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‘Carmen’ Car Internet Radio Player Debuts

Livio device records, plays back Internet content through FM head unit

Livio Radio’s latest product, which the company is calling a “portable Internet radio solution for cars,” was unveiled this week.

“Carmen” is a portable Internet radio. Using software that’s included for both Mac and PC, the company says it’s possible to record more than 42,000 AM/FM and Internet-only radio streams and then load the recorded content onto the portable media device using a USB cable. You can also load other audio files, like music and podcasts onto the unit, which features 2 GB of memory.

For playback, plug Carmen into your car’s 12-volt socket and the unit streams the audio through an open FM channel or head unit’s auxiliary input. The device features fast forward, rewind and skip functions.

Livio Radio CEO Jake Sigal says he designed Carmen with the DVR in mind, and the device “is all about further expanding Internet radio consumption to the car.”

Carmen ships to retailers this summer and will list for just under $60.

This latest release comes on the heels of the Livio Car Internet Radio app for iPhone, available for $4.99 on the App Store.

I got a chance to talk to Sigal, the 28-year-old entrepreneur of the Detroit-based Livio Radio, at CES. Livio is also the developer of the first branded NPR consumer electronics device, an Internet radio that features NPR stations, programs and content in a special NPR menu. He’s all about making Internet radio easy to use. His other company, Myine Electronics, makes the Abbee, the FM tuner that strips out commercials and DJ patter.