feed into the Reciva Web site (you need to sign up for a free account there first), it was available immediately on the Quattro. You can choose individual episodes to listen to, the titles of which are pulled from the RSS feed and scrolled across the screen. Unfortunately you can only assign individual episodes to preset keys. We would have much prefered to assign certain shows to presets.
Finally, sound quality is excellent from the single speaker. It's no stereo alternative, but for a tabletop radio it's superb. Decent bass, very clear mids for vocals and it's bright enough in tone to satisfy most people.
So after the problematic start, the Quattro clawed its way back into our good books. It has decent looks, great sound and plenty of features for radio and podcast fans.
But for anyone with a passion for radio and a love of international broadcasts, Tangent's Quattro MKII puts all these and more next to your bed in an attractive package and for a decent price. If you want to sacrifice the looks, style and podcasts, consider Intempo's cheaper GX01 option.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide