Livio broke onto the Wi-Fi radio scene with the Livio Radio, featuring a "less is more" design philosophy that focused on Pandora's streaming music service. Today the company has announced a new Wi-Fi radio in the same vein, The NPR Radio ($200), which puts the focus on easily finding NPR content.
The backbone of The NPR Radio is the NPR menu, which is programmed by NPR and aggregates all of the company's content into a single menu, so you can easily find the NPR station you're looking for without having to know the station's call letters. Bringing up the menu is as easy as hitting the NPR button on the front panel and your saved stations pop up when you hit My NPR. You'll also have the ability to stream NPR podcasts, which is nice if you prefer on-demand listening rather than tuning in at a specific time.
Aside from NPR programming, The NPR Radio is still capable of accessing the thousands of other Internet radio stations freely available. The design and feature set of The NPR Radio is nearly identical to the Livio Radio; a remote is included, and there's an auxiliary input on the back. Livio told us that the company intends to add Pandora streaming functionality to The NPR Radio (and, conversely, add the NPR menu to the original Livio Radio), but it couldn't give us a specific date of when that functionality is expected.
If you're a techie, it's easy to be cynical about The NPR Radio; you can get all the same streams on better-featured products like the Grace GDI-IR2000 and Logitech Squeezebox Radio. Still, we can't deny that The NPR Radio's straightforward/simple approach has appeal, especially for those who love NPR's content, but are less comfortable with technology.
The NPR Radio is currently available for preorder on NPR Shop and is expected ship in November.