Keyspan TuneView for iPod

Keyspan TuneView for iPod

We’ll overlook the TuneView’s biggest shortcoming—the total absence of physical support for an iPod connected to it—because it comes with a remote control that eliminates any need to manipulate the iPod while it’s docked.

The docking-station component of the TuneView is as rudimentary as they come: It’s equipped with 1/8-inch stereo and S-video outputs and a USB port that’s used to either sync the iPod to your PC or power the dock and charge your iPod—but you can’t do both at the same time. Power is supplied by Keyspan’s weird-but-cool USB power adapter. (Plug the adapter into an AC outlet, plug a USB cable into the adapter, and you can charge the battery in any device that accepts power over USB.)

The remote control, on the other hand, is pretty slick: It’s capable of not only controlling a docked iPod, but also receiving data from the iPod. It features a 1.4-inch LCD that is capable of displaying most of the information your iPod knows about the music stored on it. Using the remote, you can browse your music collection by song, genre, artist, album, and playlist as if you were holding the iPod. And since it uses the 2.4GHz band, there’s no line-of-sight requirement.

The remote’s passive-matrix display doesn’t deliver the ultrafast response times or high contrast we take for granted in active-matrix displays, but it’s good enough for this application. Hand us a remote with a built-in display, however, and we’re bound to compare it to the Sonos Digital Music System—and to the iPod itself, for that matter (pair your iPod with a Bluetooth transceiver, and the iPod becomes a remote in and of itself). The TuneView suffers in these comparisons: The fact that the remote can’t display album art is more the fault of Apple than it is of Keyspan, but the buttons feel plasticky and cheap. That’s not what we expect from a $180 device; even so, the remote renders this one of the best docking solutions we’ve tested.

"This is why I'm hot"

Aside from just controlling the docked iPod, the remote can actually recieve data from it.

"This is why you're not"

Cheapy controls were below expectations.

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